Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts/Day 2

Do not be alarmed--I do not plan to blog every day while I am here at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. BUT… I am still primarily in digging mode and I’m un-earthing things that need daylight. I feel like the ground hog next to the horse barn outside my window who pops his head out occasionally for a paranoid peek around. I, too, am mostly underground, getting ready to pull my head out of this pile of notebooks and write.

But meanwhile there is this:
It seems that, years before I became a writer, I bought a pretty hardbound notebook. The cover is a detail from a painting of Venus and Adonis by a French painter named Charles Joseph Natoire. I have no memory of what purpose I had in mind for this pretty book. It contains lists of things to do—gardening projects and home maintenance chores, a roster of people I sold tickets to for my kids’ school fair, a list of jobs for the rummage sale I was heading up for a non-profit, phone numbers for people I don’t remember, a Christmas shopping list. 
Here's what I got for Mr. Ex that year:

On a page in the middle of the book was this:

“Let’s say we’re sisters.
“No triplets! We’re all identical.”
“No I’m adopted.”
“Well, I’m a princess.
“No, no—let’s be cheetahs. I’m the fastest in the world. Let’s say I’m a lost cheetah and you found me.”
“Can I be the owner?”
“I know! You can be a princess with a cheetah.”

Oh, these little minds content in the back seat, oblivious to the freeway. I change lanes while they exchange their crowns for spots. I plan dinner and they plan their lives in their jungle palace. The traffic jam of domesticity has closed all roads while they soar from place to place with plans so much grander than mine. I took the reality exit. Warning! Do not back up.

I have no idea why I wrote this down.
My daughters were very young then—judging by C’s contribution to the book.  (She wrote some letters and numbers backwards when she was really little. ) 
And I have no idea why, when I began to write, I could not write dialogue. I’m sure it took me forever before I opened a story or an essay with a conversation.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Oh, I do hope you'll blog every single day and I'll get to read it...