It is, as a friend of mine said, contagious. This idea of committing to doing something crazy and wonderful, like writing fifty-thousand words of a novel in thirty days, or publishing a new demo song each week for a whole year, or walking a labyrinth at least once a day, or getting a short story ready for publication every month. Or brushing and flossing three-hundred-and-sixty-five days a year (wait, that’s three-hundred-and-sixty-six days this leap year, right?). It is irresistible to try to overcome our essentially fickle human nature and stick to any thing.
Once a week this year, I’m going to post something I’ve created – a story, poem, photo, bit of nonfiction writing, whatever. If I macrame a tea cozy I’ll snap a picture and post it here; if I see a great film or concert I’ll review it here; if I discover a beautiful piece of art made by someone else, I’ll write something it inspires.
You’ll be able to find them all on the new Project Create page of this blog; I’ll also post the most current here on the home page. I’m kicking this thing off with one of my favorite short pieces I wrote at my favorite writing group (thank you Peter, Treg, Nancy, and Heidi!).
Oh – I’m not sure my friend meant creation is contagious. But I know it is. Having spent much of 2011 around musicians and writers, I can say this with complete certainty. I caught the insanity. And I hope I never recover!
The Word Game
It was late, well past one a.m. They’d been playing the game of “is that a blank or are you glad to see me?” for what seemed like forever. The combination of booze and middle age and the late hour made them giddy so they kept coming up with raunchier, sillier words to insert in that line. Is that a pistol or are you glad to see me? Is that a two liter coke bottle or are you glad to see me? Is that a giant squid or are you glad to see me? Is that President Obama or are you glad to see me? They weren’t making sense any more but it felt so good to laugh together finally. After their father’s funeral the brothers had held it together for all the requisite handshakes and hugs and hot dishes and murmured sympathies until, as if on some prearranged signal, they melted away, took off their dark-colored ties, and found the old rec room in their uncle’s old house and the oldest brother brought the vodka and the youngest brother started the game. And he, the middle brother, let the two of them carry him along into laughter, knowing it was probably wrong to leave the crowd, but feeling safe and drunk and relieved – relieved that finally their father could not do anything more to them, could not cause or experience any more suffering, and a boozy silly slightly profane game of words seemed exactly the right way to express their profound, utter, desperate loss.