Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12th

I woke up to an unusually foggy morning here. It is suffocatingly damp and hot out there, and the cement is covered by the broken pieces of branches and bunches of leaves that got flung down in the last storm. They've all shriveled and turned rusty brown now. I scoop them out of the pool each time I swim.

As I was fixing my coffee, I had a unexpected moment of nostalgia for Kentucky, no less. So, that can get filed in Merriam Webster, listed under "irony."

Colorado now feels so far away that it's no more than a dream, a dream of clear, dry air and fresh sunlight. It is now the stuff of legend, and the reverence that a legend commands is often in our voice when Keith and I speak of it. "Colorado," we sigh, with low, hushed voices, "oh, Colorado!"

I'm bogged down, temporarily, in Torii. I hate writing through the awful parts. It seems so terribly complicated and I hate thinking through them. I still haven't figured out who exactly it is that is abusing her, what his relationship to her is, how old he is, what his position in life is, where he lives, etc, etc.

Basically, I know nothing about him because I wish to give him as little thought as possible. That's ok, for now. It's ok not to know a lot of things about your own story, even while you're writing it. At some point, I'll sit down and map this person out.

There's so much mercy in my story that I'm even tempted to extend mercy to him. For example, I was going to have Tenshio castrate him, once Tenshio learned who he was. And then, when I got to that part, I thought, doesn't justice lie with God?

Though, of course, Tenshio can act as the agent of God's justice. It wouldn't be wrong of Tenshio to do that; it would be gratifying. And I may still have that happen. It's just, I got to that part and somehow, I held back.

In the meantime, Gilly has been forced to realize that the dead girl lives inside of her. The next step is to realize that the dead girl is a part of her, and not evil, and not dead, and not bestial. Tenshio will have to explain this to her, over and over again.

It's a hard thing to believe. Actually, writing about the early stages of Gilly's emerging memories was quite difficult. I know now that the part of myself that held the abuse memories was incredible good, to point of self sacrifice, and incredible strong.

But I remember distinctly when I thought of that little girl as evil. Going back to that place felt almost like a betrayal of that part of me that had sacrificed so much for me, that part that waited in the filthy dark for years and years, waiting for me to become strong enough to rescue her.

However, Torii just wouldn't be as powerful if I didn't write it fully through every stage of the process. Besides, self hatred can be so pervasive, and for so many different reasons. I want to write one story of such self hatred and reveal how transforming it is when we choose to look at ourselves in a different way, when our eyes are opened to who we truly are.

I didn't expect these issues to be coming while on board the ship. I planned on having that happen on the Indian subcontinent. I thought of the ship voyage as largely trouble free; I had some vague idea that the water itself would be like a sponge and absorb the spiritual qualities of the Kagamihara, or some such nonsense.

I am letting the story spin out as it will, though it's not going according to my schedule. I'm worried that if I try too much to direct it against my own, mostly subconscious instincts, the story itself will dry up. Maybe by the time they reach Tenjiku, Gilly will have made some kind of peace with herself and be ready to see the actual memories themselves.

By the way, Tenjiku is the ancient Japanese name for India and guess what it means? The heavenly middle of the earth, or the sacred center- something along those lines. I'm not making this crap up, it's true. How cool is that?

Since I am getting closer and closer to the massive "hinge" of the story, or the Torii gate itself, I'm beginning to see more and more clearly how it's going to be written, which is exciting. I'm eager to be on the other side of this curve.