Thoughts on a Novel

There is a haunting quote at the end of the book, “Sophie’s Choice, written by William Styron, that disturbed me deeply. It will appear to my readers that this must have held significance at the end of this  story, about two lost souls, Sophie and Nathan; two lovers who were doomed to a fate no one could turn, that this last quote is merely the culminatin of some horrific event. You would have to read the book to understand the depth of the quote.

Stingo is a writer and the narrator in the book, who tells us the entire story of the lovers.  He meets these two people and becomes inseparable with them, since all three live in rooms, in a large Victorian house. And though he loves both as his dear and only cosmopolitan friends in Brooklyn (he is from the South), he falls finally in love with Sophie. As you might have imagined there is in the plot some heartwrenching events, and then he says these words:

“I let go the rage and sorrow for Sophie and Nathan… and for the many others who were but a few of the butchered and betrayed and martyred children of the Earth. When I could finally see again, I saw the first rays of daylight reflected in the murky river. This was not judgment day. Only morning; morning, excellent and fair.” 

The book holds one of those stories that just begs to be read in the quiet of one’s mind, perhaps because it deals with some of the most difficult and innermost secrets of our souls that we fear we may grapple with given the unusual circumstances which may bring such grappling before us: terminal guilt, and suicide.

Sophie’s Choice” was my choice for a paper I wrote in  college.  I read the book, then saw the movie. It haunted me a while. I was disturbed for a very long time, and those last lines I cried over more than once,  baffled by the feelings of the character, Stingo (and the author, William Styron), when he ended  with those words. I was too afraid to understand wholly the choices with which Sophie had been faced. Even in the distance, they were emotions too painful for anyone to wish to come close.

It is not surprising that William Styron, the author, spent nearly a decade later on, in deep depression. With such acute insight about emotions that would severely, like loss, and death, and abuse, and torture, then the frustration, and simultaneous acceptance of things we cannot change, that usually follow, well…he understood most likely in a deeper sense those feelings only some of us are unfortunate enough to experience–no one wants to experience such things necessarily.

What he did in this quote,  portraying heartbreak and despair, yet, hope and wounded acceptance within one’s own will and heart… must have set off in him a monumental frame of mind that solicited despairing energy–my thoughts only.

Why is this so important? It isn’t on its own, really. Many authors, many books, portray the insight and acuity of humanity, which is why we read them. We all have felt and said something to reveal our frustrations with things. But in making a point, it is that very something as significant that writers do, specifically, that I wish now to focus my attention.

We would have little understand of many subtle, but significant details of the heart and our own culminated ideologies, even with our own self-analysis, self-reflection, and self-ponderings, if it wasn’t for movies we watch or novels we read. So first we identify the subject, and like a good book doctor, we delve into the meaning and purpose of such a subject of the heart’s many hidden treasures. And when we are all done, we think: What a great story. Should we not think also: what a great writer? The author spent a good deal of time, energy, emotions, both positive and negative energies, and roasted through a myriad of sensations that brought forth the gem of vericimilitude and realism to the reader, just for the sake of the story. I would not have thought perhaps about things in that manner, since I had never really gotten into such a situation in my life. 

What writers do is go through the fire for readers, to help readers feel the sense of it, and then hopefully for the reader to grow in compassion, sensitivity toward her or his fellow; to bring to light how we all need less judgment and more understanding. How wonderful it is to be a reader of such works, but more: how wonderful and fearful, too, it is to be the writer.

 

Landslide

Landslide

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When we’re at the edge of a crisis, why is it we desperately seek those we love?When something in us, something that is always ready to squeeze the joy out of our hearts and souls, is coming to the break point, we struggle to “reach out” in sutble ways sometimes, or obvious ways sometimes, but nonetheless, we try to “reach out.” And if the crisis is the end of us, others say: “what happened?” “why didn’t I see this coming?”

The only way that doesn’t happen is if we can go to those we love, blow the devil a kiss, and allow them to pour love into our beings, to keep us from withering away, keep us breathing; keep our spirit from hitting empty, and helping us work up our power to shock breathing back into the body.

