Encore: Little Scraps of Narrative

“It is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception and compassion and hope.”

Ursula LeGuin

I am unsettled when I don’t have ideas.

When I don’t have stories weaving in my head.

As a child I would spin tales, alternate endings for movies I had watched or sequels to books I had read. Most often it would be me being the heroine and saving the day …

until I hit junior high then it was some tall dark swashbuckling gentleman who would be saving me.

And I would fall asleep keeping myself occupied by my imagination instead of the worries of the day.

The images and narrative would usually come on their own getting particularly interesting just before I would fall asleep. I would tell myself “you should get up and write this down before you forget” but I’d be too tired to make the effort.

Then, much to my chagrin, forget the details of my treasures the next morning.

Now I’m learning to write in the dark.

Half asleep.

Scrawling penmanship that doesn’t stay on the ruled lines of the notebook.

Some mornings I can make out what I’ve written.

Most mornings it seems encrypted by some unconscious, invisible force.

There isn’t much time during the day to exercise my imagination or so it seems in adulthood. And it makes me feel incomplete, restricted, and static.

And so

I rely on those nighttime hours for the acres of space to run and twirl with my thoughts.

And build.

Build something that has the potential to become something astonishing.

At least to me.

But for now, all the pieces sit in bits and blocks, scattered in notebooks and scraps waiting to be pieced together in one big jigsaw puzzle of story.


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