There are new lovers in my RV-hard-as-a-brick queen bed. A large newspaper print pad, a lime-green suede journal, writing pen and colored markers take up the space next to me. A beeswax candle burns beyond strewn pages. This is what happens when man ceases to inhabit my life. The bed becomes my lair, where words are born and spread across the page. Where the bridge ‘tween dreams and scribbles is easily traversed.
Writing is not an exercise or assignment; it is not mere discipline. Writing is possession, a lust-full romp into unknown territory in pursuit of the perfect lover. It is easier in the winter, when the sun falls early from the sky and there are no street lights to fool the brain. When to go inside and swish around in amniotic dreams is an easy option.
One can (try to) push her way through winter; turn on the lights and chase away the dark; you can swell St. John’s Wort by the handfuls and worship at the altar of S.A.D., face planted into bulbs of lights. But there’s a price reckoned for giving soul the finger; ignoring ebony rest and making an end-around Janus. Shingles and anti-depressants come to mind; an emptiness that swells. Not that hazards aren’t high for those who face blank space. The spirit-laden gateway between old and new is a precarious place to stand. Or squat. Or loll. You just might emerge from the void and not like your life.
Indeed, many don’t survive January’s steely dark passage. Winter is death’s pal and my acquaintances are no exception. A young alcoholic contracts H1N1 and dies in 3 days; a writer-friend shuffles to her fridge in her robe and slippers, pours herself a glass of wine and drops dead; an medicine man usually parked by the lake in an Airstream trailer succumbs to the proliferation of 130 tumors. And yesterday I read that Mary Daly died. Mary Daly, whose book Gyn/Ecology single-handedly jolted me onto my path of radical spirit and intellect.
The news of death, a gasp of surprise and tear-filled eyes. Winter winnows out the weak. I choose my lovers carefully.