I realize this is a bit... kitsch, even cliche, of me to say. But as I foray into April, I do so with ample... hope. I'd bother you all with my thoughts on The Wasteland, but must leave TS Eliot alone. And I do prefer Prufrock's love song to anything, really. Even so, I've made some decisions. As i sit, zephyrs catching cold, coming in through the windows, watching Cheyenne with my father (on the Western Channel), I do prefer that and Have Gun Will Carry, I cannot help but think about my second novel. Don't inquire why, just be certain it has been on my mind, through these horrid headaches, this horrid fatigue, all from Lupus, and has excited and disconcerted me.
Some of you are aware, but it's called The Life of Dedrick Forrester. The first part signifies two voices, seeming to be with their therapist. One, Deirdre, is a bit Apollonian, while the other, Rick, is Dionysian. They each, in other words, embody an aspect of artistic experience (or so I hope to convey), one of reason and dreams, the other of passion and ecstasy. They come to their therapist with separate problems that converge around the death of Deirdre's younger brother. And her issues with depression, attempting suicide (Rick does too), and, like me, having Lupus.
As you read through it you find it's a bit too... contrived... to be an "open" therapy talk. A bit too contrived to even embody thoughts. You recognize, as Dedrick leaves his footprint/signature, at the end of Part One, it is either his reaction to being with these patients, or him being an embodiment of the patients themselves. In the second part I detail Dedrick's relationship with his errant wife, Sylvia, in a less vivid, more cliche way of writing... I will not give anything else "away." But I will say, what I wanted to do with this piece is actually very simple. I wanted to detail the hardship of being in a depressed situation, of being depressed over illness and whatnot too, and on top of it all, trying to cope with the death of someone you love at a very young age. How does one go on from that?
I'm, as I often say with my first novel, reconciling redemption with decay. There are "iffy" circumstances behind the younger brother's death, and I think most of the Part One is meant to insist art is much like the process of grieving. Insomuch as in grieving, we sometimes re-create the person as a ghost as we want them to be. We do not abort them. Much like the artistic process, they are an experience, meant to be conceptualized into an image. And it's when they become this image, that we must come to a fruition and... let go. I have yet to decide which aspect of artistic experience I want to have win over, whether it be the Apollonian (Deirdre) or Dionysian (Rick). What I do know is this: writing this has helped me catch the nuances that don't necessarily compose our "inner voices," but do compose our writing, our art, etc., etc.,
It seems, to me, we sometimes take words for granted. We use them, we read them, we do not fully appreciate their scope and grasp. And in doing this, we lack something. We lack the appreciation of Zephyrs catching cold. We lack the appreciation of a simple April Day, whose innocence and consequence signifies so much more than we can say. We become automaton(ic), less than la somnambule, more like greedy zombies. I may be biased because I adore words, words are really my art, so I have more time to focus and think about their impact and implications, but they are so much more than a manner of communication. They are a manner of excommunication, in many ways. Insomuch as in pursuing them we are often most alienated from what we think we most love... because, if you study the process of conceptualization, you see that in it you give something up. You become something other to what you thought you were. And, as all "others' know, in the manner of the dear departed Edward Said, sometimes it's best to be the underdog, the "other," as pertains to our experience. Sometimes it's best to stand outside and see what we re-create really says so much more about us than the immediacy at hand.
So, is there any reprimand we can possibly except, except the one that tells us it's wrong to discard the notion life is a matter of mirrors, when it's really a matter of (foggy) glass?
I will not be on much this weekend. I'll be quite busy. But I wish you all a lovely Easter, and a conceptualization that TS Eliot was right, in his situation, to call April the cruelest month; but, for me, and hopefully, for you, it is the re-creative capacity of life and all matter of art and dreaming.