I’ve had a writing block for some time now. Sometimes it’s something as simple as not making time to do it, putting other things first, etc. Sometimes it’s trying to connect with old characters, but not knowing them anymore. Sometimes it’s thinking a story is bigger than it is and being afraid of it. I write short stories, but I feel like this one particular character deserves more and that frightens me. So, I panic and can’t write.
But whatever the reason, I haven’t been able to write anything.
Until tonight. I scribbled my ideas down. I didn’t write a story, but I was introduced to a character who shared a glimpse of his story. I’m excited to see where this leads. Maybe a new story or a writing exercise, something private and just for me. What’s important is that I felt it, that magical it of writing. I’ve missed it.
When I’m struggling a bit with my writing, I listen to IN A TIME LAPSE and ELEMENTS from Italian pianist and composer, Ludovico Einaudi. This song, Sarabande is from his album, IN A TIME LAPSE. It’s one of my favorites. The music reminds me of a conversation. It’s such a beautifully sad yet hopeful song.
Miles works the graveyard shift. He enjoys the solitude, the quiet. What he doesn’t enjoy are the ghosts. Those things are chatty. Always trying to get him to sort things out for them. Some nights no one shows up. Miles sips his coffee, reads a book and makes notes in his journal about all the things he’d like to accomplish by the time he’s 25, 35, 45, 55 and so on.
On the nights the ghosts show up, it’s noisy and chaotic. Sometimes only two or three ghosts show up. Miles can handle two or three ghosts. He listens to their stories, their demands. He writes it down in his book. He makes no promises, but he says he’ll try.
Sometimes all a ghost wants is to say good-bye. Miles has delivered many letters from ghosts. He leaves them on doorsteps. He never hand delivers them because that raises too many questions.
On the nights when a bunch of ghosts show up, it’s not as easy. Ghosts aren’t good at waiting. Some of them have been waiting years for someone like Miles. They become impatient, demanding. He remains calm in these situations. Miles tries to get to every one who wants to talk to him. Some nights he can’t, but he knows the ghosts will return.
Miles doesn’t know what happens after he delivers the messages, but those ghost never return to him. He likes to think they’ve moved on to wherever we go when we die.
Some ghosts want revenge. Miles doesn’t like these ghosts. He tries to be understanding, but revenge won’t bring the ghosts back to life. In theory, it’ll just create more ghosts for Miles. Revenge ghosts aren’t evil. They’re confused and bitter, but mostly lost. The best thing for them is to simply listen. It could take Miles a whole night just for one revenge ghost to settle down long enough to tell him their story. Once the ghost does, it begins to change. Sometimes all one needs is for someone else to listen without judgement or fear.
Some nights the only ghost to show up is the one who works the graveyard shift. He waits for someone to listen to his story. He makes notes in his journal about all the things he’d like to accomplish in his life. Miles doesn’t like to admit it, but he has more in common with the ghosts who haunt him than the people who don’t see him.
©Danielle Tauscher, 2017
The children were not afraid
Though they should have been
But children were not burdened by the same fears as adults
Children embraced the shadows
Children made friends with the unseen
Children learned the names of ghosts
Ghosts who giggled when they played
Ghosts who lived inside the dollhouse
Now collecting dust in the attic
Inside the memories
Of adults too afraid to remember.
©Danielle Tauscher 2017
“You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves—like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. The point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. Resolve to be always beginning-to be a beginner.”
~Rainer Marie Rilke~
Sometimes writing looks like a badly drawn unfinished baby dragon named Merle.