Monday, August 17, 2009

This is how you know that writing might save me

Sadness, I don’t like waking up in sadness. Even if it is the right time, I mean the right time on the clock -- I fell asleep later, because of all that stomach pain, but at least it started before I got in bed. And then I mostly slept through the night, why this sadness, this sadness in my face oh no it’s my sinuses. Could it really be the residue from smoke drifting into a huge open museum, a museum where I was dancing yes dancing, dancing at the museum to avoid the smoke, this was a late-night event but then there was smoke.

Last time the dance floor was in a different room, a room without smoke. Just 15 minutes, 15 minutes of dancing and when we left it was like I was a different person, but then if it leads to this sinus sadness is it really worth it? I keep trying to find that place, that place without smoke, why is this so difficult?

Lately I’ve become more engaged in this search after finding one place, except then of course that place turned out to have a smoke machine, because if there’s no smoke coming in from outside, or in from someone’s lungs inside, then of course you have to have a smoke machine, right? Even if the walls are all white, so the smoke doesn’t really show up -- then you turn on the pink lights to make it really special.

Anyway, here I am, here I am in this sinus sadness, more pain too in my hands I’m trying to avoid doing things with my hands I mean I’m trying to take breaks between the different parts of cooking. Now I’m sitting at the kitchen table and I know I shouldn’t glance over at my manuscript, that means hands but maybe just a few paragraphs and then here I am in these paragraphs and a lot of this part of my editing involves crossing large sections out, but mostly moving pieces around so that I can figure out how I want to represent each section, each section of the narrative. A few of the sections are already intact, like the part about visiting my father before he died, the beginning, but then most of it I’m going to completely rearrange.

So, for example, I’m taking all the parts about my mother, and moving them into one document, so I can figure out what is crucial. Or, all the parts about dancing. Or, the parts about trying to regain a sense of hope in my own sexuality.

But then I’m reading this section that’s mostly about sex and searching, but it moves into my mother and pain and dreaming and the bus and wow, this is where I really feel the arc of the book and I end up reading way more than I thought, just to figure out where the arc of this particular section ends, but somehow when I’m done my body doesn’t hurt more. Actually, I feel clearer and looser and I realize this is the perfect music, I might have to listen to this CD for the rest of my life and I dance a little and then my sinuses hurt again but I don’t feel as sad, I notice there’s smoke coming in from downstairs and I wonder if that’s a bigger problem than the smoke coming in from outside the museum, I mean this problem happens every day.

4 comments:

kate trouble said...

i'm always so curious when you mention music -- who are you listening to?

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Aha -- well, in this post I'm listening to Ben Wa, Disciples of Retro-Tech, which isn't necessarily the best album, but it was the best album in this moment, right?

Meanwhile, I like lots of troubled glitchy building broken knock-you down dance floor drama or random experimental electronic blah blah blah like Kid Koala, Wagon Christ, Soft Pink Truth -- Ms. Bones (Frankie, that is), Ms. Tenaglia (Danny, that is), and Green Velvet/Cajmere are the old favorites...

Love --
mattilda

Jory M. Mickelson said...

Keep me dancing...would you consider making me a mix tape of your favorite dance music?

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Darling, I used to make lots of mix tapes, but then my tape player broke and I guess theoretically I could make one on CD, but then that means the computer, which hurts my hands too much at the moment, but I will brainstorm nonetheless...

Love --
mattilda