Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Walk With Me in the Rain

           I write when the house is quiet; when even the dogs lie at my feet in slumber and there is nothing to interrupt the flow of my words. Then I create a world only I can see.  Sometimes, I don’t understand the emotional entanglement that occurs when I become immersed in that creative process. I ache for my characters; cry for their heartbreaks and laugh with their joys.

            And I walk with them in the rain.

            I close my eyes and visualize a world quite different from the concrete one in which I live. As I shuffle beneath an autumn canopy, bursting with crimson, mustard yellow and dusty brown, I long to sit down among the crackling leaves and listen as the wind echoes through the branches. I write the words to help me remember this day -- the gentle caress of the breeze, the call of a bird, distant laughter.

            I look above me but I don’t see trees. I see a young sapling or a towering oak; or an orchard rich with fragrant blossoms. For when others read what I have written, I hope they become part of the world that I created especially for them.

            I hope they walk with me in the rain.

            I drive down the road, wanting to capture the feel of furnace blasts of heat which throw tumbleweeds across the path to make the trip less tedious. I need other words for “hot” because my story takes place in summer and it is hot.  I take hints from the wilted fields; brown pastures which should have remained green another month.  Is it sweltering?  Torrid?  Bone melting hot?

            Before I can decide, the summer heat is drowned by the rain -- an earthshaking thunderstorm, lightning ricocheting across the sky before it turns into a warm, soft, summer rain. Rain is a deluge, a torrential downpour, a miracle, a disaster, a respite.  It is the angel of life for barren fields during a drought, or it can wash away a lifetime of hopes and dreams in an instant.

            Can you recall riding through a puddle on your bike as though it were a great sailing ship, lifting your feet high but getting soaked anyway? Do you smell the clean earth and feel the mud squish up between your toes?

            Are you ready to walk with me in the rain?

Have you ever visited a town where no one lives but where the ghosts will speak if only you will listen? Will you dress up in old fashioned clothes and pretend to be an outlaw’s girlfriend, getting a tintype taken in an old time saloon?

            This is how I write; caught up in dreams of another time.  There is an insatiable need within me to create worlds in which I know I can’t belong, but to which I am allowed a visit--for another hour; for ten more pages; for tonight. 


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