Day 25: Fairy Godmother / Pisane Winem
Writer w(h)ines: Travelling the inner-morning thought-journey
I’d opened a bottle of Crémant de Limoux, yes, last night, after having pondered it so long, yes; loving it so much, the starry sky, the warmish breeze, the yellow glow of the outside light, the grey shining glass of the low table, the tiny bubbles in the glass, the golden taste on my palate, the twinkle of the lights shining from the hamlet across the valley through the clear night, the cat playfully biting my arm, the bats zinging overhead, the bell, the bell, tolling from the village. I spoke to Esmerelda, yes, a tree I often speak to, looking up into her branches, yes; I asked her something earnest, off the cuff; I can’t remember, now; maybe, “What in hell do I make of all this, Esmerelda?” Meaning, of course, my suddenly opening a bottle of crémant, after having pondered it so long, and now loving every minute of it. And I heard her reply immediately — a deep and wonderful surprise, after having been blocked from hearing her for so long:
“You are yourself.”
And that was very comforting. For I was indeed, at that moment, being exactly myself in that moment. Not anyone better, nor worse, nothing more and nothing less. And very accepting of it too; that was the key. No guilt, no regret, no shame at all. And tomorrow I could be myself as well, whether that was with Crémant de Limoux or without it. And I remembered the story of David Bowie and the monk, and that story made me feel further comforted, too.
This morning I woke at 05:30 or so, and I lay in bed for an hour and thought about Crémant de Limoux, and what Esmerelda the tree had said to me, and I thought about writing about it all, a kind of “Secrets Revealed,” final episode, Real Housewives-style confession; then I got to thinking about bears, how I have lots of bears in my life, like my husband T., my birthing bear; like neighbour D., the grand ours; like Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, up in the sky as they were the night before; the thought train went on and on, and then I thought about what happened while I was finishing my bear piece yesterday, and I’d thought about how depressed I was in that moment, and how I really, truly wanted to give up, finally admit to failure on this whole writing thing, because the fire evening seemed dismal after that, and also because life was no fun without real-life friends, which apparently couldn’t be had, in our bit of remote countryside, without Crémant de Limoux.
Basically I wanted to give up, partly because I felt I had no physical, real-life friendly nor family support for my writing, yes I have T. who supports me financially (while I support him with housekeeping and childcare and some side-business bits), as well as emotionally and intellectually (as I also support him), but who of course does not truly support my writing, itself (and why should he? Strange, compulsively-driven product that it is, what good can it possibly do, except exist alongside other inexplicable art in the world), and yes, I have my virtual writing friends (who are of course, in fact, real people) who do make it possible for me to continue at all, and I am very grateful for them (Magda, Nesiller and Göran especially), and yes I have my children, who are enthusiastic about just about everything I do, but even knowing all that, somewhere in the back of my mind, I still felt at that moment that I had no one in my physical vicinity actually cheering me on for my actual writing, though we all know it feels good to be nurtured that way. (Basically, my thoughts thus amounted to writer whining.)
And then my mind wandered to the idea of possibly sharing my motley so-called hermit crab blog on the Masterclass forum, and then I remembered I still had to fix the description of Margaret Atwood’s face, in another piece I’d written on another blog, which I hadn’t succeeded in getting right yet.
So I pictured her face, but the right words wouldn’t come, first I thought “witch,” but that certainly wasn’t what I meant, because most people associate witches with being ugly, and yet her face was very beautiful; but “beautiful” doesn’t quite conjure it either, because often people might associate beauty with excessive youth, and/or bland model-like looks, without personality, which wouldn’t do either; and so I thought, well, what makes her face beautiful and/or witchlike, and then I thought, well, the witchlike part is her crafty, cunning, yet sparkly and fun-loving expression, and the beauty is in her classic features, yet with a few anomalies, like very high, arched, eyebrows, and high, rounded, rosy cheekbones, and a kind of cupid’s bow lip, and that soft halo of silverluminated-steel-coloured hair, and of course there needs to be some way to describe the maternal quality to her understanding yet sharply coaxing gaze, and punctuating, secret-transferring smile, and then I thought of the perfect way to describe all that…. It was… fairy godmother. Margaret Atwood has a fairy godmother face.
And that was the final wordgasm of my thought-train, for the morning. So I got out of bed after that, and I did my sit-ups. And then my back crunches, and then my pushups, then my leg lifts. Finally, I did my reverse sun salutation.
And I thought about the absolute futility of writing about any of it, successfully.
And then, my writing friends, I wrote about it anyway.
And later, my friends, I took nearly two thirds of it out, and I hit Publish, so that you could read this inexplicable bit of art, and maybe somehow even be encouraged by it, here, now.
With much love to you,
- This is Day 25 of a self-imposed 31-day “Write AND hit Publish” challenge, mostly using Jeff Goins’ “My 500 Words” prompts. Day 25’s prompt was: “Write about Travel.” Any correlation of this piece to that topic, however, is purely coincidental.
- Crémant de Limoux is a traditional sparkling white wine made in the Pyrenean foothills of southern France.
- A short version of the story about David Bowie and the monk can be seen on Tricycle: Good Vibrations: A Buddhist Music Playlist.
- Writing and w(h)ining: Here’s a link to Margaret E. Atwood’s Creative Writing Masterclass, if you’re interested (I’m not affiliated). Also, an article Margaret published on Lithub, about her writing of The Handmaid’s Tale, which is where I first heard and fell in love with the phrase “writer whines.” Finally, as a side note, here’s a link to a translation of the Polish phrase pisane winem.
Nadine inhales & exhales words & images from her current vantage point in the Zone of Emptiness, France. If you wish to contribute and/or show appreciation, please clap and/or comment. Thank you for reading. 🖤