So, if you’ve been following my last few postings (and I can’t really think of a sound reason you should) you’ll know that a strange mandate has crystallized for me. To wit: I’m going to keep writing and posting at least five hundred words a day until my second child arrives. Yes, it’s my own odd version of the filibuster. I’m completely committed to literally daylogging that baby out of my wife’s womb. Absurd, you say? Anymore or less absurd than continuing to write here, or anywhere?
I’m suddenly reminded, as I often am, of the story of the Hopi Indians that Elaine Pagels likes to tell as an example of religious ridiculousness, but really just winds up looking ridiculous herself for posing so superior. Apparently a particular sect goes through an elaborate ceremony to make the sun rise every morning. When asked what would happen if one morning they simply neglected to perform the rite, they reply: “Oh sure, let’s plunge the world into eternal darkness for the sake of your stupid experiment.”
And so it is with us writers. Nearly every one of us got into the game because we believed our writing could make the world a better place; and nearly every one of us who stayed in the game came to realize that writing can’t make the world better; it can only make it bigger. And there’s a lot to be said for that; but let’s not fool ourselves into believing we can make a baby be born or the sun rise. Unless of course, it makes us happy, or gives us an excuse to reach out, plug in, take time, get smart, fall on our knees, be human.
Last night I had the classic big wave dream. I’m at the beach. The surf is enormous, gloriously intimidating. Do I surf it? How do I surf it without drowing? Man, I wanna surf it!
Then I dreamt that some sort of Zen monk was telling a story to a young woman about a stone carver who was carving the perfect stone to use as a counter-weight in some simple machine being built for the temple. The stone was exquisite, beautiful, but it was much too big for the carver to carry over to the machine. Then the monk telling the story obliged with the solution: one must break the stone in two. Wave of enlightenment crashes over all characters in my dream: the monk and the woman lose themselves in each other’s laughter. You have to break the perfect stone in two.
Uh . . . yeah, I have no idea either really. Just inklings.
I wish I could write like the writer of my dreams.
Heather spent the morning pulling weeds in the front garden, hoping to “get something started.” More absurdity. It’s like eating spicy foods or having sex to trigger labor: all science on the issue emphatically cries, "bunk!" But then again, the garden did need weeding, spicy food can be yummy and . . . well. . . you get the picture.
As of this five hundred-and-fortieth word, Baby Mullin Two remains unborn
. The perfect stone, unbroken