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Don't say it's over, til it's over

There are some things in life that are beyond our control. I repeat, there are some things in life that are beyond our control. It’s a simple concept we’ve all heard probably many, many times over. But sometimes the simplest concepts are the hardest to execute.

I recently came in contact with this guy that I used to know, hmm, probably a few years ago. He taught me to play the online version of Scrabble. It was during these games when we got to know each other. The pristine surface that we all carry around in our everyday lives (Hi! How you doing? Great and you? Great!) came off and I saw the scars of his past at its ugliest. I wanted to help him, but I learned the hard way that some things in life are beyond my control and there is only so much that can be done a thousand miles away.

He didn’t remember me. But I remembered him. During that time we talked he showed me a photo of his little girl that he didn’t get to see too often. It was one of the times where he took her to an amusement park and they made silly faces toward the camera. Their smiles were probably the widest it had been in such a long while. It was a happy day. One of very few that I could tell of from the way he spoke about it. One picture of her against a purple, pink, blue and lavender sunset spoke to me and I had to paint it. With each brush stroke, I thought of how love is such a fragile, and to some, a scary emotion. Some hold it at such a high power that they are afraid to touch it for fear of losing it. But at that moment, during that day, it was as if it escaped from some hold deep within and was let free without a care for losing it the next day or even the next hour. All that mattered was that moment.

Such instances work well on the page. Characters can become so real that they begin to take on a life of their own; making their own choices, challenging you when you tell them what to do and even surprising you with what they find around the corner. Raven in Cimmerian City did that a lot with me. Although the character had been in my head for sometime, there were still instances where she would refuse to go a certain way that I was pointing her toward. And like her mentor, I became annoyed with her resistance to change and direction. Eventually, I had to step back and allow her to grow on her own as I followed her through her changes. I guess that’s why I don’t do well with character layout sheets until the character has fully introduced themselves to me. And they always end up changing somehow anyway!

In any event, the catharsis in writing is invaluable. After the guy and I stopped talking, I got to thinking about a screenplay I wrote that was sort of a romance but mainly a drama. The guy was in a dire situation in his life, his job not the best looked upon of careers, and the girl was using her writing as a way to move on from the hurt she experienced in her past. Both end up falling for each other and helping each other toward a better life. It made me realize that even though there are some things in this life we can’t control, there are ways of recovering and turning a bad event into something positive for the future.

Comments

Faith said…
I use writing as a catharisis too. I think most writers do.
Rae L. said…
Definitely. I think we would burst if we couldn't write! :-D

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