The last few days have been filled with marvelous metaphors. But then I love most metaphors. They help me see, really see what is unfolding and stirring around me in the days of breathing in and out. And after the metaphor has come and gone, I am left to linger longer. I wrestle with thought. For I am a processor and a bone-picker of words. I savor the salt, eat the marrow and the gristle. Hoping to find a nutrient fiber for my soul. Pulling it off the bone piece by piece. Picking it clean.
I jumped on my bike yesterday. Took a fast ride and then a slow one on my turquoise and yellow cruiser. The child in me was peddling down the streets of this fishing village. My hair blew crazy as I rode through the puddles and dodged one or two cars. The town is small, the traffic barely exists. When you ride a bike on a cool spring day your mind gathers speed like a train leaving a small town. The all clear is given and suddenly you pick up some steam.
I caught a thought like I caught that purple wisteria fragrance, sweet and strong. Writers write the past to help with healing. And they write the now to process living. Before I picked up the pen, I was a volcano left for inactive. No one saw it coming. Least of all me. Until the words came, erupted even. And they were hot, flowing, and alive.
After I parked the bike I felt the wind and the blood. My heart beat faster. There was enough fresh air in my body to infuse a soul with green spring life. It was Sunday and that’s a good day for recounting a week and picking it apart. Checking back on the highs and lows like the game we played at dinner with our kids. We aren’t that original. The idea came from a movie about a marriage in crisis. We have been there too. We like the game and it works well to help five souls process a life.
Last week a woman I admire served me up some words that I digested for days. They tasted like the bittersweet variety. And though I don’t know caster oil personally on my tongue, I know it’s good for you. It is good for you but tastes like the devil. And her words were a balm, a healing tonic. I needed to hear the gentle tough served up with a sugar cube chaser. The spoon hit the teeth and the tangy metal tasted pungent, but the truth was in the tonic.
She said, “I want to push you as a writer.” I blinked back hot and felt the investment of a talented writer cool me down. And I sat on this phrase for days.
He has a story that will break your heart in two if you have one. I sat frozen like a slab of red meat from the freezer hanging on his ebb and flow of words. Riding wave on wave of his life story being told, as it waxed and waned, crested and fell. Amazed by his life story. But the knuckle ball part left the biggest mark on my tender places. Bruising me with its strength.
After his struggles in baseball, he needed a game changer. So he upped his game and mastered the knuckle ball. And he has it perfected. No one can touch it or barely catch it. He stuck with his passion, stayed with it and pressed on and forward into the living of his dreams and love of the game. So I am looking for my knuckle ball, inspired by R.A. Dickey .
I want to hold the pen in my hand and release details, descriptions and a style of writing that screams it’s me, it’s me, its no one else. That throw, that grip, that certain way of sending the ball over the plate, its how I want to send my words out into the world.
And if Dickey’s story wasn’t enough to set the pen in my hand on fire, the story of The Masters this year and the sweet victory of an Australian propelled me out of my funk and into the fire.
The story is out there and I don’t need to tell a story that’s not my own, but winning in sports after dry spells and hard work are a perfect storm of inspiration. And so I hold these stories of victory, passion and accomplishment in my soft insides and let them knead the dough of my writing life. Press it, shape it, pound it and roll it out.
And I thank my friend who gave me a few words that could be life changing. She said some more that I am having a hard time chewing on. Sometimes good is hard to swallow. I am humbled by them mightly and I can’t stop chewing on the potential in them.
I want to go hop back on my turquoise bike and ride off into the wet April day and dream of where to go and how to get there. I want to go back to the healing and processing parts of writing. The place where I vowed to see it all, to not miss a speck of dust or dirt in the day. To see so clearly the dots and dashes of the days that I could count the webbing in a spider’s home and taste the tinny metal in a bronze statue.
To pick up details and fine points like scattered laundry across a house full of messy living. It is all to be picked up most of it used. The raw, the real, the rich details of the everyday. The simple, the comlex. The every last piece. Nothing left for dead. It all beats red with living.
And I need to count the folds, count the hairs and count the cost of dulled senses. Of the bland and milk-toast words on a page. I have to pump the crimson blood back into the veins on the page, the lines that thread through my words and give them life.
Thank you my friend. I feel the push. I am off to pedal slow on my turqouise bike with yellow flowers, rusty rims, and a Hershey chocolate brown-leather seat. I have a metal wire basket on the front. Some days it is the seat for my Papillon. And we are two butterflies flitting down the back roads. I am going to pick up life and put it there too. In a notebook.
Thanks for the push. I feel the hands of encouragement on my back. There is muscle on that hand and it is wrapped in tender flesh of love of work, hard, Authentic. Rich. I feel the pulsing love of words, carried through the veins. There is fire in the belly. There is fire in the words. The knuckle ball is coming over the plate. Duck.