Miracle the First
They let us sit here for four hours every week, not a money making proposition for them. Some folks drink, some folks eat. We buy an occasional petit fours and split it. Mostly we talk. The restaurant, a quirky, rambling spot, rides on the back of an enormous turtle, a universe of its own. As you walk through, you can feel time in the lands and grooves of the floor. Turn a corner and you can stumble into a new world. You can fall off this astral plane and land on the turtle’s shell, slide into a world where all thoughts are written plain on foreheads. In this place, anything seems possible. And they let us come here.
Miracle the Second
The three arrive first. This one with his giant binder full of humor, this one with a book he wants to show us and his portfolio full of wizard words, this one with her computer and her art and the words of love for her sons. The three are the core. After that, you never know who will walk through the door. Young men with passionate anger. Men who have been to war. A playwright. Cooks and nurses who write about furry things and quote the masters. Those with an intimate knowledge of peyote. Spoken word poets. Bike riders. Women toting their babies, teenagers who just want a taco, long haired and short, bearded and shaven, shriven, cynical. Depressed or elated, all are welcome. All flow through the invisible membrane attached to the door and through the veil: I have something to say.
Miracle the Third
At the table, we pull ourselves out of pockets and bags and notebooks. Marbles, tops, white seals, fox men, comedians, fat girls and lost loves. Sometimes, when the group is small, something pricks and the sap of sacred wounds begins to flow. What’s underneath all those words, the thousands of words that lined against one another would circle the world, your words and my words twinned like missiles, latching on to our common heat. The men that left us, the women that scorned us, the confusion, the fear, the hurt.
The words, perched in the corner above us, wry grins fixed. The words, pushed under a hotel room door, spoken by the receiver out of the hearing of the sender, the words, slanted, rough, railed, flat, doomed, redeemed. Words that sail, words that grate, words that nail you to your seat, words that hurt, words that heal. Some of us drink water, and some drink wine. Our conversations are polite and conventional until someone gets down to it. Then; the words, the words, the words.
Miracle the Fourth
It has been five weeks since I last posted to my blog. Four weeks ago, I printed the pages of the book I’m writing and placed it in a pink binder left over from my teaching days. I read the pages I’ve written so far. I did this because I’ve taken the character where she needs to be, but I don’t know what to do with her now. Her life could go so many directions. At the intersection of it’s almost done (!) and how do I finish it (?), I developed a case of manual constipation. I asked myself who are you to write a book? I tried to get over myself. I did. Even my usual trick of closing my eyes and asking my fingers to type didn’t work.
I walked in to writer’s group empty handed. When I said I was stuck, when I said I was busy, Santa Claus said, “Bull. We’re all busy. Just write it already.” I told you anyone can show up.
The next morning, I sat down at the computer and wrote the word, “Hope.” After that, I added a thousand words to my stinkin’ book. Words that someone will want to hear in the next week. Words that confirm I’ve taken myself where I need to be. I don’t know what to do with myself now, but who does? The words, they can go in one of a thousand different directions. That’s where the hope lies.