I awake with colors hovering, twisting and turning and shifting, waiting for me to pull them into myself to mix with my blood, swift through my veins and muscle and marrow. I arise, full of color, full to the spilling point, full to the overrunning waters point, and float to my writer’s room to thick-liquid pour myself out to you.
The black hole of loneliness isn’t so apparent when I write for you, for it takes me outside of my prism and into the freedom of possibility—who knows what magic and color and light a black hole really contains in its deep dark mystery? (Alone. A writer’s alone. A woman’s alone. A human’s alone. Alone is a color, an energy, a substance. It propels and exhausts, exhilarates and discombobulates. It is freedom and melancholy. But, ah, my loneliness is a digression into another day, another post.)
As I write, my synapses fire off, pulse alive with energy, a changeling pattern. My world in images compose the five and the sixth and the seventh senses—intense supernova flare that rips my retinas with brilliance real or imagined or somewhere in between. Who cares if our brilliance is out-shined by another’s blazing cleverness? Is the other choice not to create at all? To turn off our sweet little light so that we are left in the big cavernous dark, or worse to be left blind(sided) by another’s bright success?
Can you see me right now? Look. Listen. Be here. My breakfast is in front of me set on a white plate with a black rim—alabaster yogurt piled high with delicate fresh raspberries and crunchy brown walnuts, along with rich strong black coffee poured into an earthed-brown mug pitted with the potter’s ghost-fingerprints. I love the taste of color—round fat blueberries, strawberries bursting juice and tiny seed, peppery radishes, silky dark chocolate, sour limes, and the blackberries I pick in my mountain cove until my fingers are stained purple-black. The shades coat my tongue and recall the hues of salty, tangy, sour, the bitter and the sweet. I want to say to you: “Isn’t this glorious? Isn’t this what life is all about?” So I do, with words and images and hope. Can you hear me? Knowing you read me makes the Alone pulsate with a vibrating hum and a searing flash—Pulsar!
Oh but yes there are days I want to experience our writing world as I see others write and experience it. My process is: sit, write; the story comes out in all its pieces and parts and color-shades, and even grays that mark the sad. When asked for the plot, I never have a quick answer. I do not think in plots; they appear as an immovable Black Wall. Instead, there is a Pollock painting of dripped colors in a mad glorious chaotic rush. I’ve tried to write in a paint by numbers way and—no. I’ve tried to outline in pencil and then color it all in—it’s a Picasso!
I splash and swirl and disconnectedly-connect invisible dots until I find the three-four-five-dimensional. Ironically, in that chaos comes traditional stories about family and friends and place and belonging—even the supernatural-slanted stories have nothing exceptionally original. The originality is in the cracks and crevices, in the wording perhaps, or between the between—in the colors that aren’t named, for did you know that our brains can only process a mere fraction of what is really out there? That there are shades of colors that we cannot see even though we do see them?—isn’t this confusing and amazing to know we are limitless in our limits?
Where I sometimes allow myself to be envious of other writers is their ability to see the bigger picture, the entire world—the plot laid out in steps like the yellow brick road to Oz. When I ask of my brain to bring forth the whole story, my thoughts splinter into a kaleidoscope of images flashing past so quickly that I can’t grab hold of them but one little image at a time, and I write that image down and go to the next and write that one and so it goes. I have learned it’s easier for me just to let my brain do its thing, and hope for the best. Perhaps that is lazy of me. Or uninspired. Perhaps I don’t care! Do you care so much that you will let that hinder your creative process?
Surely in its way of interpreting my world, in the way it perceives data and love and lives and images and words and colors and thoughts, my Pollock-Picasso brain has served me well enough, or sometimes not. Perhaps if I were different, I’d not see things in the way I do, and in not seeing in the way I do, I would have not met the characters who have come to me and I have fiercely loved—and if you love them too then I am happy but if you do not then why would that make me sad? Do you remember the time you sat down to write and how much you loved your characters so? How much fun you had? How everything was right in your world? Where’d that go? Into that black hole? It’s still there, my lovely friends. That’s what I believe about black holes—they are full full full of our tossed out dreams and wishes and beauties and colors and ideas and characters and words. Did you know that the farther into space you go—the farther away from our galaxy—the further back in time you go? You can see where you have been just by going forward.
If I were different, I’d be someone else. If you were different, you’d be someone else. Well. Now. There you go.
Even in the writing of this post I have allowed myself the chaotic freedom to let my mind wander, to Picasso-Pollock my thoughts and words. To write to you from where my world is strange and beautiful and aching and lonely—but it is mine. Why would we deny who we are when we are always going to be who we are, or else we will ever be the Attempt at Someone/Something Else?
Whether you write chaotically or with structured purpose, if you are not where you thought you may be or you were there and then lost it, you must not feel sorrow for it, or frustration, or anger, or wishes-to-be-someone/somewhere-else. You must embrace your process and you must embrace What Is, for in that way lies your true color Truths. And there you will find some peace even among what may feel like utter blinding white light punctuated by fractured colored chaos—chaos can lead to beautiful discovery, too.
I ask you: how do you write? In Pollock madness? Or paint by numbers? Or outline your world and then color it in? Will you embrace your way?