The year is over and a new one has begun. A sentence with so much optimism in it. It kind of shows I like to believe in fairy tales.
But even amid all these ‘new beginnings’ I still haven’t started on the fifth part of Creation – well, not directly anyway. I am still toying with ideas. Trying to contain my characters. It is not always possible to get them to do exactly as I had planned. Every event has a chain reaction, and in book five all the links are beginning to show.
I remember reading once, Piers Anthony would invite his readers to suggest puns, and these he would add, where possible, in his books. I remember being impressed by this. A building is usually not built by one person. Stories are not only one person’s inspiration but lots of external influences, by people and things. Maybe indirect, but also some directly, which leads us into the opening character of chapter two: This is what I would describe as a ‘source’ chapter. Wherein lots of things are mentioned which later make more sense and become relevant. I think this chapter occurred because as George’s character has grown, so has the need for more background information. This is what molded and influenced him. One of these things is his dad, a famous CloudBuster, who we meet now at rehab.
The opening scene takes place in an imaginary office. It must be. I’ve never been to rehab. (LOL)
Some of my favorite movies, though, are in mental institutions, ‘Girl Interrupted’ and of course ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’. My rehab is naturally not so bizarre. The office is described in more of a late 19th century study than a doctor’s office – hundreds of years in the future. I enjoyed writing it, too, adding all the things I personally like. A chesterfield armchair. I hope to own one again. To sit in front of the fireplace with a knitted blanket over my lap and knees, with a small handmade tea cloth, made perhaps by one of my kids, or someone dear to me, over the right arm of the chair so as my teacup does not damage the leather. Behind me, there will be a floor to ceiling bookshelf of dark polished wood, filled with first edition hardbacks: Peter Pan. Mary Poppins. Gone with the Wind. All the books that I think magical. The only thing I wouldn’t have would be the round mechanical clock that Dr. Fanon has on his wall. For my generation it is too young to be of value. This is a small private joke, concerning the value of things. Two hundred years from now, these common metal schoolroom clocks will be antiques and sell for more than they sold originally. I find this idea amusing.
(The director of the rehab is called Dr. Fanon. In the footnote I mention that my character has nothing to do with the real Doctor Fanon, (obviously) but I have chosen his name out of respect for what he achieved. None of my character names ever resemble a real person. If you feel they do, it certainly wasn’t done intentionally. By using such names, (I always footnote them) I like to think I am giving a small, silent salute to their achievements.)
As mentioned above, I have watched films wherein the main story takes place within a clinic, and in these movies, friendships develop. I do the same here. In this chapter Michael meets Jerry, who like himself, is a recovering CloudBuster. I think of Jerry is a fun person. He is not the opposite of Michael, or his ‘soul partner’ but just one of those people who seem to live life a bit more carefree than most. The first hint of this is shown by the classes they each attend. Michael has signed himself up for, ‘Still Life’ art, something I have never understood myself, while Jerry is learning, ‘Up close Magic’, which does sound like a lot more fun.
Another hint at their friendship is how Jerry inquires about the book he has ‘borrowed’ for him. Jerry is clearly not a book reader, but he understands his friend is and gladly helps him here. This kind of friendship is special. I like to think of myself as that kind of friend – someone who is aware of the people around them. Maybe I’m wrong. (Smile) I know I must remind myself each day not to judge people too soon. It’s not always easy. They are beautiful until proven ugly. LOL.
As these books have never been intended to predict the future, the scene within the rehab is in a non-digital place, one that is designed to separate the sufferer from the pressures of a modern digital world. So everything in it is ‘old fashioned’. Real books. Mechanical clocks. A canteen where people make and serve dinner. This allows me to avoid having to imagine what tomorrow will be like and allows me to concentrate on more important things. In this chapter we begin to learn of the mental state of Michael, George’s dad.
The whole scene within the clinic is naturally only my imagination, mixed with research, and my own sense of humor – it is however an important part of the story, not only does it introduce the second, parallel event but reveals a little bit more about the death of George’s mom and brother.
And to conclude for this week’s blog, the chapter also brings into light something that is a question I am not able to answer – the concept of ‘Moving On’. I understand the idea of ‘Letting Go’, this is noticeably clearer to me, but moving on is far more complicated, and it is a theme that arises a few times within the series.
Why is this subject so important to me?
Maybe because I have grown tired of moving on. Tired of trying again. Unwilling to degrade something that was so beautiful that when it left it caused my heart to stop beating. How is it possible to find something better than perfect? Where is it? If you know tell me, and I’ll move there right away, but until then, as I must wait somewhere, I’ll remain here, with the shattered remains of my perfect moment.
This is how Michael feels.