Today is the full moon, Tuesday will be my zero birthday, and this week we Pisceans are encouraged to “carry out some ritual of transition to intensify your commitment to your life's vital dreams.” As I sit here at the keyboard, I am high centered between the words transition and dreams. One is painful and I resist it hourly. The other I court like my lover’s smile. I don’t get one without the other. And damn it all, I don’t even have a lover to distract me from that fact.
See, I just had an amazing day that was also awful and confusing while being interesting and insightful and filled with the procrastination of necessary tasks. I got things done even though nothing concrete was accomplished. Now I’m asking myself, Which day do I write about? What’s worth spending time and words on? What will offer the most to those who read those words? Is it this?
Fire, Flood & Plague
That’s the tweet that directly followed my talking about my writing dreams on Twitter; death metal, near as I can tell. No, I could not pick out the words, but I’m pretty sure they included pestilence. Here’s the next tweet:
21 tips on getting out of the slush pile ‘essential checklist of tweaks to consider when reviving a rejected story’
I mean, really, what’s a writer to think? For twenty minutes the Twitter waves are silent, except for my waxing poetic about my writing style, then death metal, followed by rejection. Then, as luck would have it ~raises hands and glares heavenward ~ comes: “She wore her heart on her sleeve cuz she found it there.” That’s my tweet. It’s the quote from a song I posted on BLIP.fm, which also posts to my Twitter page. And then. . . . silence. Again. There is never silence on Twitter.
Is it a sign? The tweep who posted Fire, Flood & Plague says: “If this song follows your writing dreams they will come out. It’s such an awesome song!” To which I say, Awesome! The stars have fixed their sites on me, of this I am certain, I can feel it just the way I can feel a man; whether from across the room or across the Internet, I know when he has set his intent on me. But as for what comes after that, well who the hell knows. I have a Twitter friend who says she adores the “bravery and vulnerability of writers,” and I must laugh at this even as I enjoy the compliment, for we would have to strangle ourselves to be anything else. We nearly strangle anyway.
That’s what it means to be a writer and reader of the stars, for that is all writers do. We look at the die cast, like the stars at our birth, and read them as any soothsayer reads a palm or tealeaves. And when we can make no sense of what we see, we make a story up out of whole cloth. It is impossible for us not to interpret each event, to narrate, state, relate.... It’s who we came into this world to be. Even as I write these words, I can hear Radiohead singing, “The sun and moon and stars are you. And I could never run away....” It seems Miss Fire, Flood, and Plague has sent me a song, the very song I posted when I sat down to write, reminding me, “Off you go to do it,” and bringing me to tears, as well, because suddenly it’s as if the stars themselves are singing to me. Another hazard of being a writer. We hear the song of every person, place, and thing. They are recorded on our very souls.
What kind of ritual can carry me through this transition from who I am to who I dream of being? What ritual will serve me best? I don’t know. I know that I am led to where I need to be. I know that my weekly appointment with the shaman falls on my birthday next week and he asked if I would like to do a rebirthing. That sounds about right. If what comes after is as awesome as I imagine it to be, then the ritual is going to be painful. But birth is just a transition. When it’s over, everybody’s smiling.