I’m back. Still not enough energy to do all I want to do. Napping as much as I’m awake. I guess that’s an important part of healing, but it does take time away from writing. Anyway, I felt the urge today to share with you one minor product of my recent participation in a writing course — the conversation with my crash.
From June 14th through the 19th I attended a superb writing course at the Madeline Island School of the Arts. The staff made it possible for me to attend by finding ways to accommodate some of my special needs. On top of that kindness, everyone was wonderful in every way possible.
It was also the beginning of my walking outside for any distance. It was the only way to get from my room to the location of the food and classes. And that was really good for me.
Of course, then, as now, I spent a lot of time sleeping. But there was plenty of room as well to write. By choice I focused on “My Father’s House.”
All in all, I learned a lot, got to spend time with some bright, energetic, and lovely fellow students, to say nothing of the instructor, Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew.
Among other things, Elizabeth had us doing some writing exercises, and that’s what I want to share with you today. One assignment was to visualize an important image, and then to spend a few minutes writing a dialog with that image. Even though I promised to focus on “My Father’s House,” the image that came up was the noise of my car rolling around as it flipped into total destruction on April 15. So I wrote a conversation between “The Crash,” and “Me.” I think I learned a lesson for myself in the process of reading through it.
What I’m presenting here is the pure, unedited dialog I wrote in the five or so minutes we were allotted.
CRASH: Hear me! What a racket I can make. Have you ever heard such a cacophony? I mean – really, a cacophony.
ME: Hear? Oh … Oh My God! I …, Oh My God! … I … really – you thought I’d have something to say? Oh My God.
CRASH: Hear me. I’m rattling, banging, crashing, squeaking, squealing. I mean – have you ever heard such a noise?
ME: I know. You are totally beyond my control. Too late to find the brake. Oh My God! What are you doing? You’re falling apart. But you’re banging together. Oh My God! Who am I kidding? I don’t have time to say any of these words.
CRASH: Gotcha! I silenced you. Now your words do you no good. I’m nothing but noise, noise, noise.
ME: And you’re fascinating. Oh My God! Wow! What can I say?
CRASH: That’s the point! You can’t say anything. Whoopee! Hear me. I really have your attention, don’t I?
ME: OK, OK. Will you stop? Please stop!
CRASH: Crash, jingle, jangle, rattle, steam. What about the nice, black sound I’m making …?
ME No, you’re wrong. It’s not black, it’s gray, or purple, or blue? Or white? But heavy.
CRASH: No. “heavy” isn’t a color.
ME: But it is black. Oh hiss – no. I’m not swearing. It’s hissing.
CRASH: Just settling, my dear.
ME: I’m not doing anything. Just let them take care of me. Whew!