Ring the bells that still can ring…

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything —
That’s how the light gets in.
– Leonard Cohen
It has been a lovely few days.
The photo shoot on Thursday was an absolute hoot, thanks to my photographer, Jensen Hande, who has a great personality and knows just how to coax out my inner warrior and my inner wimp. (Not that the wimp took much coaxing.) Hopefully I’ll have some pics to share soon to show you what I mean!
On Friday I went to the sea. I don’t do this too much in the summer, because it’s too hot and crowded. But Friday was stormy and cool (a relative term here), and well, I just felt like it, so I went. It’s a 20 mile drive, and parts of that drive are icky and never to be attempted during rush hour, but other parts are beautiful with tall bridges that shoot you off into the sky, and water water everywhere, and big boats. I LOVE big boats.
And when I got to the sea, there was a rainbow!
I had a wonderful walk and sang at the top of my lungs and when it rained I went inside and ate a sandwich and read some Rumer Godden. Then the sun set, and I drove home across sparkling water and the sparkling city. At home, I sat down with a cup of tea, and wrote and wrote until 6 am.
Saturday afternoon I woke up writing. I’m trying to write this new scene for Book 3 that’s a conversation between two characters in the back garden, and I’ve been mulling over this scene from the beginning, which means that there are post-it notes and grocery receipts scattered all over the house on which are written Very Important Points Which I Must Not Forget. I spent some time assembling the notes, and was justifiably puzzled by some of them. One said, “The revelation MUST be chilling.” Seems like good advice, but it’d be more useful if I had the slightest idea what the revelation was. There’s a revelation? Sigh… Another note, with asterisks marking its importance, said, “coming unhinged, going balmy, going round the bend.” ?? Another said in all caps, “HOW DO HENS SLEEP?” and another said, “How long b4 back on feet if stabbed in gut?” And a third: “cy is cracked b42c4G but not [illegible] 4Bb.” ????
Anyway, I wrote many, many pages, about half of which I crossed out, but that’s okay, that’s what this book seems to be like — I write the wrong thing about 5 times, and that brings me around to the right thing. I hope?
On Sunday I listened to NPR for ages, and then I puttered, and then I had a lovely dinner with Joe. And then I came home, watched some of the best swimming ever swum, and got back to writing. This novel is either about nothing or about too many things. This novel is quite possibly going to be the one that proves I cannot write a book. But! I push on! Nothing can stop me! If I go down, I will go down screaming!
It was also a weekend of wonderful birthday greetings from my family and friends, who rock my socks. This included some astonishing music from my sister Dac, whose code name, I’ve decided, is Apocalyptica. Here’s an excerpt from her note accompanying the music: “Apocalyptica is a Finnish heavy metal band. They are three classically trained cellists and one drummer. They tend to play with their shirts off. Their first CD was entirely Metallica covers, and it was called Plays Metallica by Four Cellos. I’m going to see them in Hartford in September!”
Are you beginning to see why I had such a marvelous weekend?
I’ll close this long and erratic post with some life instructions from Martha Graham, paraphrased by Ursula Nordstrom, and found by me in the intro to the book Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom:
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares to other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.
Have a good year, everyone!