Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Cause and Effects

Snow covers the grit of the city, secreting its spent syringes, derelict cardboard shelters, and desiccated chicken bones. Here, farther west, wood and lawn glisten, pure. The metro is warm, too warm, and crowded with people shuttling between Owings Mills and Hopkins. At midnight, when the lines shut down, where will they sleep?


I have a story to write, a story about a man, an immigrant who drives a bus, so filled with anger or hurt or something so strong that it flings out of him, down his arm to his hand, balled up, and lands on the left cheek of a small girl, his passenger. It is all I think about, this man and his story. But I cannot write it – it is to close; the child is my daughter.


I called my mother and she was out. The answering machine picks up, my father’s voice tells me Bill and Carol are not available, please leave a message, and I hang up, but the sound of his voice follows me all day, all night, unforgettable.


I am 47. Why has it taken me so long to recognize what is important?


February has the fewest days of any month, yet lasts the longest...

Peace, Linda


  1. Let that story simmer, friend Linda, or at least reside safely in the confines of a journal or moleskin notebook. Use the energy elsewhere for now.


  2. Take your time with it, Linda. Personal stories are always the hardest to write.


  3. Ha! All my stories are personal ;^)

    Your wisdoms are spot on, just want to channel that anger.

    But it seems everything moves me now... so many homeless out, so many...

    Peace, Linda

  4. I agree with the others - sometimes you really have to give a story time, let it develop more.

    On the other hand, if it's all you're thinking about, maybe there's something to be said for putting it to paper. Sometimes when I have something like that - a particular passage of words, an image - but not the whole story, I'll just write down that which is stuck in my head. Even if there's no clear beginning or ending or direction or story framework that you know of, it could surprise you.

    I agree though, the things that cut the closest to home ARE the hardest to write, to enter.

    It is the same in Portland, btw.

  5. wow. some people never figure that one out... I spend all my waking hours wishing I knew then what I know now - at least you know...

  6. I'd go with Chrys on this one. Get it out of your head, at least the bones of it, so you can take a look at it and see what it's supposed to be.

  7. Now I can see why you write the way you do. You don't just see your stories, you feel them.

    The part about your daughter made my heart hurt.

  8. Thanks all. And good advice. I've been scribbling stuff down, and will go back to it when I don't want to chuck my laptop across the room in anger.

    Hope all are warm and safe... peace, Linda