Selves-goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, Crying What I do is me: for that I came.Gerard Manley Hopkins
My blogging has taken a hiatus lately, bowing to the powers of the muse. All of my creative energies of late have been channeled into my playwriting. This past week, I spent hours in solitude as I descended into memory and surrendered to the all consuming story that has been my artistic companion for over fifteen years.
How many ways are there to tell a story? If the past two weeks are any indication, I have found no fewer than six.
Six attempts at an opening of a story I want to get right.
A story that has moved from scrawling, raw journal entries, to memoir, to the form I know best. Drama.
Why it has taken me so long to get here is either a question for my therapist - or an admission that, as the poet, David Whyte says, is rooted in a writer's most terrifying question "what if I am not equal to the job?"
What if I can't do it? Then who would I be for having spent fifteen years wrestling with the story that has come to define me? At least in my own mind. This interior world, the carving out of who I am, is so closely connected to the process of writing this story that I stand now on the precipice of my very being. David Whyte describes this as making ourselves visible in the world.
For anyone who knows me, the notion that I am only now making myself visible in the world might come as a surprise. But that is what this feels like. It is a process of getting to the essence of who I am.
That I lived the story I am forging into art is fact. Indisputable.
Why I have had the need to transform it into anything, is mystery.
Over the past few weeks, I've come to ask myself if I haven't in some way been hiding behind this story. That by never finishing it, I have been able to hold on to something certain. In some ways, my grieving has been something to cling to maybe as security, and maybe as shield against the terrifying unknown. Maybe.
Or it could be as simple as this.
David Whyte, says in his poem, Coleman's Bed
Stay in this place until the current of the story is strong enough to float you out.
I've been in this place for over fifteen years. An alchemy of ideas deep within the realm of my imagination -
I come again, my brother, to find you.
I seek again to know you
I rise to the task of telling you.
whose life was silenced in a purple haze
like a siren call
urging me on
pushing me forward
to sing you
Maybe now the current really is strong enough.
Or maybe, I am.
But I want to get it right.
Because, brother, I love you.