Dita Parker

Monday, February 1, 2010

Follow the White Rabbit

Snow depth: 28 inches
Eating: mandarins
Drinking: white tea
Watching: snow falling on spruces
Reading: Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
Writing: trying to sort out that space thingy with the dream sequences which, if killed, will lead to confusion, if left alone will lead to even more confusion, if killed altogether will result in some serious collateral damage
Feeling: a flu coming my way, ETA 24 hours

I know some sort of illness will lay the smackdown on me from that slight ache that has nothing to do with exercise, from that fatigue that has nothing to do with how I've slept. No fun at all, folks, but one of the most wonderful things that have happened in the past couple of years started out while sitting in bed feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired.

A scene started rolling in my head and I could see it quite clearly. Okay, I thought, what's this then? I dropped what I was doing on my laptop very ineffectively anyway, and pulled up a blank page. I hadn't done that in a while, a very long while, but I did it then with no other thought than wanting to know what happens next? Amazing things, as it turned out when I started listening and watching and recording what was going on in the life of someone I had never met, someone who hadn't even existed before I gave them life and they gave me the spark to write it down.

What I wrote that day is unstructured and unpolished but enthused to the max. I saved that piece. It reminds me of how I felt that day, sitting in bed typing away. I forgot everything. The flu, the fever, the time, eating, drinking those all-important fluids... Flow, being in the zone, was all I felt, although I didn't become conscious of it until much later, thinking back on how deliriously happy I'd been. And it was happiness I felt writing, pure and simple. I may have started out feeling like crap but ended up smiling ear to ear. 

Soon after that day the dreams started, and it didn't take me long to realize with monumental certainty I would regret it. If I didn't act on it, I would regret it. The pull was strong and a bit scary but the good kind of scary, like when you don't know where you'll end up, you only know you have to go before it's too late. 

Into that current I dove and I still don't know where I'll end up writing-wise but at least I have no regrets. Come what may, I won't one day be crying into a nice glass of Syrah thinking about the days when what I wanted flashed before me in bright neon lights and I just dug out the Pregos, crossed the street and walked away as if I hadn't noticed. 

You can't always get what you want, as the Rolling Stones sang, but if you try sometimes you get what you need, whatever it is that gives you the Cheshire grin. I never took a wrong turn following my instincts. How much intuition do you dare leave unexplored? 


CKHB said...

I see you are also a member of The Rejectionist's Army of Hell No. Nice to meet you!

Dita Parker said...

Hell yes. Of the Hell No, I mean.

Welcome to my den!