Saturday, November 26, 2016

November 26: Sagging Bridge, Christmas Essay, Flesh-Eating Flytraps

The quarry path parallels Tinker Creek far upstream from my house, and when the woods broke into clearing and pasture, I followed the creek banks down.  When I drew near the tear-shaped island, which I had never before approached from this side of the creek, a fence barred my way, a feeble wire horse fence that wobbled across the creek and served me as a sagging bridge to the island.  I stood, panting, breathing the frail scent of fresh water and feeling the sun heat my hair.

Dillard has visited the tear-shaped island before, but she always crossed the creek from the opposite bank, where the crossing was easier.  This time, however, her approach is different.  Instead of using the trunk of a fallen tree, per usual, she chooses a rickety fence.  I picture the log crossing on Skull Island in the original King Kong, where Kong fords a jungle canyon, carrying Fay Wray.  A treacherous, mossy passage.

Presently, I am working on a Christmas essay.  It's been giving me some problems.  I have an idea of what it's about and where I want it to end.  But I have no idea of how to get from here to there, if you get my meaning.  There's not a clear bridge between beginning and end.  Just lots of canyons with log crossings that sort of look promising.

I worked on it for quite a long time last night.  I made some progress.  After I'm done typing today's posts, I will test a few more of those fallen trees to see if they will hold the weight of the essay.  The jungle is still pretty treacherous.  I'm not going to give up.  I can't.  In a week or so, I have to record the essay for the local Public Radio station.  Plus, I'm going to include it in my Christmas letter.

That's one of the challenges of writing.  Having a starting point and no map for how to get to the other side of the jungle.  And that jungle is full of dinosaurs and monstrous gorillas and flesh-eating flytraps.  It's a frustrating process at times.  Once the goal is in sight, however, it's almost like seeing the summit of Everest after a couple days of climbing.  (Sorry for the mixed metaphors.)

So, there it is.  Right now, though, Saint Marty is standing on one side of a chasm, and there's a whole lot of weird noises coming out of the fog behind me.

A picture of me when I woke up this morning

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