Our loved ones make us breathe and fill us with hope for a tomorrow, another time to get together, talk, laugh, show emotions in candid indications of moments in our lives that, that smoothe out the scars on the soul, so that it doesn’t hurt as badly.  We’ve got each other, right? And we usually look for that one love to help us on our way through life, to keep us steady, to keep us breathing, to keep us hopeful, to keep us…from giving up. The only worse thing than not having that loved one around us, is when the crisis is actually created by those we love.

Which brings me to this point: why is love so powerful? Sex is not necessarily what I speak of, although, sex is pretty powerful. Yes, it’s pretty powerful, and seems at times to actually touch that “sweet spot,” we call, love. But as soon as the sex is over, it is not quite the love we expected, because we ache for more than sex; we ache for the whole person; we ache to be seen from within, by that person.

Love, the one I speak of, continues to burn like a roaring fire, within one’s soul. It sparks each time it is nudged, (the sex, the romance), with these added materials, and it grows stronger.

Love, and its various reminders of it, while we wait to feel and KNOW its all-consuming passion, is very hard to die, becomes all we ask for, all we seek. And if it is maimed in some way, there is a part of us, a wounded part, that remains always ruined in some form–like a landslide on a hill, bringing the house down.

Love is very potent, and it can build up, or tear down, depending on its journey through the people it inhabits. This is why I say, when it is those you love that wound you, it could be nearly fatal, and many times it is fatal–whether by allowing your breath to become more and more shallow, or anesthesizing becomes stronger than your spirit, or you simply die of a broken heart. How could a one that you love, hurt you to that point?

I remember once, having thought I could never exist without a love I had encountered. A man I thought really loved me, but he disappeared after the “event,” which lasted a good two weeks or so. I desperately tried to hold on emotionally.  After countless “negotiations” on the phone, emails, one short visit, etc., I finally realized–he was never coming back, and probably never intended on coming back. For him, there was never any real love, but a moment in time, from which to escape his circumstances somewhere else. And so, very, very slowly, years slowly, the hope of a love that lifted me to heaven, died on the vine, snuffed out for lack of hope, as does a fire that finally ends after having had the ashes suffocate the coals, and the closed windows having brought no breeze to help it stay alive. The stagnancy of it does nothing at all but help the stragulation of the flames.

So how could someone that you trust, and love, and expect to protect the sincerity, the fragility, the reality of your love…how could someone just walk away and forget so easily what they have promised, and pretended to feel, and to hold to. But instead, they polluted and destroyed another person’s sense of safety? How could anyone do that to anyone else? Yet, it happens every day, constantly. What is the worse of it all, most of all, it is filed under the name of love.

If there were some way we could create a “bill of rights” for the sake of one’s own soul, we should do that while we still breathe passion and faith, and while we still have the power and strength to function, usually when we’re young and still have fortitude. One problem with that idea, is that when we’re young, we still have a lot of faith in the world and its inhabitants. But it is the unraveling of our faith and the destruction of it by the devil of a person, (who doesn’t mind hurting others) that destroys that faith, and even if you had that “Bill of Rights” you probably couldn’t have seen the freight train coming at you, so that bill becomes invalid.

Love. The answer is NOT who can give you that love, but how you can give it to yourelf. How can you keep love within yourself, to survive, no, not only to survive, but to live fruitfully, and authentically. It does not come from someone else; if you think it will, you will only be disappointed, devastated maybe, even destroyed by the hope of that being true. No. Love can only come from within, and those that would hurt you are the mud of life, the quicksand that draws you to oblivion. Don’t believe them. Love yourself. It’s the only true saving grace, aside from a hope in the one love that love comes from. Secure the foundation on your own.  

Who Are You? Who Am I?

We have lots of opportunities to show ourselves, I mean…. our REAL selves. So. Who are you? I cannot speak for you, but I can speak for me.

I always wanted to know who I was, and from that, I figured I would know where I should go, and what I should do. But especially, from that knowing, I thought then, that I would know who I was to be with, forever.

But life gets in the way, and people tell you where they think you’ll best serve, and be, and what you will do best of all. And so you follow the Piper, and somehow, at some point, you lose your way, and forget who you thought you might be.

Years and years pass, and you occasionally glance in the mirror, wondering: who is that? And then you say, superficially: Oh, it’s me. But it really does not register, because you don’t really know who ME is.

