Saturday, May 21, 2005

Writing trials

The Havarti cheese is sweating and limp in the heat, but here I am writing instead of putting on my shoes and walking out into the sunshine. I don't know if it's this place or just because I feel like it, but I am writing more and more since I moved here. I feel inspired. I am inspired.

I finished Creepers this afternoon. I'm suddenly inspired to look for an abandoned building or ghost town to explore. I think I'll do just that next weekend when I have money again. I'll pick a ghost town on the map, load my backpack with fruit, water and journal and head off into the unknown to see if I can't fall down a mine shaft or through a floor.

Not really.

I want to explore the past, the forgotten places where people have moved on and left their essence behind like shedding a skin.

It could be something encoded in our DNA that makes us shed the skin of the past and move into the future, a relic of our reptilian heritage buried deep in the reptilian brain that keeps us alive and kicking when all sense of self and humanity are gone and all that remains is vegetable tended by people who would rather be anywhere but mopping up the refuse our bodies keep churning out even though we aren't home. In a sense, the past is a sort of immortality and I wonder what will be left of me when I exit the stage this time. I doubt I'll remember, but what if I did?

What if when I reincarnate I come across a reference to the past me and something sparks a memory along the synapses so that I relive that past life? What would that be like? How many times have I read about a place or a person and felt I knew them but not actually how. I know I've lived many, many lifetimes and I also know that it is doubtful I was anyone famous -- or infamous -- although the latter is more likely. I am drawn to many places, drawn by a yearning for home so that I have seldom felt at home anywhere in this time and place where I have existed. I have always felt like a stranger in my own family and I chalked that up to being adopted, but now I wonder if it goes further than that.

So few times in my life I have been really a part of something or someone. I find it so easy to walk away without looking back, carrying little bits and pieces of my life and my acquaintances with me. In that way I have gained shirts and sweaters, hair dryers and tools, some of which I cannot remember how they came to me. They are the palpable presence of what has become a misty memory that belongs to someone else.

I feel disconnected and separate from the rest of the world. I have moments of sadness for friends who misunderstand or misread my intentions and actions, but it passes. I shrug my shoulders and move on. It's all a part of the past and the present and the future are unstable undiscovered countries that draw me forward. I wonder if I'm the ghost and the rest of the world is real as I move through it, connecting briefly with sensitive souls that are interested in me briefly and then, thinking they have understood my existence at that nexus, cast aside for a new experience, a new ghost.

The only time I have ever felt at home and really connected with someone is with John. He fits me perfectly. We share the same feelings of isolation and ghostly presence, real only to each other, and a little afraid of the connection and the intensity of experience and emotion. We both want to be real, not only to each other but to the rest of the world that tends to forget our existence until we're needed or wanted to provide answers or work. I can and have walked away from everything and everyone in my life, but I cannot walk away from him. In a way it frightens me because it means I am caught, no longer an ethereal being of light and shadow existing for a brief human second, but a permanent fixture somewhere in time.

I read a call for submissions recently that wanted stories about the future changing the past. Immediately Back to the Future sprang to mind. That seems too simplistic, too easy. What if a real future happening echoed down the corridors of the past to change the past and a time traveling car or a time traveling civilization getting rid of its dead were not the motive force. Christopher Reeve went back in time, forcing his mind to carry him where his heart lived already, to find Jane Seymour. He changed both their lives.

So often people say, "If I knew then what I know now...," without knowing if it is possible to carry their knowledge back to the past and change their future. Can the future and the past exist in the same body or the same time? Two identical particles meeting are posited to create an explosion that could end the world, but who I am now is not who I was yesterday or last week, let alone 38 years ago.

Can I do it? Can I change the past by changing things now? Time goes in all directions for eternity and where we are on the timeline is a reality chosen and believed into existence. If that is true, why can't I change the present and affect the past, creating a new reality now?

Anything is possible, even writing in a sunny room on top of a Victorian house in Colorado Springs in the shadow of the mountains while fluffy white clouds build up and turn dark with pregnant possibilities of rain, thunder and lightning. Lightning is the source of all life. Could it be the answer for me, too?

Should I write it or live it?

Maybe I should live it and then write it.

Whatever I choose, writing will be part of it as it is part of me now and... always.

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