Hi everyone! I am elated to share that I finally figured out how to retrieve the content of yesterday’s blank post for “Progression of a Writer; Day 17“. I apologize that there was nothing there and hope you will enjoy it.
How interesting it is to find the insatiable urge to communicate with animals. To have a conversation, even if it happens to cover arbitrary topics like the warming touch of the sun or the smell wafting from an open window. I find myself pulled to their natures, wanting to climb a shaded branch or clean my wings in a fountain.
In whatever manner that the encounters occur, the influence of animals on our creative process is apparent. I have on multiple occasions been excited in the concept of showing the personification of an animal in my own writing. One of my short stories published, “Falling for Apples, Part one” includes such an animal in the character Barnabas the horse.
Here is another example from an excerpt of a screen play draft that I wrote in college titled, “Silent Night”. Scripted as a holiday film, the plot consisted of the fantasy element of angels living among humans in a normal setting. I have included it to present one of my favorite characters that I have ever written, a crow who loved to play in the snow. Please feel free to comment or share your favorite occurrences of making animals just slightly more human.
EXT. PARK, NIGHT GEORGE is sitting on the same bench as in the morning, all around him is SILENT as fresh snow begins to fall. Suddenly in a flutter of wings, The CROW from before lands next to him. GEORGE (smiling) Hi there. CROW looks curiously at George, before pecking at the string caught on his leg. GEORGE Need help getting that off? Here let me see. GEORGE reaches in and tries to undo the knot. The Crow pecks at his fingers, trying to get him to stop. CROW CAW! GEORGE (irritated) What? You don't want it off? CROW hops down and pecks at George's shoe, specifically the tied laces. GEORGE (laughing) Do you want me to tie it? CROW CAW! CROW hops back up on the bench, holding its leg out. GEORGE carefully reties the string into a nice bow. GEORGE There. Merry Christmas I guess. CROW flies away and GEORGE looks almost disappointed that the bird left.
I left a conversation today as if I had escaped a predator. Exposed and vulnerable, I walked away doing my very best to make clear what had just transpired. The words that I spoke were of my voice and mood, but seemed completely foreign to me in reflection. It was as if I had stepped into the role of a character I had not fully written, the details of their face still missing. Yet I was inclined to fill his shoes, to become that persona that could best uphold a conversation that I had to speak without any bearings of what direction it was heading.
So I became instinctual. I called upon my rawest and truest self to make up for the blinding self-doubt. My language became abstract and emotional, connecting to lyric and rhythm instead of logic. It was the line of rope in the encroaching storm, knowing there would be no chance to successfully navigate through it, I hoped simply instead to survive.
It ended pleasantly, after all it was only a conversation, but I had come out of it with my heart beating just a little faster than it did before.
It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
And so it begins again. While feelings of disappoint linger, I am fervent to try once more. I want to write as easily as I breath. To put my mind into physical form and give life to invisible worlds. To make what is difficult become simple, beautiful, and habit.
I do not know what each day will produce, only that there will always be new words born onto paper.
I invite anyone to observe in this new cultivation, and inspect the progression of myself as a writer.
A piece of lettuce fell into my shoe.
Shredded lettuce, if you were curious, from a B.L.T. sandwich if you were really curious.
If you were even more curious than that then it was during lunch, as I sat on a bench of poured concrete on the side of canyon that looked out towards the ocean. It was the Pacific, and it spanned to the horizon. It was blue, and a breeze wafted from the coast up through a canyon and past me sitting on a poured concrete bench. It smelled of salt and memory to me.
In that moment I wanted to both laugh and cry. For I had dropped a piece of lettuce in my shoe, and I wanted to tell her how funny and strange it was to have found a piece of vegetation between my patterned socks and worn leather.
But she wasn’t there.
It took some time to get the lettuce out and I tried to flick the piece into the indistinguishable green of the canyon below. It lingered though. There between my feet it remained and reminded.
If you were curious, it reminded me of all the happy times I had. If you were curious still it reminded me that those times were over.
And if you pressed me any further I would tell you to always tie your laces tightly, so that scraps of your lunch never fall into your shoes.
I want to share the stories of my life, but I fear the consequences.
The critism from those whose names are mentioned, painted in colors different from the hue they are comfortable with seeing. I fear their anger and even more so the severing of our relationship. Thier desicion to execute the memories we share, shriveled up until they are dust and forgotten.
Yet I am desperate to show them what I see! To yell, “Please use my eyes!”
Please place your feet in my large shoes and wear the silly clothes that defined my insecurities. Please know me as the individual that cherishes what you have done to me and permanent marks you have in memory.
Realize the value that our experiences as the treasures that they are. The real artifacts that may be dusted and bent but shine new through my eyes.
Please see the sparkle that I see glimmering upon you and know, you are special to me.