I have had glimpses of me at times. For example, I have always thought I wanted to play the piano, and was drawn to it, but I had no patience, nor guidance to carry out the desire. One time, though–only one time–I actually looked at the keys and suddenly realized how to play. I  began to see everything in the structural movement of the keys and my fingers, and I suppose you could say, for one split second, the piano and I were ONE. But something in me–fear of knowng–got in the way, and as quickly as it all came to me, it disappeared, and I haven’t been able to get it back–that Real me.

Where am I going with this? I will not waste your time on cliches. I am getting closer than I have ever been to death. But in these last times of my life, I am beginning to see many things I don’t want to see. I see why I never made it as a doctor, or why I never made it as a singer. I see why I always run out when I get to a point that I will lose myself in front of masses, and this way, I can keep the facade, but lose my place in the frey; it is a secret place, where I feel lost but safe.

Sometimes, there is nothing I want to do more than just walk… walk… walk… and walk away from everything I know, and everyone I’ve lived with, or known… and find myself somewhere else, starting over, like being in another world, like being reborn, and starting a whole new life, with the REAL me in it. But that isn’t possible.

Blogs began when people wanted to talk about life and things that meant something to their minds and souls. Now, blogs have been taken over–like everything else–by the pseudo-people, the pretentious, war-monging, gossiping, shallow, project-oriented, market-moronic, empty-headed pseudo-people, that are either trying to sell something, or make someone their bitch in one way or another. They aren’t bad, really, we are they, sometimes, too. . Blogs began as a place for Writers to work on their writing, and to write their REAL selves on a world-wide-web of human connection, other people that would read their writing, and maybe add to it, or respond to the blog in some way, that would be enlightening to both the Writer and the Reader.

I can’t help think about the words that Tom Cruise said  as Jerry Maguire, in the movie with the same name: “We live in a cynical world,” but it was not only the words, but the context in which he spoke them. He was realizing who he was and what he needed to remain true to who he was. And there is something to be said about that: sharing your Real self with that Real other.

The biggest problem with this world is that we have shared ourselves with too many people, but as that Pseudo-person; without our true soul. We’ve had sex with people in a bed of false hopes and lies. So it’s hard to find oneself, especially if you have had a glimpse of yourself–that REAL self– and then, your Real self, with that one person who was REAL with you as well. Then, for some reason–fear of knowing–you lost it, and it can never come back again.

Today, I am still searching for that Who  I  lost somewhere on the journey, or just  only glimpsed upon, but still, it is not with me here, now. Yes, I’d like to end each blog on a happy note, and say: “but I will find it,” or “tomorrow’s another day.” But sometimes, you just can’t pretend it will be okay. Sometimes you have to mourn the loss of the glimpse, that view from your soul to your iris, and then, which beamed back into you, with the knowing. Maybe it’s true, that I will be seeking dilligently for its return, for the rest of my life, however long that may be…

If you highlight the picture below, you will hear the song by the Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris,” but it’s not about a woman named Iris, for me. It’s about the iris in one’s eye. It’s about seeing the REAL world, through your REAL eye, and then, it’s about wanting to be known, just like in “City of the Angels,” Nicolas Gage’s character, the angel, who wanted to be known. But he wanted to be known by her, Meg Ryan’s character, and he wanted to connect his REAL self with her. And then he was known; and then she was gone–that can happen. But that doesn’t mean you stop being REAL.

When you think about who you are, don’t turn away for fear of the knowing. Don’t fear that no one will understand. It really doesn’t matter if they understand or not. Let me take my advice, too.  Part of coming to know oneself, is when you stop hiding–it’s happening now, here, because I am sharing something with you that reveals a part of myself. Now, it’s up to you, to begin a journey into a REAL world within–and find yourself.

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Secret Garden

 

JERRY MAGUIRE

This movie is one of the all time favorites of many a salesperson, no less than anyone working their bum off, to make money while trying to find meaning and purpose in what they do. It doesn’t matter that it’s about a celebrity sports agent, or that he’s a man, or that a man fell in love with a woman, I could claim this character as my own, as many people could. I and a million others can relate to the emotional breakdown, and rebuilding of this character, and what he went through, to get where he ended up… I am not there yet, I’m still going through the breakdown… but it is watching movies like this one, that helps set the timeframe and make us commit to a new beginning sooner than if we remained in limbo, wondering how to move, and where to go.

