Friday, July 20, 2007

Inspiration - The Beginnings of a Story

This morning in that shadowy place between sleep and awake I had the inspiration for a story. It's not a poem, I'm sure of that. There are characters and bus stops involved. I stayed in that place going through the story in my mind until I had enough of it that I wouldn't forget and not so much that I would fall into a dream and lose it all.

There is a bittersweetness to writing down the idea for a story because in the half-awake time grabbing a pen, eyes cracked open, I can't get it right on paper. All the bright images in my mind, the bus stop, the man with the red handkerchief, just sort of fall flat. I just try to capture the idea and the details, I am not writing the story.

I hated to write it down because I knew the moment I started writing I'd be out of my imagination and back into the world of dust bunnies and unwashed laundry. But I didn't want to lose it. I didn't.

Next to me as I type this are three pages ripped from the journal I keep next next to my bed. I can hardly translate my morning handwriting. I return to my mind's image of the woman at the bus stop, her name is Mary. She is waiting for me to write her into life. Right now, I can't. Right now the world buzzes and the coffee pot groans hello hello. For the next day, I will keep Mary in my mind until she becomes someone I know, I can't say "friend" here, because if Mary becomes a friend, the story will never be written. I cannot take a friend and put them through the twists and turns that happen in a story. If Mary becomes a friend than the story is lost. So I have to keep Mary at a distance as I watch her. She is holding an umbrella. She is stepping onto the bus.

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