Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Truth and The Lacuna
I was going to write about The Lacuna. I was going to explain how I thought it is a "writer's novel", that it is beautifully crafted in a way that a writer could appreciate. I would probably have outed myself as a Frida Kahlo nut.
I wanted to try and do justice to Barbara Kingsolver's sympathy for her characters, despite their deep flaws. I wanted to celebrate the graceful story-telling, the wry humour, the subtly executed self-referential signposts. If I'd been feeling really clever, I might have drawn parallels to Plutarch, to Shakespeare, to Cavafy, to Yeats... to the delicate extraction of a pivotal moment in history, allowing us to see Great People at their most vulnerable.
This novel has a symmetry, a balance, a neatness that really appeals to me.
But that wouldn't be the truth. Or, it wouldn't be my truth. I am not about balance and neatness today.
Today is about obsession with the heat. It is 30 degrees celcius (86 fahrenheit) inside the house already at 10am. Today is about looking around and only seeing endless To Do lists. Today is about regretting yesterday's relentless quest for control over proceedings which, strangely enough, did NOT result in a seamless transition from soggy unslept Mum to elegantly dressed office maven. No, yesterday was all about me cussing myself for not opening windows overnight, growling at my gentle husband for daring to ask, and getting frustrated with my beautiful baby for waking up before I managed to shower. I was so hung up about the travesty inherent in all those things that I got to the bus stop before realising that I hadn't left anything for my sweet Mum (who was babysitting) to eat for lunch.
So, this morning I was all set to write about being dishevelled and housebound. About my obsession with trying to control the ambient temperature in the house. About trying to control everything.
There is movement. Clouds are blowing over and a cool change is coming. There is renewal. This afternoon, I am reaching a milestone. Seven years of my life is about to be leather-bound and archived into the sum of human knowledge. There are new beginnings. An opportunity to dream big in a safe environment buzzing with fascinating and creative souls. Already a couragous fellow traveller has reached out to share her bliss.
The truth might not be elegant. Or symmetrical. But its beauty is in its imperfection. And the reality that it can change.