The hard and horrible rooms of growing up always find their way into my writings. It's a fact. In real life, I am sunshiny and bright (I think), but my writing is not. My writing is considerably harder than me.
But for long stretches of times, I block the hard and horrible spaces out. My mind has this mute, one where my conscious thoughts can only reach so far back. A few days back. Months, maybe. But not really. Mostly, when the mute is on, I just look at the things in front of me. It's like I become one of those small little dots in George Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte. It's kind of wonderful. It's so easy.
And my body commits to the mute. I stop doing things that make me reflect, things that rely on muscle memory, and rely on keeping my mind right in front of me. The mute makes me tired. I sleep a lot on mute, or I want to sleep a lot, but when the mute's on, I have horrible nightmares. Not just dangerous or violent, but heavy. Sad. Nightmares that feel like an inevitable trajectory. Nightmares that feel like dark portents from my subconscious mind telling me to turn the mute off. That even though the mute is wonderful, it isn't wholly me.
The mute's been on for a year. It's been on since last October. I probably turned it on because too many changes were happening, and I really had to keep my eyes and mind on what was right in front of me. There were so many immediacies.
It's also been since last October that I was able to write anything. That probably goes without saying. It had been a year since I'd written anything, until this week.
Now all those spaces and rooms are rushing back to me. When I do the laundry, when I walk down the street-- my conscious mind pushes back into the spaces of things.
I was actually able to find the thread in the novel, again, this week. Last October, it got all knotted up, all bogged down into old methods, old ways of how to explore the thing. So I put it away.(On the writing side of things, there isn't much worse than the feeling of repeating myself). Over the last year, every time I read what was there, I'd still like it, but I didn't know how untie the knots and bear traps I'd set up. I didn't know how to build something new and stay out of the rooms that were no longer beating. Rooms I'd already ripped to shreds and devoured completely, piece by piece.
But suddenly, the mute is off again. My creative mind is ambling back into being, and I found my way back into writing.