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Archive for January 4th, 2011

This is cool …

Just sussed out how to post blogs from my BlackBerry. Not that I want to write 350 words on my phone, but at least now it can be done if it must!
I do love the age we live in …

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Apologies for this convoluted mess of a post. I’m processing, and that’s not a tidy endeavor, so this thing is all over the place …

Being a reader and a writer, I suppose it makes sense that I often think of life in terms of books.

One of my favorite images, developed when I was a kid and honed over the years, is of internal libraries we each carry with us; volume after volume of stories lining endless shelves and constantly being added to. The history section grows as we age, as does general knowledge and reference works, and although some are better than others at retrieving info we know is there, just about everyone is aware of the fact that dusty corners hold stuff we haven’t bothered to look at in a very long time.

I use my library as an aid to meditation and often find illumination for troubling issues while wandering the stacks. There’s an entire section with nothing but numbers on the spines … all in Roman numerals. (I don’t know why, but that’s what it is.) The first is marked “I” and I can trail my finger along … V, X, XXV, XXXIII, XL, L … and stop where it feels right. Each book is a rough accounting of one year of my life, yet none are finished but have blank pages interspersed throughout since many of the yarns have yet to complete their weaving.

The library itself is inside a book inside my head, but much like reading on my iPad, I have no idea how thick this book might be. I know I’m a good way through, but just how far from The End, I can’t see. It could very well be that the next turn of the page is the last … or perhaps there are still quite a few chapters.

I might sketch notes in the corners if I could get to those pages by somehow jumping ahead — they are fairly blank, after all — but thumbing forward is futile and ends up heading back through chapters on history. That’s not a bad thing. Not at all. In fact, filling in gaps can be quite helpful even without knowing how it all ends.

One rule of fiction writing dictates everything included in a story must either reveal character or advance plot. Interestingly, reads back through my book seem to indicate that rule was followed even though at the time it seemed either nothing was happening or what happened was scripted by the William S. Burroughs school of writing. Oh, those not-so-lovely Deus ex Machina moments that make no sense at all … the shit asteroids falling from a clear, blue sky … the people popping up seemingly out of left field and tagging up … the bright, shiny objects floating into the path and compelling me to follow.

Yep, those WTF moments, the where-the-hell-did-that-come-from issues … when looking back in the Big Book of Sandra I do get the idea that all these shredded threads actually unspool from a source and following the fragments is possible. Some of it even makes sense when looking at it backwards, or if not sense at least symmetry. After all, I’m where I am now and getting here is what the story’s been about … so far.

As a new year begins, the image of blank pages ready for filling presents, but I’m not writing my life, just living it. It’s not me setting the scene but the sea and the clouds and the blue sky above, the bird chirps, the sound of the dog’s leg tapping along in time to her scratching happening with no need to be described … it all just is.

I can’t write others’ actions or reactions. I can’t build a character who loves me enough, never lets me down or saves the day. It’s not for me to calculate another’s trajectory and where it intersects mine. I can want to, but I can’t DO it. No. What is, is.

What also “is” is the part I can’t know — the part composing on its own. Are we coming toward an unexpected plot twist? A lottery win? The death of a loved one? Someone wonderful about to enter stage right? Cancer? A job offer? A heart attack?

Any or all of that could be part of the plot … well, not the lottery thing, since apparently you have to actually buy tickets and I don’t … and if I die tonight, my book is done and I’ll be filed away in the libraries of those who know me, but will continue to fill pages in others’ books … cross-references are a huge part of the life of Life books and parts of my story will continue to be included in the story of others for a while.

My volume varies in size from library to library … much thicker in my grown daughter’s than in Cj’s, for example … and there will be many different versions of my story. The version I have access to now will never be read by anyone, so no one will ever know the me of me that I know, just as I can’t know the them of any of them. Our stories are not only unique, they are forever beyond the comprehension of anyone, even ourselves; unfathomable biographies covering millions of seconds, each leading to the next until they stop doing that.

And there will be rewrites, some kind, some less so, but all tailored to fit the edition to the library hosting.

If I could write the rest of my life, I would end the book for MMX with ” … and she lived happily ever after to the end of her days”, then start on a new one with an outline for just how that would unfold making sure there were many, many pages left for all the great stories about to commence. For all I know, however, it’s already written, and perhaps that is how it goes. Maybe I do live happily ever after. Maybe all the carefully composed outlines have forged themselves in some sort of unassailable form that MUST be followed. Maybe. For now, though, all I can do is look forward to the read … and the ride.

For all who’d like to take a look,
my life is but an open book.

But please, I beg you, all my friends,
some word if you know how it ends.

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