Sunday, 9 July 2006

Coaxing out the ghosts of summer

I always seem to be at the beginning of things. Something in me must like the feeling of starting – that initial sensation of lifting off. All my best story ideas are like ghosts that never become anything more than a moment of altered perception. A piece of wire on the pavement that I think is a small frog, a dead leaf that looks like a fish flung onto land - flopping and dying. More and more I am having these moments – fleeting images that prove to be something other than what my mind initially tells me they are. Or a single word or line surfaces in my mind and just floats there like a fallen insect, waiting to sink or be eaten. For the last week the line that haunts me: This will be just another forgotten story. I have no idea how to continue with this. My mind spits this out and then brews nothing more. The ghost fades and I convince myself it was never there. But now the day is ending. The breeze is pleasant and kind after a day of humid heat. On the surface I feel nothing. But as I lift my fingers once again to my mouth to gnaw nervously, creating small places of pain where there need not be any, I sense something else, deeper. Deeper like summer. The nearness of the harvest. All I want is for the ghost to come out from behind the door and stand there for as long as it takes for me to gather up the rest of the story.

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