You have to die

I’ve been very busy lately.

Super busy. I have three projects going on that would each on their own justify saying I”m super busy. And I am doing all three.

But those three things are actually chugging along pretty well. I’m past the panic point and have moved on to the part where I am criticising myself for not getting OTHER stuff done.

Yes. I know. I should not be so hard on myself. But it’s like clockwork. I could even predict it coming while I was still panicking about the first three things.

Okay. So the part of my life that I am frustrated about neglecting is my writing.

I have this book, you know? Not the one I’ve already written, I feel bad enough about neglecting that one’s publicity program.

But there is that other book that I was writing long before I started and finished the Miriam story.

Okay. So, I’ve been stuck on the story. I’ve written the first half, the part where I am in Alaska at home, despairing and losing faith.

despair, losing faith–check.

Now I am trying to write about my trip to Russian and about transcending despair and rekindling my faith.

I am really happy with the first part that I wrote. I did a very good job of tracing the path from innocence to jaded cynic. Metaphor and description all over the place. Very nice.

So in the story, I’m trudging along pissed and angry, but coping because I am playing it smart and close to the chest.

Which is SO easy to do. Meaning, it is easy to write about being pissed off and having unfair shit happen to you.

It’s easy because every every every one keeps that feeling of injustice and pissedness right close by. I’d say almost every day everyone has the chance to feel wronged and angry about it.

Every day we have a chance to scoop up a serving of decaying disillusionment and carry it around with us. And which of us can resist doing it? It’s a passtime to think about , and talk about all the absurd things that others do to inconvenience or hurt you.

and that’s just the everyday petty stuff. What about the really nasty stuff?

Literature is full of those kind of stories. REALLY good stories of wrongs done. Hamlet? Oedipus Rex?

There are so many many tragedies. And they are great. I’ve written before about how great movies and books are often really depressing

We are ready to believe bad stuff. We are ready to be depressed.

Okay. So how the hell am I supposed to write about transcendance? No one would believe me.

We are sure that the world sucks and that the universe is against us and is most likely totally unfair.

We are not sure that there is a reason and a overarching merciful justice. We…Well, I know _I_ …don’t buy flimsy trite enlightenment.

We don’t buy it and feel further betrayed if someone tries to sell it to us.

“Yeah right…blah blah and now the world is full of smiling sunflowers. I don’t buy it.”

Which is to say, the second half of my book is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy harder to write. The touchpoints of empathy for joy and peace are not worn on anyone’s shirtsleeves.

And you know what else? It’s not even that easy for me to reach. Yes, I can remember how it felt. But I have to feel it again I think, fully feel and recognize the mountain moving that I know then AGAIN NOW.

So I have to reach deep to find it. And if I can find it, then I have to write better than I’ve ever written before to make it convincing to someone else.

I was talking with a friend about it.
“Honestly, can you think of a single movie where a person achieved transcendence and it was believable?”

“…maybe Life is Beautiful?”

“Yeah, but he died.”

That’s the only way to make it believable. You have to kill someone.

Pay it forward? He died.

Mom was talking to me this morning about Tuesdays with Morrie…a book I find utterly unconvincing, but which I recognize as touching many many people.

Not to give it away, but Morrie died.

Martin Luther King jr. Ghandi…dead.

And EVEN JESUS DIED!!!! would NOT have worked if he didn’t die. NO one would have believed it.

You have to die or no one believes you have anything worth remembering.

And no one died.

…mom says a cat died in Russia…but that was after I left and it was just a strange cat, not one we knew.

I’m stuck. I can’t find someone to die.