Monday, March 30, 2009
Spring Fever, Spring Cleaning, Spring Madness
Was it subconscious, that sudden desire to turn my blog green, change the header and shake it all about? I didn't plan to do it. I just looked at my blog and decided I need to change it...just a bit.
I am not as brave as my friend and writer Bina Shah (her new novel just came out in Italy! Bravo!) who deletes or lets go of old blogs to start new ones more often than I would dare.
Myself, I like that sense of continuity, of history, of seeing the evolution from the first post to whichever one this is. But I don't like stagnation, hence the new green blog.
I realized that the night I did this was also the night we jumped time here in Switzerland (a few weeks behind the U.S.). Is this somehow hard-wired into us, this spring frenzy of newness.
It's not just all bunnies and flowers and the new brightness of the light after all. Is it something more elemental that made me wander around my basement and toss out so much tossable stuff that had just lingered for months? Old suitcases with ground-down, wobbly wheels. Bags whose zippers stick or just plain don't work. A *well-made* (yeah right) Swiss fan that fell apart in three, cheap, white plastic pieces, and an aluminium fan head. An old Ikea stool that had seen better days...oh, like three years ago. A patio swing which had lost one essential piece in the move over from Boston (yes, two years ago, people).Odds and ends. Bits and pieces. Trash.
The day before that I raided my closet and packed up clothes I had not worn in years. Those one-day-I-will-fit-into-this clothes are gone. Most Swiss towns and even villages have a convenient old clothes and shoes drop-off point, and yesterday they received from me: one 110L garbage bag full of clothes, one 60L bag of shoes, one smaller E. Leclerc bag of clothes. They're all still good and wearable and I hope someone can enjoy them.
Was it also a coincidence that today, a Monday, just a couple of hours ago, the first day after all this cleaning out...I started the first chapter of my new novel? I wrote two pages. Wow!
I find this stage exhilirating and terrifying. Starting something new, and that too at the start of Spring, the prospect of new adventures in writing, new explorations, discovering what thoughts and feelings I have within myself, and watching them arrive fully-formed on to paper (okay, on a computer screen, but why quibble, paper is tres romantique, non?).
And frightening because I never know if I am going to complete this novel that I am so pumped up about now. Fear because, like most writers, I often arrive at that meandering quagmire where I realize I have written myself into a swamp of crap, and can't find a way out. Then I just want to hit Delete and get rid of the trash I've written. Fear because what if it isn't any good. What if I am not any good? Do I delude myself with this writing thing. Aaahhh, such self-indulgent writerly angst.
Spring is not just renewal and re-birth is it? Like any creation, there is inherent violence in the way a little bud bursts into flower, there is explosiveness in newness, in spring storms, in the way new growth fights its way back after a winter of hibernation. That is what makes it new perhaps.
And so, here it is, farewell to the dark days of winter. And welcome, Spring. Don't come in like a lamb. Roar! For it is in those instants of heightened senses that truth emerges and only then that my writing rings clear.
Blah! Blah! Blah! See what Spring does to me? It's Spring Madness! Muaah haaa haaa!