what now

A few weeks ago, I attended a short course on flash nonfiction, seeking inspiration how to flesh out some narrative pieces I want to include into an ethnography of 80,000 words-to-be.

What became clear though, and yes, it did arrive with a flash of ‘aha’ – was not about the flesh but how different a piece sits in itself depending on the title you give it. And surely, the title is the bit least relying on inspiration. It needs to be chosen rationally, to give an overview or a clue, a summary even a way ‘tell them what you are going to tell them’ kind of introduction. Or doesn’t it?

Again and again, it takes a leap of faith – to jump into inspired mode like the writer who said, I only write when I am inspired and I see to it that I am inspired every morning at 8.

Now, I am certainly not a morning person, but I guess I get the idea. It is the jump from 0 to 1. And it is always into the unknown. Unless you are a person of religious faith, then you have to untie all the knots first, the ones you have been tied up in since you were little. Before you can even look down and decide whether you want to jump.

But these knots can be just as tight for a non-religious child: At least part of the child has to believe the person who cares for them, even if they are horrible. If that’s the case, hug the disassociated part very tenderly only not to scare them – they might go out of their mind. Not until they are thawn out a bit, at least.

A while back, I met up with a friend I might have been childhood sweetharts with, even as we only met when I was not quite forty. 30 years on, we opened windows for eachother that will now never close.

It took the best part of 3 years – back and forth, fighting like cat and dog at times. I would do anything for him but the one thing he thought was unavoidable – that I accept his authority.

Until he knew not to – aha. Still tried to close the window again, out of habit, but noticed quickly: Not any more.

Now, I still have not got a title for what happened and – don’t even know how to celebrate: We both won. I need to let my pen, my fingers on the key board run ahead of me and follow their strange authority. Inspired.

Reader, I married him – might be a title, if it was that kind of friendship.

~ by Barbara S on April 12, 2021.

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