Wrote fiction in a giddy burst, inspiration flying from my fingers onto the keyboard. Found that my novella has uncovered a story within the story and that new story is threatening to take over the main plot. So much fiction writing is a tussle between deliberate intent and the Unconscious erupting into the text. Now I must go back to the drawing board, on this rainy sweet morning with dogs curled at my feet and a steaming china pot of English breakfast tea on my desk.
Took a break from work and read something that shocked me so much I can’t speak. Tears in my eyes and a feeling that this should be better known, something needs to be done, we have to rally and bring about change right away. My hands clenched tight on the mug of tea, my breath catching in my chest. What this says about war, inhumanity, PTSD and human vulnerability.
HERE’S a window into a tragedy within the American military: For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands.
An American soldier dies every day and a half, on average, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began.
Heartbreaking, Some days I feel the world breaks us open just for greater sorrow and despair. But in the garden there are Cape canaries like tiny yellow clowns capering on wet grass and tree frogs, bright viridian green and black, clinging to tree branches.Renewal, beauty, the ongoing vitality deep down in everything.
Had a phone conversation with an AA newcomer preoccupied with the WHY of alcoholism rather than the HOW of sobriety. Why did I get drunk on that day, at that time and ruin that precious occasion? Why did I break my promise and do what made no sense? What was driving me, what was the reason, why could I not stop, just walk away, put the glass down, leave things as they were? Questions that are beside the point. The past is another country, it is today that makes the difference, the opportunity to stay sober for 24 hours and begin to live differently.
And writing is so much about asking questions (sometimes wrongheaded or unanswerable questions) and not having answers, leaving the questions there on the page, finding new questions and occasionally some resolution. Like Chaucer, in medieval England, letting his character cry out ‘What is this world? What asketh men to have?’ and finding no easy answer. His pilgrims riding in horseback through green woods and rolling hills as they travel to the shrine of St Thomas a Becket in Canterbury, telling one another stories as they ride along and aware the destination may not matter as much as the storytelling on horseback, the travelling together in spring sunshine. It is always all about the journey and those who accompany us.