Yesterday marked a very big day in the imminent finality of my book project. I’ve begun to think of the book as a project, an ongoing adventure and experiment in the ever expanding, ever brightening journey of life. I realize that in the beginning of the project, I saw it as a task, as something which would merely chronicle what was, what is, and what potentially may be. However, now, as of yesterday, it’s morphed into an experiment in memory, an exercise in history, a living, breathing part of me that is changing, even though the majority of it has already happened.
I handed in the first finished half of the book to my agent and publisher yesterday, so that they may have a peek and begin giving notes for the upcoming deadline, a date that is flying toward me at the speed of light. In the beginning of September, the whole project must be at a stage of completion, which is not to say the project is complete, but merely that the book as I’d like it to be published must be ready to be handed in to the publisher.
Nothing is ever complete. From feelings and memories to stories and relationships, completeness is only achieved at death. And even then, who really knows?
This book project will continue into a second book, which is growing inside me as I markup the present and last chapters. I think if it were a work of fiction, I would feel more hesitancy in handing it in, because the story would be complete, the thoughts flushed out, the life lived through the words on the page. There is much more life to live here though, on earth, and now having crossed this major hurdle, I am seeing that it isn’t about silver lining at all. It’s above that counts.
I’ve started taking yoga classes again, Bikram Yoga, the hot room, sweating out all the excess, the toxins and pent up emotions that store in my muscles, nerves and fat. As I stretch my fingers to the ground and the ceiling, arms going apart and acting like a human tug of war, I repeat in my head, “My mind is clear and open like the sky, clouds will come, but they will pass.” And then I lay down on the ground for the second half of the class and focus on the carpet. The solid, strong fibers remind me of this last stage of completion, of weaving themes into the heart of the project, creating voices I haven’t heard for years, voices that have died and voices that I, sometimes, feel like I killed with my actions and selfishness.
I am grateful every day that I have a chance to make living amends, to myself and the people I’ve hurt.
It’s Reiner Cherry season, and Trader Joe’s is full of two pound boxes of the yellow and red flushed beauties. Mr. Man says his Dad calls ’em “cherry farts,” because they clean you out, so I’ve been eating as many of them as possible, the ultimate cleanse. And they are both right, these cherry eating men, because I feel with each passing day, the parts of me that I’ve held on to, so tight, are slowly falling away so that new cells can grow. New memories can form, new life can continue to be had. A very thoughtful day, this first of August 2011. So lucky to be in my body, to be present, in mind and spirit.
Back to the grindstone, the keyboard, the past and the future. Back to work.