Saturday, January 3, 2009

Open Water

Ooh, new year. Everything starts again. Great talks with my girls last night (Syd and Selah) and today (Heather and Sarah). Folks, I am a bumbling fool. I mean, what do I do with myself now that I am back from Dallas and not in school? Write, I guess. Shelly is coming over in a minute and we are having a writing date. And tomorrow I have a writing date with a new friend, MG, at her house. Um, isn't this exactly what a Writer's life is supposed to look like? Check, check. Meg suggested we get published in 2009, and I quite like that idea. No roadmaps yet, only just ideas. Just wishes and hopes. Pure desire.

I am thinking about not having kids. I know it may sound a little crazy right now because I haven't got a partner or anything approximating financial security or a career or any of that stuff that is "supposed" to come first. But I think it's a really important thing, I was telling my Ma, for every feminist to consider. I mean, it was such a given for so long, such a non-issue, that I think it must really become something for women to really study and prod into. Being with my nieces this past time reminded me of exactly how deeply in love I can be with children who are not my own (barely). And it always feels so good to go back to my own life after my trips to the Big-D. I am considering how much more time I want. See, I spent so much of my younger years sad and trying to make things work out in a chaotic family that (and everyone who knows me knows this) I didn't get to start figuring out what I really wanted or needed until I was in my mid-late twenties. When I consider needing to have a baby by the time I am in my mid-late thirties, I get squeamish. I don't know if 10 years is enough for me.

Undoubtedly, if I could live to 150, I would have a child from my own body. The thought of not doing it feels like the worst thing in all the world to me. Almost. But not quite. So I am trying to let myself luxuriate in the mere consideration of not having children. I am trying to feel what that feels like. Trying to mine that space for the answers it wants to give. Some first impressions are: weightlessness, void, sorrow, and a seamless sense of possibility. I mean, what if I truly decide to never put a bookend on my own self being at the center of my own life? I am getting too wise to not see that children need FAR more than they are getting, as is. If I decide to have one, I am bound and determined to figure out something completely new. I promise to keep ya'll posted.

In other news, I watched a movie, "Open Water" with Zoe last night. It is one of her terrible, guilty pleasures. Bad shark movies. It was really bad. But, I did find it fascinating to consider the open water. The dangling of legs into nothingness. The way creatures come up to nibble or bite at what floats on the surface. The utter vastness and unmappability of all that ocean when you are just floating in the current. In the end (and I don't feel bad telling you this because it truly IS that bad), the couple who had been left behind by their scuba tour get eaten by several sharks. The guy had been bitten earlier and had bled to death. The woman kisses his dead face and relinquishes him to the school of sharks surrounding them. He begins to bob up and down, getting yanked apart. She silently, calmly, slips out of her tank and gear and goes under. Goes right for them. Into the feeding frenzy. After 24 hours of trying so hard to fight it, she goes right into the thick of it, right toward the bite. That image of open water is gonna stay with me for a long time to come. It just feels like the best metaphor for the things I am trying to confront in 2009: my sexual/desirous/desirable self, my opulently open-ended future, my fat-ass mind and all the things it wants to think up and say, and the unbearable excitement and anticipation I feel when I even *try* to imagine what I will write this year. Loves, I don't know when Ima come up, but I have GOT to see what is down there. I have GOT to let current carry me. I bet Ima get bit. There might be blood.

The open ocean Pictures, Images and Photos


emmablue said...

What kind of traditions or things do you do before you sit down to write? Any tips would be appreciated.

I feel like I can relate, I read a book called. . . oh I forget now, it was a true story about men on a ship travelling, who ended up in little life boats with the turtles they took to eat. . . and were floating for like 2 months, most of them died, some survived!

Michelle Puckett said...

hm...not really. i pretty much just try to write as fast as i can so i don't get too self-critical. that's the biggest trick i can offer up. i've heard of cool things other people do (like meditation, etc), but honestly, at this point in my life, speed is the name of the game. i think i've heard about that book ur talking about. what strange wisdom must've come out of that trip for those who survived. thanks for reading, love.