Monday, March 19, 2007

Subversive Su, Melanies and Scarletts, The Things That Happen When I Sleep


I think that every writer needs to write for himself at first. Well, maybe at second. If you learn to tell someone else's story, it inspires you to write your own. (Well, maybe after years of hiding behind other people's stories. I admit, I'm suspended in the editing process. I edit and reframe my story, omitting or reworking the parts that cause me hurt so deep that I can't touch them up.) It's a tough process. I proceed in fits and starts making headway in bits and pieces as particles of my story emerge from the snow of years to be discovered anew.

This weekend, I went to the wedding of one of my recently re-discovered little-girlhood friends. I saw many of my little girl-hood friends at the Big Church where we were all little girls together. What a world of Scarletts and Melanies I inhabited. (I see why Gone with the Wind rang true. I read it last week and it is as good as they say.) We are in the Reconstruction of our lives now. Many things have happened that we didn't expect. (One of us wrote a book called Many Things Have Happened Since He Died. It's true for all of us.) We grew in the tended soil of privilege. Each of us knows, even in adulthood and even if we won't admit that we know, what distinguishes a person of quality. We came up in a genteel society. I hadn't believed it until I saw the proof in the pudding of my old friends. Despite everything, they are lovely puddings. They will never unwork the stitches they made in the fabric of my being. I wouldn't wish it if they could. We are all grown-up now and even if we try not to, we will raise our children to be people of quality. Some things can't be explained and some things cannot be escaped.

Appropriate Segue Should Go Here.

This weekend, I realized that I might just have a chance to reclaim something I thought I had lost forever...and thus convinced myself that I didn't want. I'm not sure yet, but I have a feeling. There is no God besides my God who would love me enough to breathe life into something I killed myself. (There is no husband besides mine who could, or would, so support my dreams.)

Again With the Segue.

Because of something said today, I vacillate between feeling like an accidental Mata Hari and a hurricane. I have become that Something That Must Be Dealt With, inasmuch as the sick the dog heaves up on the floor is the same. I feel like my personhood is something I'm expected to surrender to to the commissary for the sake of Our Noble Cause. If you can't find me, I'll be hiding in the well with the O'Hara silver service.

And that, gentle readers, exhausts the number of Civil War/GWTW allusions I'm allowed for one day.



2 comments:

Carla said...

Going to e-mail you back soon, and start scavenging for time to steal you from your gardening and laundry. ;) Going out of town this week!!! Home! So excited.

Always love reading what you write. The other day I read the blog entry your sister wrote about you. It made me smile, a lot.

Do you ever feel like professional writing experience has made it harder to write your own story? Maybe you're far enough away now that it's not so. But I feel that way some days.

I wouldn't trade my job, though.

susan said...

Well, you know I'll be here when you can scavage that time! Have a great time at home. You don't get to do that much, I know.

Thank you for liking what I write. That means more to me coming from you. I think my sister would make you smile. Her writing voice was a little like mine, I thought, and that was odd to see.

I don't think that my professional writing made it hard for me to write my own story necessarily... I think that a good journalist is first and foremost a curious person and then a person who can write. To be frank, I'm not all that curious about other people because I am too interested in myself. (I can even tell jokes to myself.) I can write well, but I will never be a great journalist. BUT, as you know, when you cover hard news, you're always trying to suspend judgement and be as impartial as possible. It takes some time away from the newspaper to lose that detachment. Does that make sense?

Su