When I was a younger woman, I read Colette’s two Cheri novellas and was so disturbed by them I read them several times, trying to understand what bothered me. Having just seen the movie by Stephen Frears with Michelle Pfeiffer as the aging courtesan, now I do. The movie has only a barest trace of the ennui and cynicism that the two stories carry: Love is an illusion. People will betray. The only proper response is wearying self interest and another glass of champagne. I don’t believe that. We don’t always get what we want in love. If we do get it, we have no control over how long we’ll have it. But the point isn’t to be safe or to be cynical. It is to be open-hearted. It is to risk loving another while also learning to love ourselves enough not to be abused for the sake of the powerful illusion sex offers, that we are desireable, worthy of love, and not alone.
We are alone. And it’s ok.
Honey, I didn’t come here to stay.
That rock solid wisdom lessens the wistfulness of last week’s blog. The speaker is in her 80s, has buried a husband or two, seen a child die,but remains grounded in her faith and her family. She isn’t afraid to die.
Why do I forget that with arrival, there is departure, at least in this life, try as science will to keep us going forever? Advertising does us no service either, promising youth, implying youth is the goal, the prize in the cracker jacks box. But we came here with death as destiny.
It turns living into a challenge: how to live the best life possible because this particular assembly of circumstance and folk is unique. And then there is the deeper question: what is the best life? Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Money. Power. Control. Faith. Family. Friends. Success. What?
Stumble on, pilgrim, and let me know when you find the answer, only I think I know the answer. It’s in your heart, not always easily discernable, but there, like your heartbeat.
Listen. Listen. Listen.
My mother is a fine old clock wound up by the Infinite’s touch once and only once, and the hour hand on the face of her life is slowing. The heart aches as the daughter in me sees feet shuffle, words disappear, lips tremble when she sips tea. And it aches for my incomprehension of the gift that was ours, this once in a lifetime meeting in the sacred space of time and life.
Well, I’ve gone and done it, really finished the manuscript, after two weeks of literally rewriting the ending chapter every day. Parts of the book read as smooth as glass, a good sign, but I dragged my feet at the first signal I might really finish, only to find day after day that I was not finished and there I was drubbing out an ending yet one more time. Then I think I got mad at the book. Be done and go to your room. Now I’ve sent the thing off to my agent in New York electronically and printed out some copies for trusted friends to read. So it’s out there, but no feedback yet. Odd, I feel odd, a little empty, more than a little lost, with a messy office and tons of chores to do as I attempt to join 2009 and be up to date as far as “social media” is concerned. I jumped in the water (read last blog), and I’m dripping wet with no prince to kiss.
Posted in character, Dark Angels, fiction, historical fiction, Karleen Koen, life, love, Now Face to Face, romance writing, Through A Glass Darkly, writing, writing process