Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another Day, Another Brick Wall

Yesterday at about two in the afternoon, you had a collision.  It was more inconvenient than annoying or painful.  You had at least a half cup of latte left in your porcelain cup and in the bargain, those about you at your favorite coffee shop were reading or just, as one sometimes does in a coffee shop, focusing on some inner place within the psyche, wondering how to accommodate itching it.

You have had these collisions before, with varying degrees of subsequent result.  This one came early in Chapter Six, where, having reached a critical point on which some sort of logic depended, you wisely decided to move away from the critical point to the point of view of another character.  She, alas, was alone, a situation you inveigh against at some length because having characters, even Hamlet's and Macbeth's and Henry Vs and such,means they must be given something to do to justify their presence.  You don't want to leave them alone for long because they tend to go interior on you, wondering things such as How IT all began or How She got into such a supreme pickle as this.

Your character had seen something which she was trying not to think had Cosmic import, thus she reminded herself of how important it was to remain rational:  the pulsing lights she saw every night at eleven were not cosmic, they were merely pulsing lights.  True enough, they in effect ARE merely pulsing lights that will be explained down the line as a group of squatters having found a way to bootleg power and TV connection, watching Charlie Rose, weeknights.  But no one knows this yet and the woman who sees the lights is trying to convince herself that they are merely lights.  You read through this, adding a word or two here, removing a few there, in effect revising as best you were able under the circumstances.

Although you are not what you would describe as a religious person, there is a concept within the culture into which you were born called The Ain Soph, the Divine Nothingness, across which the True Believer has no trouble casting him- or herself on a daily basis in the quest for understanding and connection.  There is one within the writer's credo as well in which the writer deliberately exacerbates,makes things worse beyond belief much less safety.  That sometimes involves such things as falling in love, wanting to accomplish something, pursuing a vision.

Over the years, you have collided with this Berlin Wall of logic and structure, rushing toward it at full speed, seeing the imminent contact but unwilling to take the foot off the accelerator because THAT is not the way this type of hitting the wall works.  Sometime, perhaps soon, perhaps not, an answer will appear, much like the pulsing lights this character in the early part of Chapter Six sees; you will remind yourself that it is the rational part of the Process, the writer's credo, that sometimes gives solutions, sometimes withholds them for some considerable time.

It matters that you like the project and the people caught up in it; you like them to the point where it seems you have stumbled on a book in a used book store with your name on it, written in a language you do not recognize.  This book is your only shot at the project and thus you must learn to translate this work from a language you do not recognize. There is a blurb on the back of the book, in English, assuring the reader that this is your break-through work, and so you would be foolish to set in back on the shelves,where someone else might want to pick it up.

One strategy to speed the message:  reread the first five chapters as though you were coming to them for the first time.

Another strategy:  wait.

Yet another:  remember, if it is to have the reach and bite you hope for, it is not likely to come easy.

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