A Year

Monday, January 28, 2013

Here we are. Come tomorrow, a year has come and gone since her death. My apologies for not being very active lately. I wrapped up my second draft on January 3rd. It was exhaustive and exhilarating and I immediately shut down afterwards. You see, I wrote a four hundred and fiftyish page novel in about forty days. I am proud of myself for knowing that I can accomplish that, but I have no desire to do such a thing again any-time soon. It was a complete rewrite, a severe structural overhaul of a cobbled, grandfathered story that I started over a decade ago and a fresh coat of paint wasn’t going to cut it. I needed to tear the house down and build it again. Not a single scrap of the original text was used in the new draft and it was a feat that I would not have been confident enough to undertake without my editor and also without the experience of watching my mother die. Of being sickened from the hollowing out that occurs when someone leaves you. Of indulging in the stark pain of that experience and in the bliss of remembering all the life and love that came before. Sorrow and joy, the eternal companions. Sorry if that came out a little rough, but I’m not in the mood to cushion my words. Death is raw and jarring, as much as it is beautiful and – regrettably – natural (though I doubt life would be as valued or passionate without the inevitable decay).

I shall start the process of the second work in the series next week, alongside the continued edits on the first manuscript (my editor should be getting back to me this week – yay!). I’ve been idle for so long. Hermitting. Now it is time to move. I’ve been peeking out into the world, observing if not yet joining the march that just keeps going. Reminding myself that the world moves ever on. Now its time to finish this dream of mine and leave something with my mother’s memory, grace and wisdom in the world. I shall dedicate my first book, and each book thereafter, to her. And I am more driven and enthused than ever for you all to have a look. To be reminded of what she can move in people’s spirits. Whether she is in this world or elsewhere.

To that end, I’m going to do a little impromptu poetry, just to get the creative juices flowing again. I’m not going to edit this, so excuse any mistakes. I’m just going to write whatever comes and post it. Living with our flaws is as important as being flawed and I’d like to look back on this and know how I feel, truly feel and not spend so much time on the details of refinement. Here goes.

Pale face, starry eyes
They see but do not see me
Far the stare is cast
Shores unknown
Shadow dappled pearls on a brow
A breath that rattles off
Into a corner
Where light plays with darkness
A twist of what is
And I know that what you see
Is not my mystery
Not yet
Hand trembling
I can not say whose
This is time
Stars singing
It is time
A shift
A sigh
And you are pulling
Out into the tides
From me
Into the swell of stars
Waves sweep
Sweep you away
A lullaby of my lament
As you sang to me
I sing to you
It is the song that never ends
The song the bleeds into the waves
As you chase
And fly
And are free

– Christian A. Brown 2013

P.S. I don’t want to end things on too melancholy a note. Last year was tough on a great deal of my friends and family and I hope, no, I know, that this year will be one of growth and success. My love to, and faith in you all.