I’m 3/4 of the way through my final edit (although I know myself well enough that there will be at least two more edits before it’s done) and at last, 217 pages into my tale, I can see in my writing that I am having more fun than anyone ought to have with their own story. The point at which I fall massively in love with everything and everyone I’m writing about, for better or worse, is disturbingly clear to me. Perhaps that’s where the book should start, but if I hadn’t set out the everything beforehand I don’t know how much of who everyone is and wtf has happened would make any sense. Anyway, the point is, it’s as much like looking at a photograph of my happy smiling face as anything that isn’t doing that could be. It’s a curious experience for me.
We held the Meddle thing this week. It was one of the most intense, crushing, invigorating, frustrating experiences I’ve ever had, for precisely none of the reasons it was meant to be. But it did put pressure on sore, sore wounds I didn’t know I had, awakened just about every fear of myself, how I come across to others, how I interact with people I like and what I do when I’m in situations that stress me out…it was supposed to be a creative, collaborative time, but I’ve come home with a brain that feels like someone started rewiring it but didn’t get around to finishing. Part of everything I’m doing right now is, I presume, some personal attempt at closure and progression.
It’s a fascinating thing, throwing yourself into a soup consisting of people for whom you have a great deal of respect and interest, especially when you haven’t been in a group of more than even five people for over eight months. Honestly. I’ve barely been in a group of more than three people in the last eight months. I don’t get to collaborate and interact that much that often, and I think it shows, rather, but that’s okay.
I have a terrible habit of cataloguing my own embarrassments. I remember all the things I’ve said that I’d like to have phrased differently, I note every time I find something I’ve written that makes me cringe in horror (I found an instance of having written ‘lesson’ instead of ‘lessen’ yesterday: this will haunt me for years), I make a sound like ARRRR out loud in the middle of nothing because I’ve suddenly remembered a conversation I really meant to seem different than I think it did. And because I don’t see enough people enough, whilst I’m certain that everyone has these experiences, I don’t know that for sure.
This is okay too. Whilst I hold on to all my embarrassments and panics, I don’t appear to let them stop me from crashing right in and capslocking verbally at people, or indeed from trying to express the things I find important. I don’t respond by keeping my words and thoughts to myself: I just want to put everything out there more. I can’t tell if that’s because I want validation, or because I’ve a strong masochistic streak, but, either way, that doesn’t matter.
I can have good things without being perfect. I think that’s what I took out of Meddle. It doesn’t matter how far down any particular road I am: I wound up at something excruciatingly interesting through applying all the things I’ve learnt in my small and curiously intense life, and had an eye-opening return on that. Yep, I could’ve spent the entire time at home and filled it with all the things I have to and want to do, but I wouldn’t have had any of the chances to work through some very real issues I have with the nature of being a self-employed creative, or to chase some sheep up a hill, or to locate the Coconut of Destiny (which now lives happily alongside the Polo Ball of Manifestation) or to sleep an average of 3 hours in 24 for four days, a state I haven’t accomplished since I was at uni.
I’ve come home in a state of absolute feeling, whirling disorientation, and, most of all, a focus and drive to get something done I haven’t known in years, as well as an ability to see that drive as everything I have ever wanted to feel about something I call work. A pretty good outcome, no? I think so.