Maybe Mud, Not Stone

This is a little how I feel today. Easier to say what I’m not doing. Like today. I’m not revising. The memoir. Now sitting at a whopping ninety-some thousand words, gone over and gone over and revised and revised, and not done.

Exercise doesn’t even interest me.

Today I feel stuck. We could, perhaps, blame it on the dark of the moon which always tends to drain my energy, or on ennui–one of those great words which we so seldom have a chance to use–and which is more than likely partly true, although not true of the story.

In the memoir, I’m constantly doing.

If this memoir were not a labor of love, or labour, the British spelling, which, one hopes, makes it more respectable, elevated even, to work hard; make great effort, perhaps I would have tossed it. Or maybe not. There’s a “bull-headed”–as my dad used to say–quality about me that rarely allows me to stop once started.

Ursula Le Quin cheered me some. I am not granite and should not be taken for it. I am not flint or diamond or any of that great hard stuff. If I am stone, I am some kind of shoddy crumbly stuff like sandstone or serpentine, or maybe schist.

Or not even stone but clay, or not even clay but mud.


40 thoughts on “Maybe Mud, Not Stone

    1. Our time in Paris was completely magical. We’d run into things haphazardly which was wonderful. We were staying on the Left Bank and one day walked down to the Luxembourg Gardens, looking for someone’s house, I forget who, and we walked and we walked, and discovered the Pantheon and the crypts below, and the McDonald’s on the corner, and on the way along St. Germaine back to the hotel, we passed an old building, a cloister or monetary turned into an art place and inside, I happened upon the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. Talk about magic! There’s a multitude of stories from that journey.

      1. That was the MusΓ©e Cluny. La Dame Γ  la Licorne. One of my favourite museums in Paris. Will probably go back this summer. Mexico? Paris? You have been around. πŸ™‚

      2. Yes. The Cluny. La Dame tapestries were heart-stopping wonderful. I’d known about them for years. Truly amazing, because I didn’t know they were there. I think the most oddly amazing was the multitude of reliquaries holding bits of the “true cross” or someone’s bones. I mean, really? If you put all the pieces of the cross together from all over the world, it would be a hundred feet tall. When we went to Notre Dame, and wandering, found the altar at the back where the cross of thorns hangs under a red veil, my husband and I sat across from it and he leaned in and said, sotto voce, (keep in mind we both have liturgical backgrounds, i.e. priests), “So, the apostles picked up this thing of torture after Jesus died and said, ‘We need to keep this. It will be hailed as a miracle some day.’ Well, I had to cover my face to keep from guffawing. Sometimes things just get out of hand.

        The ruins under Notre Dame absolutely fascinated me.

      3. You have certainly been around. πŸ™‚ In Asia, the number of Buddha’s toes kept as relics in monasteries vastly outnumber 20. πŸ˜‰

      4. “I’ve been everywhere, man…I’ve been every where…”

        When someone asks me where I’m from, I tell them to name a year and I’ll tell them where I was…. LOL.

      5. We have crossed paths. (I know TepoztlΓ‘n well). My wife is Colombian and arriving in Mexico in 89, was like paradise. Then all went to… in ’95. and worse everyday to be honest. I did check your “bio”. Your name sounded familiar… πŸ™‚ EnchantΓ©, Janet.

      1. I realized as I wrote, that it could be understood that way. I meant “hacking” as in cutting through? (The original sense I think)

    1. Thanks Ellen. I must be more mud since I did, after a weekend off, begin the revision process again and have almost completed the manuscript. Next week for sure. Thanks so much–I guess I’m more malleable than I trust! πŸ™‚

  1. Muddy chocolate then. but I infinitely prefer straight mud to either chocolate or stone πŸ™‚ I don’t think I want to me permanent LOL. Can’t be even if I want to πŸ™‚ .

    1. muddy chocolate….hummmm. I like that! And am fixing the men in my house a chocolate mousse for their Valentines Day dinner. When all else fails, go to the kitchen and cook! And I have moved along w/revisions this week.

    1. Thank you for encouragement. It seemed more than anything that I needed some time off. Duh!!
      This wall honors a famous Paris writer whose name I can’t remember at the moment, but he wrote something having to do with walking through a wall and he’d lived nearby.
      On Montmartre, Paris.

  2. Janet, Tracy Curry here. No reason you should remember me from when I was in the KC Writer’s Group, back in 08 and/or maybe 09. I was Tracy Sutton back then.

    Anyway, I still receive your posts, and sometimes read them.😊

    Today you so exactly captured my own feelings, and so eloquently to boot, I just had to say, “Let go.” Normally we’d say, “Hang in there”; but let go feels right to me in this instance.

    Your labor of love is so admirable, so enviable. Maybe you don’t want to conclude it because subconsciously it would feel like the end of making memories and “moving” through your life. Or maybe, you’re trying to make your memories perfect, when of course, we are all deliciously flawed. Making us, in turn, interesting.

    I truly don’t know your thoughts, but I applaud your tenacity. You have much more life to discover and share.

    I say finish, so you can begin anew!

    1. Thank you so much Tracey! Let go is indeed what I did. Closed the laptop and took time off. 2008. Well. You’re gonna love this! It’s the same memoir I was working on then, only reformatted, re-storied, etc etc etc. although I’ve had several years between making it work.
      So nice to hear from you. Thank you so much for checking in and for reading. My post these days often run to rants …:)

  3. Well, perhaps if you’re mud, you don’t need a writing studio as much as an old-fashioned, midwestern mud room. You can kick off your muddy adverbs, unwind that scarf of adjectives from around your neck, throw the frozen noun-mittens on the heater, and head off to a plate of sugary paragraphs and a cup of steaming theme.

    Sound good? I thought so. πŸ™‚

    1. I’ve cheered up Allan. Thank you. A coupe days away from ms. and watching a head-banging Superbowl and cooking chili and good football food, restocked my sense of humor.
      I love having a cheering squad.

  4. Have you considered that if you, and I’m not saying you are, “hard-headed”–as my father used to say–you might be Stone. I think you are a clear communicator so even though you feel stuck today, I can’t think of you as Mud. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Gail. That’s funny. Ya know, I’d like to be somewhere in-between – like soft stone, pliable. But I seldom am, as ‘twer. Mushy or hard. No in-between. Maybe I should become chocolate….. πŸ™‚

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