Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Art by Contraomnes, Fic (by me)
Contra's gallery is amazing. Colors, style -- but it's the concepts. Contra takes fantastical to new heights, and each new work seems the stuff of our dreams.
But this piece in particular stole my heart. Just when I think those days, the little girl I once was, have all disappeared, Contra brings it back in an instant. As I asked a friend, when did we stop being the boy in the bathtub, and instead become dull and plodding? And I think that most of my work is an attempt to recapture the magnificent beauty that was childhood imagination. Those days when all was possible; you only had to think of it. No restraints, no restrictions, no fear.
As it happens, a glass or two of wine occasionally makes that entirely possible. ;)
Still working on the book, so submissions/fresh fic are down. But I find myself increasingly drawn to the story, as it's become an escape, a real escape. Not that my life is awful or anything -- just the opposite. It's an enjoyable life, and I'm grateful for what I've got. I know we're supposed to be tortured artists and all that, but the only one doing the torturing around here is me, to myself. I spent several days convinced I was the worst writer ever. This happens so often, and I just have to wait it out.
So before I throw myself back into the book, it's time for a little exercise, a bit of fic.
Castor's wife's loom had broken. She showed him the loom, it's ancient wood cracked. It was my mother's loom, she said.
I will build you a new one, he said.
It won't be the same, she said as he left their lodge. She sat down and began to gnaw the pieces of the old loom between her paws, tears sliding fast over the oily fur on her cheeks.
Castor searched the woods surrounding their pond for an entire week before he found The Tree. It smelled soft and wise, and so he asked the birds in its branches if they'd mind moving -- it was a present for his wife. The birds respected Castor, and they respected his wife, who was fair and pleasant and who kept the young ones from gnawing trees that didn't rightfully belong to them. Out of this respect, they moved their nests, and Castor began to work.
The tree fell on loamy earth before the moon had fully risen. When the north star had swirled the world around, like a cape it wore, the tree was in many pieces. These pieces were brought back to the lodge, one by one, as Castor swam across the pond.
By dawn, in the middle of the lodge, there stood a new loom. His wife emerged from her nest, warm and yawning. Castor waited, tension causing him to thump his tail lightly on the floor of the lodge, over and over. She saw the loom.
Do you like it?
Yes, I like it.
It's not like your old one.
No, it's not like my old one. She carefully circled the loom, testing it, sniffing it. Then she brought out a basket of shed moose hair, thick and loose, and she began to weave it onto the loom.
Castor left her there, weaving, and anxiously spent the rest of the day felling trees all around the pond. When he returned, exhausted, that evening, his wife greeted him at the entrance. She showed him the blanket she had woven on her new loom.
So it works, he said.
It works perfectly, she said. Perfectly. And she patted her belly, brown and sleek, and told him, And this blanket and this loom will go to our daughter someday.
They kissed, and in a corner of the lodge, in a neat pile, was her mother's loom, all gnawed into shapes of little beavers, and jays, and copperheads, and all manner of forest creatures, and during the night, Castor and his wife set them out to float on the pond.