How do we not go crazy,
we who have found ourselves compelled
to live with the circle, the ellipsis, the word
not yet written.
The Reverse Side by Stephen Dunn
How Do We Not Go Crazy?
How do we not go crazy from the stories spinning in our heads? How do we not get freaked out by the characters who tap on our shoulders in the middle of the night demanding that their stories be told? “Put it down on paper now. I don’t care if it is 2:00 in the morning.”
How do we not go crazy from trying to tease out that thread that carries us through the story? The thread that makes it all make sense. How do we not go crazy when that thread gets twisted around itself and we cannot figure out how to untangle it?
How do we not go crazy from trying to fill in the gaps between what we know, what we were told happened and what we think happened?
How do we not go crazy from the circular thinking caused by trying to figure out where does my story begin and end. Where do we start? What happened in the middle? The middle seems to be the hardest part. Do we even want it to end? Will we write about it forever?
How do we not go crazy from trying to figure out when a story is finished? When do we leave it alone? How long do we leave it sit with itself before we come back to take another peek at it?
How do we not go crazy from always being so observant, from noticing all the details? Even in the middle of a family drama, we are thinking that this will be a great story. Our writing brains never seem to turn off, even in dreams. Our minds fill with words waiting to be assembled into stories, stories that need be told.
How do we not go crazy from not having the time to figure all of this out?
Rebekah for the Poplar Grove Muse