A student requests a new monologue for her character. Gaia. She wants the character to have a little meltdown about the situation. She wants her character to be less passive about the destruction humans are causing.
I keep telling myself it’s nice someone has faith in me. At least that is how I am going to frame it: trust, faith. Now that I am sitting here again in front of a manuscript with blank spaces – return, return, return – marked with “coming here”, highlighted with an alarming yellow, feeling more than a little lost.
I remember trying to ride a ten-speed bicycle when I was a kid. The fear that ran through me every time I paused and then tried to catch up, spinning the pedals uselessly until the chain finally “caught” and then suddenly pulled again. When I hear the phrase “spinning out of control” this is actually what I think of: pedaling desperately, ridiculously. All this effort, and what for?
I’m not a fan of bicycles. I once pulled the front breaks and toppled rump-over-head, catching my thighs under the handlebars and scraping them into a bruised mess. My physiotherapist mumbled something about crush syndrome, without knowing that I am not the kind of person you should be mumbling about deadly traumas in front of.
The metaphors just make life more stressful. A slight pinch in my chest becomes an entire corset. Python. Don’t you dare breath out because you won’t be able to breath in again.
But after a break, there is a catch – wait for it, stay balanced in the meantime – and then you can more forward again.
The common advice is to just keep the pen moving. Write: I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to write. Until something catches from your subconscious and is pulled up to the page.
Until Gaia decides to speak for herself and deigns to let you hear it. I’m not sure who I need to have faith in. Me. Or her.