I'm struggling here.
I wrote another post with a part of a chapter of a very dark memoir I've been writing and I must have pulled it a dozen times.
I wrote an explanation of darker writing and this is what I wrote:
Pearl is not talking to me of late. I don’t know if it’s been these long weeks of feeling ill, but her voice is silent and so I cannot continue her tale.
I have other stories that want to be told, though, and other books I am in the process of writing. They are dark stories. Not always stories with a happy ending. And I am debating with myself whether the generally happy atmosphere of my blog is a place to even tell them. I had originally planned to start a separate blog called ‘The Dark Side of the Stars’ as a place these stories could reside. The more I think of that idea the more afraid I am to create a place which is only about the darkness. I am afraid that if I write only dark things for some time I will be unable to find my way back to the joy that I strive to surround myself with each day.
I read it to Mr. Jenny along with the intro and paragraphs of the writing and he said to post it.
But I'm absolutely, totally torn on whether this is the right venue to share something so dark on.
I have it sitting on my blog as a draft and since I'm still torn I decided to just cop out and post a little story I wrote some years back...since it is, technically, story-time Tuesday.
If you're feeling in a slightly guinea pig-like mood, e-mail me and I'll send you the post. (jennymatlock at cox dot net) You can let me know what you think.
In the interim, however, this is what I ended up with for Tuesday:
I wrote this several years ago so it is sort of cheating on my goal of writing every single day. But for some reason as my husband and I sat in our backyard watching the evening deepen and the light grow more golden I thought of this small house. The woman who lived there is now in a nursing home. She was such an interesting lady. A watercolor artist, a collector of sparse design, a woman of few words but of brilliant repartee. I wanted to buy this little farm when the family put it up for sale, but Arizona to Ohio is a long commute. And it was not feasible.
But now with Autumn reaching it's nostalgic fingers even to the deep Southwest I long for it. My imagined wishes ensconce me fireside tonight with a tall chair, a lovely cup of steaming, fragrant tea and a book laying face-down in my lap, unread.
Perhaps you would like to visit with me...
The light races across the cornfields, bristly and dormant and across a small copse of trees to reach the farmhouse. At the bottom of a small rise you see the house...small, white, simple. Time has been fairly kind to this small home, although some windowsills and porch angles seem to set slightly awry. Maybe there is a small sag to the roof as well, but this is not important.
Grass, scrubby bushes and dormant flower beds surround the house and speckle the lawn here and there with texture and density. Once vibrant leaves drift together and if you walk across the lawn your feet will crackle and crunch against their fragile crispness releasing a faint nostalgic scent to curl around you. It is the fragrance of seasons...the smell of childhoods lost and the passage of time.
Just stand for a moment. Look around. See the texture of the old weathered barn boards. They are the warm earth-brown of seasoned dry wood. The grain is raised and patterned and if you had the time you could make small studies of the individualities of each board. On the shaded side of the barn the wood is almost black. No sunlight highlights the textures but you know they are there. The barn smells comfortably of old straw and machine oil.
Look further. The slight wooded hills contain treasure. Beneath the sculpture of bare, interlocking tree branches, nestled beneath the earth and resting in the loamy, rich soil lies thousands of bulbs. Planted and nurtured through the years by hands aged with sun and wind, they await cold, harsh days and the eventual awakening of warm spring. Soon, very soon, their vibrant green stems will support a multitude of swaying yellow, white and gold blossoms. A veritable fountain of gold beneath spring budding trees. But for now we can only imagine. For now we can only have faith and wait on their return.
Scattered here and there around this simple, white home are further treasures. A weathered fence section, sculptural in its simplicity. A slightly sad playhouse with no children and no warm weather to entertain it on this late autumn day. Deeply worn paths where the packed dirt bears witness to all the footsteps that have passed there before yours. Over behind you lies the remains of a hopeful summer garden, fallow now and not completely harvested with dull oranges, greens and reds of old, fading vegetables creating a tapestry of color on the dormant earth. And there, that ancient, gnarled apple tree. Do you suppose it is as covered in fluffy, fragrant white each spring as a hopeful new bride?
The light slants lower now. Let us return to the house. We know that the warm, buttery sunlight will soon end for this season and then the harsh, brittle light of winter will surround us and encourage us to stay inside ... warm, by the fire.
But let's not go in quite yet. We'll linger for a moment on the porch steps and take one last deep breath of this perfect day. The doorknob is cold and smooth under your hand. It turns easily but it is not so easy to go inside. The pure, dark blue of the sky, the low, fluffy lavender clouds, the hills rolling in the distance to infinity all implore you to wait. To remain a few moments longer just to imprint this perfection on your memory. Can you? Do you suppose you can always remember the twist and turn of that particular apple branch silhouetted so clearly against that particular shade of sky? Can you imprint forever the scent and feel of this exact second?
Yes, it’s possible. If you close your eyes for a moment now and just breathe vignettes of other moments, other sunsets, other tiny remembrances will come to you. Everything you have seen, felt and experienced remains part of you just as this moment will become part of you.
Enough lingering. There is hot tea inside and maybe a perfect red apple picked only days ago from the tree outside the door. There are stacks of magazines and a little pile of cards and letters for you to smile over on the small table by your chair. Kindling and logs are stacked in the fireplace awaiting a match.
It is serene and quiet punctuated only by the predictable tick of the clock. The dust on the family picture frames probably needs attending to. Soon dinner will need some thought. Surely laundry awaits. But how can you care now? Those are simply the chores of life that need attention. But the rest of this, all the rest, this is the simply the best of life.