Yeah, you noticed: I haven’t been writing, have I?
I’ve been keenly aware of it. Not a conscious decision or anything – just hasn’t happened. Kind of like when you’re just not hungry? I guess I can claim that I’ve been busy, but that’s not stopped me in the past, and “busy” usually means plenty of little adventures to write about – which there have been.
Muse gone into hibernation? Possible. Gone for good? Also possible, though I hope not. Maybe it was something I said – I’ve been known to inadvertently piss people off, and Calliope’s mythic for being flighty. Also mythic for being, well, you know, mythic, but that’s another thing entirely.
Anyhow, I have tried to write a bit since that last post: I got a page or so into last month’s annular eclipse before deciding that it wasn’t working. It was a nice linear narrative – Devon, the kids and I flying the Deb north to join a bunch of other pilot/astro geeks at the Redding airport. Munching on entirely adequate chow mein and potstickers, then watching the sun disappear into a ring of fire. Great fun, but the story petered out before I was done writing it up.
Last week, I found myself telling the story of Ephemerisle in my head… for about the first two hours. And then I let go of the narrative, put the camera down, and just immersed myself in the mindset of being present, out there, on the water. It was a good Ephemerisle – no, a great one, in spite of this year’s unique challenges – perhaps because of those challenges. But that’s a story someone else is going to have to tell.
And then yesterday, up at Columbia airport, I got to play airshow rock star. Flew the T-6 up for the day and strutted around in my Nomex as a VIP Warbird Pilot. Did some high-speed passes for the cameras and gave a few rides to airport volunteers. Smiled for the cameras – yes ma’am, I’d be honored. Felt lovely, and everybody went away happy. But writing it out? I guess I just did that, didn’t I?
So, I don’t know what’s up. It’s not writer’s block, and there are plenty of stories to tell. Just no real urge to tell them. It feels almost like, rather than passing them along, channeling and broadcasting them, I’m letting them settle, and soak in. Maybe they’ll come out some day, when the time is right, when a story needs telling.
One of my favorite picture books when I was a kid was Frederick – do you remember it? While all the other mice are busily gathering grain for the oncoming winter, Frederick sits idly by himself, looking out at the world. When they ask (more politely than warranted) what the heck he’s doing, he explains that he too is at work, gathering the sights, smells and sounds of the summer. Rather than chucking him out of the colony, the other mice seem to accept this, and when the long dreariness of winter sets in, he makes good on his word, brightening their little burrow with tales of the beauty that summer was, and will be again.
Or at least, that’s how I remember it. I’d look it up, except for being on an airplane, eastbound at the moment – without airborne wifi, of all the unbearable modern agonies. Yeah, another roadtrip. I ought to have some downtime to write on this one. But I’ll have to see how it goes – maybe I’ll just have to save it for winter?