For the first time in a very long time I arrived at my computer today ready to write. The joy and the sheer, overwhelming relief that maybe today my ghosts’ voices would be louder than the single silence of my muse gave me that often unfelt emotion, hope. I don’t find a lot of hope in my life, it isn’t something that I have ever been any good at; any more than I can find self-esteem or more importantly a reason, an ability to face the life that I have been given. Maybe I was born cynical or maybe the true disappointments and the very real truth has knocked me down so many times, that I simply find it hard to get up.
But today I managed for one second to find within myself that temptation, that single spark of life that I need to find the words and the necessary imagination to begin writing again. I didn’t know if once I was in front of screen filled with words that I wrote months ago if I could find it in me to continue that story. I didn’t know if I could find the ability to look beyond that single screen and delve into the mysterious worlds that only the voices in my head can describe. I had spent the last couple of nights beginning the process of learning to dream again, to find myself in hallow halls or great scenes with characters guiding me. I was finally able to find myself transported, if only in my mind, to great tensions, to unbelievable softness and I wanted to bring that to my empty screen.
But when I put that little device that is supposed to make it so much easier for writers to exist in multiple spheres, that little gray jump drive, the story that I have been writing wasn’t there. Other stories were there, things that I have wanted to keep; mementos of my travels were there listed as I knew they should be. But there was no 70 page, single typed document waiting for my next move, my next step. Instead the little documents of stories I had begun and not finished were waiting for me to see them, but I couldn’t.
I humanize so many things in my life. It is how I deal with them. If I think that the voices in my head are anything other the full dimensional characters, than I am left to deal with the knowledge that I have a disease. If I think that I have a sickness, and illness, that is not curable, not controllable; if I think about it as anything other than a rational disease that makes sense bio-chemically or even just biologically; than I left to deal with the knowledge that this disease can take me and not the other way around. So if I believe that my stories are alive, waiting so patiently for me; that my characters are real and simply waiting for my visit, than it becomes intimate. It becomes important to create the relationships and find the truth.
When I see a screen full of one page stories, ideas or thoughts I can’t just pick them up. That isn’t how I deal with the very real voices in my head. The voices that keep my up, that force me to sleep in the middle of the day, are as real as you and I. They are the only ones that can write, that can speak, that can live in the moment, in that day, in that world. And I simply do so through them. Without their words I am not much of anything. They will not change stories in the middle of their dictation, and they will not forgive me for being. They expect a certain level of worship, much like I imagine the nine muses did once upon a time. My characters demand more from me than I ever know I had to give.
My characters don’t relive a scene once it is written in stone. They are perfectly happy to go forward, never looking back much as we try to never relive the lessons of our past. They are like us in that the boring day-to-day mildew of their lives is not necessarily as tempting or honestly as exciting as the expectations of love, lust and joy. They do not revisit the scenes that already have been lived, and they do not say words that were spoken long ago. They are finicky, emotional and altogether unforgiving of the honest truth of my immortality and simple human-ness. I am never as great as those characters; I am never as rounded, as large, as heroic as the characters that fill my mind. And they drive me.
They drive my silence, my shouts, my noise, my truth. They determine my happiness, my sadness, my fullness. I don’t have the ability to understand if I would survive without them, as they have been there as long as I remember. They sang me songs when I was a child, and they comforted me during times of deep loneliness and the knowledge of my own destruction. They taught me the language of love, the knowledge of hate, and the great spectrum of sadness. They are my company even in silence, and they are my muses in more than just this simple task of writing.
And today, the vehicle I have driven for them was not there. The single task that I am required to accomplish for those voices was not completed. The next page was not blank and ready for them, the pen wasn’t sharpened for their guiding hand. And a part of me is sad. For without their vehicle they will once again leave. They will decide to find a better home, and greater comfort. And they will leave me. And I will once again wait for another whisper in the night. I will once again wait for another voice to pull me out of my own existence and into something infinitely better than anything I know.
Jen Czahur said:
I know you wrote this a while back, but I certainly am glad I found it today. I needed it. Not much of a comment, I know. But thank you just the same. I have a very similar relationship with my writing, the characters that I share my emotional space with. And I feel like I am letting them down. I sit and pour out the first 25 to 80 pages like it’s nothing at all, but the next time that I go back to add to our relationship its like my voice no longer finds them. And I just watch them move and cannot find a way to talk with them, for them. So they just wait for me. And wait, and wait. I’m maybe not reading you right, forgive me. My head is a mess today. But again, thanks. Reading this post really helped me feel better somehow.