I used to be a salesperson, too.. a real estate broker… and then I took a detour right in the middle of the worst time of my life, and married someone to make HIM happy, because I didn’t want to be alone…sound familiar? Jerry Maguire every step of the way. And thirty years later, I am still trying to figure out HOW TO MAKE IT ON MY OWN.

I don’t mean I have to divorce my husbnd to do this–(he’s really cute… and besides, he said: “I will go with you” during my painfully long journey through haphazard self-discovery and plenty of missteps and regressions…so there is not question:  he’s a “keeper”) What I am saying is that I have STILL not found out how to be true to the letter (in my heart and soul) that I WROTE to myself, about what is really right and what I really have to do to get it right for me. Talk about latent bloomers… some seem to never bloom until sudden sight of the grave…

If anyone of you have ever felt that way, you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes, it’s not about the money, or the fame, or the prestige, for as Jerry’s ONLY client, “Rod,” told him: “Some dudes might have the coin…but they’ll NEVER have the quon…it means LOVE…” It also means I have to figure out where I go from here to find the quon that only I can create for myself. It’s not about the coin, it’s about the quon.

I’ve felt terribly low during my journey a million times over, saying the same as Jerry Maguire: “My whole life, I’ve been trying to talk, I mean…really…talk, but…I mean, no one wants to listen…you know that feeling?” Well, I’m still moving along slowly after so many years, but I’m getting there…. I’m getting there…

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Man, Woman, in the Mirror: Make a CHANGE!!

That we should think stopping up holes in society is enough, is rediculous. My use of the metaphor of a “core” pipeline might be better appropriated to this idea, since apparently people STILL don’t seem to understand the concept between “fixing holes to repair a pipe, versus replacing the whole pipe.” Sure, replacement is much more costly. On the other hand, it isn’t, because it will last a lot longer than constant upkeep of a wretched, bubbly pipe that breaks down constantly.  Fixing holes eventually will create more cost because the pipe is unbalanced and this creates MORE strain in other areas. Besides, it can be dangerous as well, so what am I talking about?

Here is what I am trying to say. There are a number of issues in our lives, our news, our world. Thesse issues, as you know, didn’t start just yesterday. We’ve got the issue of race, the issue of gender, the issue of land & location, the issue of sacred vs. civil marriage; we’ve got the issue of responsible parenting vs. lousy parenting, pet abuse, child abuse, people who drink blood, people who stalk children, we got so many issues in life, they are not unlike a number of holes in a pipe. What do we do with them? We try to work on one at a time, while each one clamors for need, and we just patch them up, like a computer expert does with our programs, or much like we have created so many specialists in medicine, that one expert recommends medicine that destroys the other experts medicine! And further, the general practitioner is all but extinct! Okay, I’m rambling here… But, it’s true. We seem to like that; working on a situation as if it has no relation to anything, but itself. That is not true! It never was, and it never will be.

The Core pipeline of any problem, when it has too many holes, must be addressed. Is the pipeline weak (Our world view?) Is there another way around (our humanity efforts?) Should we replace it with sturdier pipe (a new philosophy on life?) Should we give up the pipeline concept altogether, and let each hole be indicative of a separate line apart from the whole (separate all the factions into areas in the world?) What!? What should we do?

This is actually a continuance to yesterday’s blog post, albeit on a different topic, yet the same theme. How do we make a change in the entire world? By making a change in ourselves? But how do we make a change in ourselves, when ourSELVES are all unique? I love the idea of a revolution from within. There, it MUST start.

There must be a “Constitution, ” oh! Oooops! Did I say that? THEE Constitution, the one we have now? Shall we take a look around each nation in the world, do they all have a Constitution? Shall we take a look at all the societies, and try and assemble some kind of HUMAN CREED? This sounds like we are REALLY dealing with the pipeline, now…

Let’s begin this way, let’s first look at the world of human beings in general, then we can take each aspect of theory, each component of practice, each Constitution of Rights and Fairness, and later on, having the general definition of our worldview in humanity as a framework, we can devise some sort of FAIR LIFE for EVERYONE. Okay, am I sounding like a Communist now? I remember hearing that in its true form, Jesus was a Communist… hmmmm…..

