Sand at Palm Desert
L.A. is a desert. A desert with water. An ancient ocean-bed, dry and long buried, suddenly thrust back to the surface.
At any time, day or night, if you listen carefully you can hear the sound of the ancient sea, lost amongst the cacophony of millions of automobiles whooshing past or the harsh dry winds called the Santa Anas. The sound comes from the ghost of an ocean or some vast inland sea, calling up from the long dried mud on its bottom, begging to be wet again, to be submerged.
And the land responds. You can hear it whispering in the hot dry wind, or catch it rising slowly from the hot flat stretches of cement.
It says, “Never.”
It says, “No.”
It says, “Leave us alone.”
It says, “Goodbye.”
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This morning I was going over my notes from the past year, many of which I wrote on the way to work and hadn’t yet integrated into my stories. I got in the habit of using the Notes App on my phone to write down ideas as they come, and then later integrate them into my flow. The entry above was one of the things I put down, way back on April 16 of last year.
Going back over them this morning was deeply refreshing. I kept finding these unexpected ideas and many of them were very good. It was a nice affirmation. One of those, “Oh yeah. I guess you can write after all,” moments.
Last year was not a good one for my writing. I really got bogged down in a lot of stuff which was all useful, but difficult to get through. Sort of a winter of discontent. Some things are like that; they are simply difficult to get through and there’s no easy way to get around them. There’s no shortcut. Grief is one of them. I supposed a long illness like cancer would be another. To get better you simply just have to keep going until you break through.
So I’m slugging away hoping to break through. Hopefully we’re near that point. I don’t know. I just keep putting my nose to the wheel and try to learn as fast as I can.