My Third Novel's Conclusion, My Heartbreak

My heart begins to break when I think about completing this particular book -- because this narrative has sustained me like no other story I've known. It's both more personal and more universal than my other works. But beyond memory and archetype, it's a cri-de-coeur about needing to become the person one is destined to be. And in the writing, I have met my own life's work, my own fated journey -- having the sense all the while that the pages are suffused with a resonance, an energy, an electrified field that defies explanation. Writers hope and pray to be overtaken by a work in this way -- to be conscripted into passionate service of a profound story. To experience it even once in a lifetime seems a great privilege. I still have perhaps six months before this novel is complete, and this constitutes my reprieve. Because I'm not ready for the beauty to end.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Beyond Time

"Time doesn't take away from friendship.  Nor does separation." -- Tennessee Williams

Some friendships exist outside of time.  I'll attend another Dartmouth reunion in June -- and I expect the usual magic trick of time's collapse to occur.  I'll run into friends -- and find immediately that my mind is flooded with pictures of our adventures together -- rowing on the Connecticut river in an eight-person scull at 5 a.m. -- or biking down the steepest of New Hampshire hills without brakes -- or cross-country skiing at midnight on the golf course under a full moon.  Seeing them brings every shared thrill into full focus -- that ridiculous biology exam -- the award-winning play -- the late-night donut runs -- every episode in which we couldn't control our laughter.  I reunite with them so infrequently -- and yet, they know I would get on a plane to fly to them if ever they needed my help -- and I know they would do the same for me.  The months or years of absence evaporate when we're brought together.  Our affection erases the intervening time -- vanquishes it.  And we pick up where we left off -- joyfully, effortlessly -- freed from time's grasp in a way that's both surprising and inevitable -- again.