Wednesday, January 30, 2008

the sledgehammer of the obvious

Well, I've set my husband's leg in plaster, and started some gesso sottile with the remainder, and written a critique, so I'm about done for the day. He hasn't broken anything, (she said, vitiating any possible tension in the narrative) it's just the easiest way to send his leg to Montreal to have fitted greaves made.
Oh, yeah, the plaster has been removed from his leg, and it, not the leg, will travel to Montreal. Two packets of plaster bandage were required for one leg, knee to ankle. In case you were wanting to try this at home.
Plaster-caster jokes are not required at this point. Feel free to make them in your own blogs.

On not knowing what one has written: the bargain in the marsh, between Myl and the black thing, came into the story fairly late, having marinated in my brain for a week or so. I wrote it in my usual 'gee, I wonder what happens next' way (which may be painfully obvious to my overtried beta readers, sorry guys!).
Looking back I realised the following:
* a white and red 'bird' flies to Myl
* she conceals it in a round-bellied basket covered in clay
* she sits on the basket
* she endures fear and discomfort
* after longish discomfort she takes rapid action
* she takes the basket to the water
* a white thing like a small naked child slips out of the basket

Could this be more obvious? Could this be more of a prefiguring of giving birth? The soul comes to the mother, is contained in clay=flesh, the mother travails, pain, fear, water, a naked child? It's practically close-captioned and interlinear-glossed.
Yet I swear this interpretation did not occur to me until last week.

My dreams are of late also painfully obvious, but at least they're getting through to me much faster.
First, I have a brand new anxiety dream. I've mentioned before, I think, that I while I may dream of unexpected exams or public nakedness, those dreams don't make me anxious (public nakedness might make the general public anxious, but the general public has its own dreams and needs none of mine). Instead, my typical anxiety 'wake up twitching and groaning' dream is about trying to answer a question or explain something really vital (zombies attacking!) to someone and being ignored or talked over.
About 3 nights ago, I woke up moaning from this one: I was in a small dark room, and the floor was covered with things that I was packing. Skis, hiking boots, coats, books, lumpy parcels. I bent over and picked one up, then another, then more, stuffing them awkwardly in my arms, pinning them against me, and still they slipped out. I'd pick one up and another would fall down, and the floor never got clearer.
All the time, a woman with dark-framed glasses and straight dark hair cut in bangs (I can't think of anyone I know who fits this) was watching me impatiently and not offering to help.
Well, dreamworld, thank you for that life lesson. Why not just leave me directions on a post-it note? Don't take on too many responsibilities. Okay. Got it. Jeez.

Fortunately, my most recent dreams have gotten back to the wastepaper basket level of narrative they usually occupy, tossing high-recency-value motifs into a collage of standard themes.
Like the night after reading a disgruntled-over-bad-review post on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award forums, with someone's awful awful imagery about books being our children, not to be severed from our psychic loins without a scalpel (maybe it was the scalpel that was psychic and not the loins), which had something to do with reviews, but I'm not sure what.
This contributed towards a dream where I was enrolled in a writing workshop that was also a surrogacy clinic of sorts, and the workshopping was done in a setting very much like the language labs at UVic (the old ones), a room with rows of little booths equipped with screens and mikes, murmuring with voices slightly out of sync with each other. This murmuring of narratives by students produced fiction manifested as babies, all red and slick and grimacing, sometimes not quite complete.
I'll stop. But that still wasn't nearly as disturbing to me as an armful of packages that I kept dropping.

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