It's a stream of consciousness piece that gives us a front row seat on the despair and circular thinking that result when our narrator realizes she has forgotten "the word that was so crucial I promised myself I'd jot it down as soon as I got the chance" because, of course, the word was not merely a word, but the reminder of an idea for a story--or maybe a novel--that came to her in a moment of inspiration. And, now, it is lost forever because even if it does come back to her, it will never be the same.
The pain of that loss--of the word, story, idea, plan--is one most writers (and many regular folks) can easily identify with. For me, rereading it reminded me of tonight's Spiral Notebook entry.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Two weeks ago, I felt I'd had a minor breakthrough in the writing department. I had been scribbling notes down in a ratty notebook I'd been dragging around with me for that purpose and I even wrote some notes down on a magazine subscription card. Heck, I EVEN got out of bed forty-five minutes early to write.
...I wrote several paragraphs of truly inspired (had to be, to get me out of bed, huh?) stuff "toward" two separate pieces I've been working on for years--sometimes on paper, but most often only in my feeble mind. Anyway, I woke up that morning with some sort of twin track running in my brain--whole chunks of two pieces had formed in my head overnight. So I got up to record them.
I can't overstate my self-congratulatory state that morning. Oh, I was so impressed with me. I finished scribbling away and tucked the two sheets of paper into my infamous "blue bag," which I lug everywhere (it's some kind of security blanket thing, I'm pretty sure, but that's a whole other neurosis for a whole other entry).
Of course, I haven't seen those pages since--because that's the way my life seems to work. I have crap in that bag that bag that's been in there a year, mabye more. These two sheets of paper which represent so much more than the sum of their parts--at least in my admittedly feeble mind--are gone as if they never existed. I had library books and magazines in my bag, which I've since returned and I called the library and asked them to check in lost and found in case someone had turned them in. Nothing. I've been through the bag six hundred thousand times to no avail.
I rewrote them, of course. The thing about that is it's minus the spark of inspiration and plus the haze of self-doubt. I will always, always know it's not quite "the same," not quite "right."