Someday I’m going to write a book. I don’t think I know how to write a book yet, because I haven’t lived a book. I don’t know how to write things that end.
If I wrote a book, it would be long and it would ramble, and then it would wrap up with a dishearteningly anticlimactic statement like “…and then I found five dollars.”
My life doesn’t go into things that have beginnings, middles and ends. My life goes into messy things, my life goes into knots. My life goes into washes of colour that spread across the page, because I started out painting and then I spilled water all over it, and now I’m just gonna go with it.
It’s hard sometimes, because there’s this hole in the stories that I see, and there’s a hole in the stories that people can find, and my stories are certainly defined by the parameters of the hole, but can’t even begin to fill it.
If there was a giant pit in the ground and it needed to be filled, my story would be a single rock, thrown into the bottom. Yes, it is technically…more full…but hardly in any way that’s helpful.
That’s what my stories are. They are small pebbles that I collect and give to people.
“Look! I found this on the beach one day. It caught the light of the sun, and it was bigger than its kin, I picked it up, and didn’t know why, but now I can give it to you!”
Some people tell stories that are boulders. Some people can unleash huge, uncompromising tales of depth and complexity and history and the unknown. One of these boulders would surely fill the hole in the ground that I keep almost walking into, but nobody who writes boulders seems to be walking where I am.
Some people write storms, that come through with inconceivable, mind-blowing power, devastating the land, carving new pathways and leaving a trail that will never truly disappear. Some people can capture the raw, uncontrollable, untapped screaming of things so much bigger than we are. A story like that would tear up everything. There wouldn’t be ground left for a hole to even exist in.
Some people write stories of water, which catch you slowly and bring you to a new place before you even realized you were going somewhere. They are gentle and warm, but full of currents that can change at any moment. What can easily carry you can easily carry you away. A story like that could wash away this hole, tear it out of the ground like it had never existed. A story like that could also cover up the hole, so that in the future an unsuspecting diver will be following the bottom of a lake, trying to find the patterns underneath the water, only to fall prey to this hole that had only ever been covered up, and never filled.
There are also stories that are planks, that cover the hole and never fill it at all. The planks make people think that the ground is solid, but planks go bad, and eventually people will fall through.
So, maybe I’ll just sit here for a little while, and throw some stones.
Some pebbles from me: