I think…I think I finally “got it”! This “thing” I’ve been trying to find. For months I’ve essentially been groping around in the dark, discovering nothing, except handfuls of air. A blindfolded me trying to pin the tail on my story.
I knew it was there. I could sense it. It would nag me. An itch in my brain I couldn’t scratch.
The little morsel of a puzzle piece that’s been missing in my manuscript. The ever elusive bit of story I’ve been squinting to see.
Then today while stuck in traffic, blasting Blue October it came to me. It was like looking for your eyeglasses only to discover they’ve been perched on top your head.
Wait, I need to back up a few days…To the moment when a bit of light crept in.
On Sunday night or was it Monday? The actual day is irrelevant, it’s what I was doing when “it” actually began, that, I think-is important.
I was burning brain cells watching an episode of Dance Mom’s Miami ( Ohmygosh have you seen this show? It’s so sad. Those Mom’s are… Sigh. Never mind…I’m not going there.
Anyway…I was watching Dance Mom’s Miami and this song Speak in Silence played during one of the kid’s performances (which was super cool by-the-way). I was immediately drawn to it.
The music itself is electronic and cool, and that certainly played a big part of it, but the lyric, the idea of speaking in silence led me to think about silence and the sound of it. Yes. Sound. That sort of buzzing in your ear when the world around you has gone quiet. Where I live in Miami moments where it’s absolutely silent are far and few in between. I miss the quiet. The absence of silence in my life is-I’m sure-what caused my ears to perk up and listen to this song certainly…but it was the idea ultimately that fascinated me. I thought about how we communicate silently, how we purposefully keep ourselves silent-either to not harm someone, or out of fear, or for any other number of reasons. Then it made me think about myself and how I communicate, and how I do it best when writing. It made me think about writers and the solitary job it is, and how essentially when we’re writing, we’re speaking, silently to the page. Writing is speaking in silence.
This idea of silence not really being silent was rolling around in my psyche the last few days then yesterday-while in the car, I kept replaying HRSA by Blue October. I’ve always loved that song-and I’ve probably heard it a thousand times, but yesterday I kept replaying it, almost absentmindedly. I think the “dark” part of my brain needed to hear it. Like the mute-writer in there-arms outstretched-needed to hear it because it drew her to the light…and towards her silent voice.
This morning I was in traffic and grew bored of Talk Radio, there was nothing I felt like listening to on the music stations (Miami radio’s level of suck-age is great folks) so out of habit I hit the CD button and of course on came HRSA. Something in me sort of clicked, and anything that might have irritated me normally about Miami traffic didn’t-like my, “Oh this person is so rude! GRRR”, button had been anesthetized. My son Evan who is usually a chatterbox full of questions (and the answers) sat silent in his carseat staring out at the people who also found themselves in unexpected traffic. Yet despite the honking and the blaring outside our car and the thrumming of the music, my son and I were the epitome of quiescence.
And I listened.
Except this time it was different than the thousand times I’d heard that song before. It was as if I was listening to my self listen. The writer groping in the dark suddenly found something to grab a hold of and she pulled.
She it the floor hard-not knowing her strength, her hands full and heavy with the weight of a single board pulled from a window in the dark part of her brain. When her eyes had adjusted and she’d gotten over the shock of feeling something heavy in her hands she saw it. In a sliver of mottled light sat that missing piece of her story’s puzzle, small, but significant.
As I said, it’s just a little idea. One small grain of sand the itching-irritant I needed to occasion the creation of (what i hope will be) a pearl. I’m off to revise my outline and do some re-writing-wrapping my words around this little grain of sand.
love, light, & warmth,