I knew it would not last. Not forever. A long time, yes, and if we never rest from our careful watch over every sign, then it could last a very long time.
These are the opening lines of a story I am telling. I started it in 2012, finished a horrible rough draft in a month during the NaNoWriMo challenge. Then I dipped in and out to edit in the following years, but never enough attention to put it into any real better form.
Late last year, though, I caught myself in a state that allowed me to revisit the story and to begin a serious recrafting. I got as far as three thousand words.
Then I was spun away again, by duties, obligations, and the soothing dark depths of ink and paint.
I am beginning to realise that I sometimes use painting as an escape from writing. I conjure up the images so I would not have to say the words, even if only on paper.
I am somewhat afraid of my words. I find them too strong sometimes, unforgiving, not holding back. Stinging, solid, and sharp at the same time when they slam into me, breaking skin, breaking bones, breaking heart.
I am afraid of the story being shaped by my words. It feels too true, notwithstanding the presence of dragons.
It is the first story I dare to tell, pulled from the strange forests of the world hidden inside me. So much of myself scattered in pieces across the chapters. Too many provoking thoughts. A lot of hidden hurt in broad daylight. A lot I have not even yet admitted to myself, but only observed. It is a story that is also a wish. A thesis of a world presented to the universe. Could it be? But honestly, really, it all boils down to: could it be me?
I am babbling in this post. I have not been open for the past week. I have been clogged up and blinded and out of breath, as mundane mortals tend to be. For a while I lost my bearings and I was walking around in circles, knowing I was lost but too tired to care. Only for a while.
Something in me finds a way, without fail, to shake me awake, trip me up along that empty cycle of days. A jolt that arrests my heart. A memory. A fairy tale. A dream laboriously stitched together and fed into my sleep. When I am particularly poisoned I am given prophecies. Glimpses of possible future paths if I get myself out of the rut I am stranded in. Promises of joy, promises of love.
I will go back to the story today. Despite my inner terror of it. I will endure its flaying scrape over my soul-skin. It begs to be told. It needs to be told. For reasons known only to itself.
And I can feel that it is transforming even as I come towards it. Eager to show me what it has been up to. How much it has grown, how thick and strong and deep its roots have become, how much it needs to be helped to burst forth into leaves and flowers and sweet, sweet, bittersweet fruit.
I am feeling the edges of loneliness today. The story can sense it, and in response it opens itself up to me, coaxing me to let myself curl up in its searing warmth, never mind the scars afterwards, to find comfort and hope in its possibilities. It urges me to write my way into an ever-after, because sometimes it is truly the only way.