Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Space Between

There’s a space between what’s going on in my brain and what gets written down on paper. It’s a vast chasm today. There’s no rhyme or reason as to what makes the leap, and what gets sucked into the void forever. I’m convinced there’s some literary genius mired in the muck at the bottom with my usual drivel.

I was in the middle of one of my rare brilliant surges of inspiration this morning, just after finishing my first cup of coffee, but it got pushed over the edge by the sound of my husband’s voice. I just lost my train of thought, my fingers poised at the keyboard, blank screen waiting to be blessed with my genius … oh, there it goes again.

There are lots of trains, one right after the other. But instead of stopping and dropping off a few characters, they just head on down the tunnel, into the abyss. Occasionally one slows down, waits on the other side for just the right moment to cross over. Trouble is, I never know when that is, or what’s waiting on the other side.

There must be a narrow bridge over that space, the great between. And it’s a perilous crossing, often crashing into a pile of debris once it makes it to this side … the page. But once in awhile one really long train makes it across, slowly and confidently, unaware of the editor just waiting to derail a car or two, or three. Or the child, waiting to scribble on the nice shiny engine once it comes to a complete stop.

I like to delude myself that I’ll find a way to close up the between, or at least make it smaller. Maybe it’s just a hiding place, and the really good stuff will come back and make to it the other side one day.

And maybe someday I’ll have a quiet space in which to write, free from the interruptions and distractions of family life. A girl can always dream.

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