Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers

It is a truth universally recognized that a writer, launched into a project to the point of distraction, perhaps even sleeplessness, certainly irritation, will be bombarded with ideas for new projects.  It is not enough to be in the process of inventing a situation so delicious and wonderful that it draws you away from responsibilities attached to the real world.  Nor is it enough that such long engagements seem in retrospect even more exciting and fun than they were during the execution.  

You do not notice such connections until you have reached a temporary calm, where there are no sudden storms of ideas. There is a sense that feels as though it were calm, but it is in fact a kind of withdrawal from the ongoing process about you.  Short bursts of it are welcomed, then merely acceptable, then decidedly not so--decidedly boring.  Ah, worse than boring, frightening because in such moments come the insects of doubt to lay their eggs.  Will you ever have another idea again?  At such times, you are likely to venture into things, relationships, projects, tasks you would not ordinarily enter, grabbing onto something as though it represented some last bus on the schedule, some last flight out of somewhere, some last train.  It is not uncommon at such times for you to wonder if you have ever in your life held an original thought, had a worthwhile idea of project.  The eggs have hatched and you are infested.  There are neither books in the library nor the bookstore that will wrench you away from such infestations.  At such times, the only books or stories that have any kind of chance are those you must write or think you must write.

Which is at once a good omen, an omen of the need for you to be back in the rush, being pelted with ideas and associations as though you were caught in some cloudburst without a raincoat or your trusty Barbour and are doomed to a soaking.

Life is in its way like those particles which are at times waves, life is cyclic and wave property, the conundrums before you again like Erwin Schrodinger's cat, neatly packed in a box to be delivered to you by some cosmic agency.  Will the story be alive?   

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