Getting inside the mystical experience that occurs when I get to the end of my rope:
I am at cliff’s edge and God catches me. I think I am going to fall but float instead. I think I am going into the dark but it’s bright with light. I think I’ll cry until I die but smile instead. I feel my back too bent over but it straightens and lets me take a few dance steps. I find I can wash the dishes and don’t have to throw them out. And I am glad no one calls because I want this time for myself alone.
[I stop writing to check the cat because she is too quiet. I take off my pants because they are too tight. And my knees hurt. I have to learn other ways of doing things so I can sit and write without excess discomfort.]
Today is not a mystical day. I am plodding along with words and breath and sips of water. My hand, a fist around a pen, produces small scratchy handwriting and not my third grade all-American classic slant.
One of my performance characters, Alice—who is now the main character in the novel I am writing—has all my ailments and more, but she wouldn't write about them. Prude and loner that she is, she'd rather talk about lust. She remembers audience reactions when she said that Helen of Troy had told her she would rather sleep with books than with a man. While performing Alice performing Helen, I lay down in a pile of broken books and rubbed my body with them. The audience found this titillating, strange, even disgusting. But was it? Neither Alice nor I think so, though we may agree that the truth of it is nobody's business.
So what is the knot you are writing about today? The moment when you realize that you ran out of paper and you are writing on the table instead. [I remember doing this when typing on a manual typewriter.] Oh! The moment when you realize you are seeing the sunset but the sunset isn’t seeing you. The moment you realize, I mean, that the sunset has shown itself but I have hidden. That moment of bewilderment followed by its opposite: I’m not falling apart. I’m falling UP!
[The phone rang, but I was too UP to answer it. I hear construction sounds from outside, but the soft smells of winter don’t match its thud and mud.]
What is the knot I am writing about? Passion. Do I ever write about anything else?
Do I ever write about anything but the absorption in the wait-a-minute, as in Wait a minute—something’s moving and alive out there. Is it a squirrel or a seed? a sibling? a lion?
Bring it on, God! Plant something alive in the expiring light so it’ll be there when I am ready to see it; when we are ready to see each other.