Monday, August 31, 2015

Unfinished but not abandoned

August 31, 2015

Today's doodle, photographed and posted on Facebook bobs up in my mind.  Twirls lazily in the mental current and glints invitingly.  I know what it is about, this bottle whose contents entice and yet bring reluctance... is a memory.  19 years old, of a kettle rinsed, and a boy just two, demanding both it and a tea-towel.  And rubbing industriously.  Sometimes action is needed to help thoughts gather, become solid, so I don't interfere too soon, but eventually I ask - why all that rubbing, when the kettle is clean and dry by now?  My older son replies very seriously: "It is to give the genie a chance to come out.  Like knocking on his door."

Ah.  In that flash between the boy rubbing a kettle and his words falling on my ear, a story falls into my head.  About how we become.  And how we lose some of what we could be, over time.  And possibly, tenuously, how we might regain some of what we have lost, to be our whole selves.  Or more whole selves.  Perhaps.

I said to my son: well.  That gives me an idea.  Quite a story, in fact.

He laid aside the tea-towel, kettle resting on his Osh-Kosh little legs and asks: Can I have that story?  Is it mine, because I gave it to you?

Yes, son, of course.  It is your story.

And now, 19 years later and rolling around in my mind, first draft in the back of a drawer for years already, it is more relevant and more his than ever.

And it comes out in doodles.  In flashes of memory, bits of insight where I realize WHY something I wrote had to be so indeed. 

And possibly, even, what might come next.

Although, as with most really good stories, that part is never certain until you read it.