I know I said that I’d be too busy writing to write…..but here I am anyway.
It’s been a strange couple of days. The wind is howling, the sky has been slate gray. Rain poured down on us all day yesterday, and the world seemed dark and threatening.
I set myself to writing yesterday morning. I have made my NaNoWriMo commitment, and I intend to get that story written. I can’t get myself to use the word “novel” because that sounds so official and so serious. But I do intend to get this story out of my head and onto the page. So I wrote and wrote and wrote, most of yesterday and into a part of today.
And I got to a place in my story where the protagonist (main character? narrator? woman who is sort of me, but not really me?) went through a very sad time. And I wrote it all down, and created her words and her reactions. And found myself in tears.
“What the heck?” I asked myself, already starting to think like a novelist, “Why am I crying from my own words?” I didn’t know what to think. I was slightly impressed with myself for having brought me to tears, but slightly embarrassed to be sniffling over my own ideas.
So I closed the laptop and started to cook, which is my usual comfort activity. One batch of pumpkin-apple soup, one tray of roasted vegetables and one pile of cranberry scones later, I decided to head for the hot tub. Football is on, and Paul is watching. I have marinating veal chops to go under the broiler at half time.
I wrapped in my robe and stepped out onto the windy deck, listening to the trees as they bent and groaned in the gale. I sank into the hot water, letting the jets sooth my aching back and shoulders. I thought about my story, and about the woman who is both me and the product of my mind. I looked into the darkening sky.
And I saw a huge black bird, wings spread wide, soaring on the thermal drafts above. He was as black as onyx, his wings gleaming as he flew. He crested the rooftop, and the setting sun suddenly hit him from below. Suddenly, he was pure gold. He turned, riding the winds, and the golden wave of sunlight moved over him, from head to tail.
I have seen a million crows, a million times, in my wooded yard. They have always looked sinister and sly, and they have always made me shiver.
This bird, though, shining with golden light, was absolutely breathtaking. I cried out so loudly at his beauty that Paul came to the door to see what was wrong. I pointed out the golden bird, soaring high above us.
After he drifted off, settling with his outstretched golden wings onto a branch in the woods behind me, I thought again about my story. I thought about every event in every book, like every event in our lives. They can all be either sinister and dark or shining and golden, depending on our point of view.
I’ll never look at a crow in quite the same way again.
And maybe my view of my sad and struggling “lead character” will evolve in the next day or two as well.