So we begin. A World Constitution, have we done that yet? We might have considered it, and even begun it. However, I do not think it has been from the standpoint from which I am coming. I am not using stats about behavior, or psychological questionaires necessarily. I am coming from the standpoint of history, each nation’s cultural and societal observances,  conventions, and shameful actions as well; then, finally from each nation’s literature–because that is where we ALL let our hair down, when we’re reading and writing independently, privately, and soulfully. Why am I coming from this standpoint? Because it is not rehearsed; it is believed and adhered to because of the honest and inn-belief system–no hiding behind celebrity or politics, or anything, but the trueness of our souls, whatever it may be; let’s look at it. This would be much stronger than proper psycho-babble, paid for by one, to fit into the many…

Time is running out for us as a species, I believe. We are rampant in our self-absorptions, our selfish endeavors, and our self-amusements, while ignoring the many many “issues” (homelessness, drug addiction, alcohol, abuse, etc.) that need us ALL to address..and I will have to make another posting and update on whether or not–in the news–there is anything going on about “pipefitting,” but for now, allow me to have you take part, by studying a site that I too, will be studying, because it claims to have all the Constitutions of the World:

CONSTITUTIONS OF THE WORLD

Let’s start a forum about this idea of ONE PIPELINE, or any other ideas?

MY CALLING

As my Facebook timeline picture shows, what do novelists, authors, writers do anyway, just write? That doesn’t sound so hard. Well, It IS. It’s much harder than anyone can imaginw, which is why most people who start off wanting to become writers end up giving up after their first hundred pages.

You have to have a purpose and motivation to continue all the way through a first “draft,” and then edit, re-edit, and edit again, if need be, until it’s perfect. THEN, you have to “shop” it around, accept the injury of constant rejection, and continue with tenacity and an iron-clad will just to keep submitting, shamefully.

Of course, I could self-publish, but there aren’t many qualifications for that, just an irresponsible doling out of cash to some fly-by-night who calls her or himself an “editor” and gluts  the market with lots of books with lots of errors in them….(sorry self-published authors, that doesn’t include those of you who actually edit your work).

It’s not child’s play, I can guarantee you that. Most of us writers have to make a living while working on it, on top of the blood, sweat, and tears we put into our writing. And this does not mention the physical agony with which a writer contends.

Personally, there are a lot of things that go on while I write, such as anxiety (over where the next meal or money will be coming from), coasting on rollers, emotionally (over where my characters are heading, and how my readers might not understand what I am  trying to make them understand), and then there is the frustration–ahhh, the frustration! (with constant distractions, like taking out the dogs, feeding the pets, taking a bath, eating, dealing with family members that just don’t understand why I’m crying while typing, or laughing out loud like a loon…). Yet, there is something a writer must admit and accept like every other career-minded human being: I don’t do it for the money; I do it for love.

I love to write; it’s imbred in my DNA; it’s what I MUST do.

I heard a last interview on video of Joan Rivers, I understood what I do, and why I love it. 

Joan Rivers, one of my favorite comedians (who just passed away, and made me cry just leaving the planet!) She said her “business of comedy was a calling,” and she said that as tears streamed down her face. Well, that’s exactly how I feel. I wasn’t a jabber-mouthed, intellectual kid at 9 years old of my own making; I was born for the call: to write. It is here, I ask: but who cares about writing? EVERYONE. We may not think about it, but we MUST find out what is going on, and the best way is to read, (or watch tv, in which case, a WRITER has scripted the stupid shows, or whatever! STILL, there is the writing element to it).

We constantly read what others have to say about everything. We read stories to make sense of the world, and identify with other human beings, so we don’t feel so alone. This “WORD-Making” is–believe me–a calling. And it’s MY calling. I haven’t yet made much from writing, in the way of monetary means, but I will continue somehow, I will continue writing no matter what!

Every now and then I read my own stories, and get chills, or cry, or laugh….that tells me, I’m pretty good. I hope I get to leave this world like Joan Rivers did, believing I did my job, and answered the calling of what I was meant to be and do, and what I’m here for on this earth. Just think about it for a moment: that woman could not make a remark without being funny, and she was quick! She was a gem in the memory of my mind of jewels, right there with all the writers of my childhood…

Until my next jabber, have a great life, and listen for YOUR call. I invite you to chat with me, and tell me what YOU do, and how you knew it was what you were meant to do, and who you were meant to be.