Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bright side of the moon

I grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan which when you are young feels like the middle of nowhere (and that is a bad thing) and when you are older feels like the middle of nowhere (and that is a good thing).

We played behind our house in the field, catching frogs in the culvert where the water would a foot or so deep. Although you wouldn’t believe it now, it feels like the entire time I was growing up there was a drought there was lots of talk about the poor farmers and the grasshoppers. I have still a personal hatred for grasshoppers, and one of my most vivid memories is being outside after supper wearing my pajamas with a watermelon on the front of them and feeling something on my ribcage. When I looked down there was an enormous grasshopper looking up at me. I felt as though I lost my mind for a few minutes. That led to my brothers putting grasshoppers under the door while I was in the bathroom so I would have to wait until my father came home from work to pick the lock and get the grasshopper.

But this isn’t about grasshoppers.I can’t imagine now letting my girls fish for tadpoles in a small body of water, the world has changed just enough that I see too many things going wrong with that, but perhaps they could scoop around in the small stagnant body of water in our backyard that was a pond with a fountain and fish when we moved into our new home. Along with an inability to let my children go the summers have gone and now instead of heat we have rain and humidity and everyone carries an umbrella. When I was little we didn’t have umbrellas because it was too windy when it rained and they always turned inside out. So now I carry an umbrella in my purse and I keep my children close and take a jacket to work in July in case it cools off like it tends to.

I wanted to be the editor of McLeans and although that is off the table I imagine that at some point sooner than later I will have a published novel and another on the way and the ideas that keep me awake at night, writing swirling sentences in my head will be put to rest at paper. Kind of like an exorcism; until the words are on paper they exist endlessly in my brain, floating and bumping into one another and generally making me crazy. Just a little crazy, enough to cause some sleepless nights, but not enough for certification. Ah, I’ve always believed that creative people walk a very fine line between what we call mental illness and quirky, although I do like to stay on the bright side of the moon.I also wanted to write for a living and although currently it seems as though I am wading through molasses to get there I am one.step.close.every day. I’m at one of those points in life where it fluctuates wildly between warp speed and small-town slowdown; where for a few minutes it feels like time is rushing madly like a river and then suddenly I relax and get some perspective and hey, wait a minute, it’s all going to be just fine.

Just fine.


Shelli said...

nice :)

Lady Glamis said...

I hate grasshoppers, too. Right now I'm writing a book with a character who's an entomologist. I've done more research on bugs than I'd like, but I have to admit, grasshoppers are some of the worst. They jump AND fly, and they stick to things. It's just freaky.

Good luck with getting all those thoughts and sentences out! I feel the same way. Until it's down on paper, I'm haunted.