I know I have been quiet over the last week or so. That’s because I’m a bit busy here. Though I’m contemplating not finishing NaNoWriMo on a daily basis I have been struggling to write on and on. It seems that I really am teaching more this year than last year because my afternoons are packed. Which means that all writing that hasn’t been done by lunch has to be done in the evenings. Urgh. I have been falling behind during the week slow and steady, last Thursday a did a whopping 3,000 words, and was on top of my game for about 20 hours when I decided not to write on Friday because I was just so tired and drained. On Saturday we went to a town near the Alps to spend a day practicing awareness, and while that was a very good thing to do it didn’t help the word count that much. I had planned to write on the train, and did so at 7.30 in the morning but on our way home – not so much.
Then a 3,000 words day on Sunday again, okay days on Monday and Tuesday, and then I decided that taking a guitar lesson was more important than writing on Wednesday… So if only I can write about 4,000 words today I’m good again.
You might ask why taking guitar lessons may be more important than meeting my NaNo-goal for the day, well, I have a new student. A student who is learning electrical guitar, and has been doing so for half a year already. So now I am practicing like mad to catch up with the things she already knows how to play, while teaching her the things I know how to play, and she doesn’t. Fun.
And it is, fun, I mean. Imagine playing distorted power chords over an amp. While I tend to be a little nervous about the sheer amount of noise I generate, after a while, when I manage to let go of the fear of my neighbors getting angry with me, it’s quite liberating. I’m literally rocking, and I haven’t felt like this since I quit playing drum set fifteen years ago.
So now you know why I haven’t been visiting your blogs much.
On top of all that I am not that content with my story. I find that I like making imaginary people, and I love making up their imaginary lives, I only don’t like to make up stories. Stories don’t work like real life, you have to have tension and conflict, people and situations have to change, otherwise why bother. Only while I see several possibilities to insert conflict or drama into my story I have been very reluctant to do so. I think I’m okay with this. Nobody has to read it anyway. But that means that writing stories probably isn’t the best thing for me to do. But I leave contemplating that for after I have completed my “novel”. For now I leave you with the beginning of my novel:
She thought about leaving. Right now. Never to come back. Maybe pack a bag, take her credit card, toothbrush, laptop computer, a few clothes, and leave. Walk to the train station, or better yet, take a train to the airport. Take a flight somewhere, anywhere and start over again.
These thoughts were always most appealing to her in moments like these when she slowly walked her son to kindergarten, her thoughts drowning in his incessant talking about robots. His hand in hers, his feet dragging. She felt like she had to carry him the whole way. As if he was leaning back on purpose. As if she were an ox pulling a plow through ankle high water on a rice field. Already she was looking forward to her tiny sliver of freedom. On her way back she would be able to put on her earphones and listen to some music.
If somebody had told her ten years ago that she would live a like this some day, she would have laughed hysterically. A life as bland as this, as routine and boring as this and still she’d answer every „How do you do?“ with „Fine!“? Incredible.
This is only midlife crisis, she thought. It will pass. I have a good life now. But not very exciting, a small voice in the back of her had chimed in. Who wants exciting? Only peace breeds art. Peace maybe but not boredom.
She hadn’t felt bored for decades. She thought she couldn’t feel that bored anymore. Then she had a child. Not that she didn’t want to keep it. Not that she didn’t love her son dearly. But there were so many boring things in her life now. At least she didn’t have to change diapers any longer but the sheer ennui of bringing a fiver year old to dress or undress, brush his teeth, and drink his water sometimes threatened to drown her.
„You have to find the serenity in everyday tasks.“, her friend said. „When you scrub the toilet with awareness it stops being boring.“
„I don’t mind scrubbing toilets.“
That earned her a bland look from Jasmine.
„What I do mind is spending time with the person I love more than life itself and feeling so bored that I wish to drop dead this instant.“
„Well, every marriage has its ups and downs but I didn’t think Justin were that boring.“
„I’m not talking about Justin. I’m talking about Leo. Five year olds aren’t exactly the epitome of intellectual stimulation.“
„But he is such a delightful little boy.“
„Yes, he is.“ For about twenty minutes at a time.
Iris realized that this conversation was futile. Maybe she better talked about this with other mothers. Having a best friend who was childless did add a little friction to their relationship. How could she explain to Iris how much energy she needed to put into this little person day after day? How could she explain that she didn’t find Jasmin’s quest for the perfect man the most important thing in the world anymore? That despite everything she said to the contrary she didn’t really believe she would find him?
I have to talk to other mothers. Somewhere out there I’ll find a friend. I will.
I had written this post in the morning, and as of now I actually managed to write about 4,000 words. So I’m on track again. Thanks to spirit helpers or angels who helped me and also to my dear husband who spent about 90 minutes cooking lunch on the wood stove. All of a sudden I’m feeling much lighter …