~happy halloween!~

October 31st, 2006

I had my first real working day today. Yesterday I gathered and printed the couple hundred pages of notes, research and drafts I have and organized them into chapters, in one notebook. Today I woke and out of my routine, if I can say I have one on day three, I went to the colony hall in the morning. I have been making that sojourn in the mid-afternoon, as the lunch basket that arrives 11-12 has to be returned by 6. It has been my habit to have an afternoon walk and check email and such. But today I was hoping to catch b-day girl Noria on the phone and did, or I should say, she caught me, since I haven’t bought a phone card yet… That was lovely.

Then I came back to work and wrote 11 pages about self-acceptance, which I have discovered is the central theme of the book, and of my creative life, it turns out.
I hadn’t planned it, but I think what I did is begin at the heart, what will likely come up in chapter eight or thereabouts and I ‘spose it makes sense, to work from the crux outward. It will help me focus the parts that come before.

It was a day of writing about my family, and my mom specifically, and Lilly too.
I cried all day. It felt wonderful.

I have a picture of Lillian Gish made by edward steichen, from a book of his work my mom gave me when I was in high school, just starting as a photographer.
In the image she plays Ophelia, so surprise, surprise, I was immediately drawn to it.
Instead of succumbing to the murky depths, drowning in her own sorrow, Gish stands head wreathed, in nightgown, on what I imagine is a river bank and does a mad, riotous, righteous dance. It is an image of total abandon, of giving over to right here, right now.

Underneath I had written TRUTH to remind me of the glory of it. It made me a little self-conscious, like that character in Room with a View, when he climbs the tree to shout to the ether, “Truth! Beauty! Love!” before falling to the ground. But whatever, no editor.

The other day it grew a question mark, TRUTH?, which is also well worthy of celebration—the questioning of the very notion.

Today it became MY TRUTH!

Now that’s something to riot in the reeds for. Kindly imagine it:

gish.jpg

Noria commented how open I sound, and it’s true, I feel like I’m cracking open. And everything coming out is cool with me and everyone around me and they are having that experience in whatever that means to them. It’s the first time ever that my natural impulse to delve, feel, and express (no not in interpretative dance, but so what if it was?) has been encouraged en masse.
It’s what’s I’ve been invited to do here and I feel invited and it’s fan-freakin-tastic.
Here is my first self-portrait here, not as riotous as Ms.Gish, but clear-eyed.

mermaid.jpg

One Response to “~happy halloween!~”

  1. noria says:

    “Beauty is truth, truth beauty–that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

    Clear-eyed ye is a force to be reckoned with. I’m doing an interpretive victory dance!

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