Day 6: The Art of Reappearing
Until last fall, I’d almost accepted the idea that although I’d like to be a writer, I must be missing something essential that could make it/allow it to happen. I’d also almost come to believe what my mother, another aspiring writer, had often said over the years — something like: “Real writers MUST write. If a person is not writing, is able to resist or postpone, that person is not a real writer.” Thankfully, I don’t think she believes that anymore herself. (She’s been blogging away for years, and very well at that.) But my point is, I was pretty much resigned to giving up the dream.
Last spring and summer, though, my imagination turned up the volume on its usual constant murmuring. WAY UP! My long-imagined, would-be characters started coming around again, dragging their sketchy, unfinished plot lines behind them. I’d see them hanging around, first maybe in the parking lot of the grocery store where we shop. Then they started camping out in the woods behind our house. But now, more and more frequently, one finds his/her way inside — maybe just taps me on my shoulder as I edit. “Anything going on these days, you know, with my story?,” the last one asked. And I just start rattling off excuses, my special area of expertise. Usually that’s enough to make them disappear, at least for a while. (They are totally grossed out by excuses. Lies practically kill them.) This last one, though, she lingered a bit, started asking questions about what I was working on, how much I was getting paid, etc. Awkward!
But now, it’s not just them. I’ve begun feeling increasingly dogged by feelings of failure and frustration, guilt even. More and more, I’ve come to believe that if I don’t get serious about writing, soon, NOW, and work steadily until I complete a piece, I will … not be well. And I need to be well.
I have this really sweet family, whom I love dearly, and I want them, more than pretty much anything, to see me succeed as a fiction writer, as a whole person. (Our young son, “Elliot,” has a wonderful imagination and has said he wants to become the world’s best comic book writer [among other things]) — how I’d love to set a good example for him to follow in making his own dreams come true, if not in comic book writing than in whatever he chooses.)
Deep down, I know I have not provided much of an example in terms of how to make dreams come true or even set/achieve goals. Deep down, I know I have not been “all here” for a while, maybe forever, and I KNOW that not writing is a big part of the reason why.
So………….. This might be a good time to introduce my gravatar (shown here larger, above right). When I chose it, I thought it was from a photo series called “The Art of Disappearing” (which turned out to be the title of the piece in which I found it), but it’s actually from an untitled series, as I’ve just discovered. Wither way, knowing what little I do of Francesca Woodman’s story, I’m not sure what to make or say of my choice of this image as my gravatar. Although her photos are among my favorite things in the world, and although one could certainly argue that she was the consummate artist — creating for herself, living according to her own rules, making no compromises, etc. — things did not end well for her. Or maybe they ended as she wanted them to.
In any case, check her out here with all these forks. (Maybe I should have posted this on my About page. ;)) Check her out!
……. Okay. It’s okay. I’m okay with my gravatar. Somehow, and I truly don’t know how or on what basis, I trust my choice.