My daily work has slowed down considerably. As I mentioned in my last post, I am working on a manuscript that has turned into a lot of biographical material, and this current writing is a very important part of my story. Perhaps even the most revealing part of that story. And thus, the words seem to have taken on the consistency of wooden planks. Stiff boards that must be carefully steamed in order to bend them very carefully to a certain curvature, then held in place until they cool and become permanent. Each word becoming an integral part of the whole.
But all that careful molding takes time and energy. And one misstep can easily create a far different image than its reality. These particular words are built on memories, lived long ago, and although cherished, a bit blurred by time and other experiences. As will happen, there are strong emotions attached to each one. Those emotions can twist and turn those wooden words in ways they were never meant to go. Reliving those experiences also depletes whatever energy level is available.
So my plans for doing three or four pages a day, has now been reduced to one or two. That’s okay with me. I’d prefer to be careful rather than swift. Three quarters of the manuscript have already been written. I saved this portion because I knew it would be difficult and it has been.
I chose the premise of this writing at the beginning. It is far more important to me than any other I have ever written about. It goes without saying, that this present portion is in direct correlation to that chosen premise. So my emotional state is as important as my mental one. I do what I can each day and each day is its own experience, unique and utterly individual.
What is also important is that I kept a daily journal during that long ago time period. And because I wrote down those experiences in detail, the memories remain far more clear. In my journal I questioned many of my own emotional and mental responses to what I was living with and through. That also has a way of sharpening ones recall, especially over long periods of time.
My younger sister always questions my ability to remember, and although she doesn’t understand, I always tell her the same thing. It has to do with writing daily. When you do so, you are making ordinary every day experiences noteworthy. Putting those experiences into words, lodges them in your memory, making them far more easily recalled. It makes them into clear cut planks of wood, readily available to be used (or bent) to ones present purposes.
Note: The image is a line weave drawing I did many years ago, and have always liked because it reminds me of wood bent to different purposes.