Twenty-four of 40

Hi. Anybody out there? Are you still with me? Am I writing into the ether? Well, aren’t we all. It’s hard to come to terms with the idea that there’s no one there. There might be. Who are we writing to? The ether is my friend. Embrace the fucking ether!

MIA, I’ve been.

Why?

Well if you’re just tuning in, I moved, and it was a traumatic ordeal. It’s not just the moving either. There’s more things happening over here. It’s why I had to construct this rock garden-thingamajig. This kind of thing calms my nerves. Granted, art does too, but finding different rocks to put down in a circle makes me think about what I will paint. Or won’t. Doesn’t matter. Exactly!

The last time I built one of these, it was the week my aunt died. We knew she was about to die any moment. She had breast cancer that later metastasized to her brain. It was awful. She’d already gone through two rounds of chemo — the second one while she was in stage 4…I won’t get into all the details, I’m sorry. There’s a lot.

Anyway, it wasn’t all that long ago, and making one of these helped me deal with the grieving. You might want to try it if somebody close to you dies. Or, you move.

Or…if your partner loses his job. If it happens at the same time you have to move quickly, that’s an opportune time to place rocks in a circle. It’ll help you not to think about how fucked you are. Or angry. Mjp isn’t all that angry, even though he was there for some 13 years. And no severance, by the way. I can’t think about it without actual steam pushing out from my ear holes.

Hmm, maybe I’ll use that line, it’s o.k. Maybe. And maybe I started re-writing my memoir seven weeks ago.

I know what some of you might be thinking by now. I have no interest in really finishing my book after all. I’m either a crazy person, a procrastinator, someone who wants to sabotage herself, a perfectionist, or perhaps something else you know about me that I can’t see. I am probably all those things. But I still wasn’t happy with it. And I could neither shop, nor publish something I felt cringey about. It would be out there forever. I’ve realized reasons why I was unhappy with it, and things I’ll never be able to change if I keep reworking it. So this is the last round.

I’d been working from that old dusty draft I wrote when I was 40, and I’m almost 50 now. I see the world entirely differently. Hence, totally different perspective, story, and ending. I am a better writer as time continues, too. I learn more, the more I write. That’s going to happen in each new draft, so I’ll probably see things I don’t like every time I re-read it. I’ve realized that I’ll just have to let that go.

Those were two good, mindful things to start with. That, and not caring what anyone else thought about the way I wrote. I guess that’s a big factor, isn’t it? I had to keep pushing on, and get everyone else out of my head. They still broke through the little windows, crawled in through the doggie doors, or whatever. I had to bug bomb the place and get them the hell out! For whatever reason, it’s just a whole lot harder for me than it is when I make art.

But I’ll get there.

Today, I finished Chapter 24, and I project there to be roughly 40 chapters. I started working February 26th, so, not too shabby. It won’t be long before it’s done.


2 Responses
  • Mark Strunin Reply

    I am out here. Thank you for being in touch. Take care.

  • Kate Riley Reply

    Carol? Hello? You ARE out there and I’m in here… Missing your blogs and your comments online.
    Have you moved into your new space ok? I love the stone circle you have made… Keep on keeping on and you’ll get to where you want to be in the end… Love you Kate xxx

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