Melan-Kali

Some days you feel the weight more than others. The phrase is usually “a weight on the heart/soul.” Wherever this metaphysical burden is resting, you feel it in your body. It’s painful. You want to run wild and lie still at the same time, pull on your hair or scratch at your skin.

I’m restless. Calm is becoming a distant memory, near-constant anxiety taking its place. But I did fall asleep last night.

I’ve heard that people are in life just where they want to be. People have what they want to have. I think that’s very true and also very untrue. Like Nature Vs. Nurture. Why does one preclude the other?

“Don’t you want good things?” Yes, I want good things. I want all good things and happiness and peace.

“Art comes from pain.” I can write from the memory of it just as well as from a current experience. Better, perhaps – more intention in the writing with some distance from the feeling.

 

I wanted to look up the roots and origination of the word “melancholy,” but you need a membership for the OED. Or a physical copy – good luck with that one…

Virginia Woolf, one of the greatest writers of all time, killed herself. She walked into the ocean with stones in her pockets. She had a thing about the ocean. Wrote a book, called it The Waves. It was about people, actually, about experience? Or about struggling. One of the characters died. I can’t remember how.

Who is responsible for all of this? Higher powers, with names or without them? An old man in the sky? Or, much more realistically, a power the form of which is not even remotely like human? Is it fate, or chance? Is it me?

Is it?

If it is… is that the weight?

Making Plans

As I reread a wonderful novel written by Virginia Woolf, her pure talent for writing inspires me once again to want to spend all of my time writing. For some reason she stirs up my desire to create, which often gets lost when I feel satisfied simply appreciating the words of others.

Of all the ideas I store in my head, part of my Helen of Troy story rises to the top, and fills my mind, and aches to bleed onto a virtual page through my keyboard. I tend to do lots and lots of research before delving into such a project, but I think that this time I might just start with what I already know and then, later, fill in the parts that need to feel more authentic to the time in which it is supposed to take place.

My idea for rewriting the Helen story is simple: I want to make her a warrior. The idea came originally from an episode of Xena Warrior Princess, believe it or not. In that episode, Helen was very nearly a non-person. She barely had a personality at all, and she was quite incapable of doing anything for herself. It annoyed me so much that I said to myself, “I’m going to write a version of the Trojan War that portrays Helen as a strong character.”In all likelihood someone has already done something similar, but that wouldn’t stop me.

I have yet to decide whether she will be Helen of Troy, Helen of Sparta, or both.

And, rather unrelated, I’m planning to participate to some extent in NaNoWriMo this year. If nothing else, it would be pretty awesome to get a whole first draft of a novel done in a month.