The first Sunday Scribbling has arrived! The prompt this week was: What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail? Here's my answer:
Blank journals follow me home from the bookstore like puppies. I have a library of them in my studio: lonesome books awaiting their words. I feel their hunger radiating at me in waves of longing.
I also have a circus troupe of ideas camped out in my mind, a multitude of winged and bespectacled little folk pacing backstage, juggling, smoking, taking swigs from flasks, and muttering about it being “showtime”. All they want is to leap onto the page and clown and weep and love and die, stagger, tango, fight crime, fly, build sandwiches and braid each other’s hair. They want to LIVE. But I keep them locked away up there, whispering to them that I love them and believe in them and that some day, some way, their turn will come and then they will SHINE.
Meanwhile, the journals sit empty on the shelves while the ideas riot and mutiny backstage. There is such a simple solution to these two problems.
What I would attempt if I knew I would not fail, is I would sweep open the curtain and let my ideas come trampling out in a wild, boisterous stampede. I would lay all my blank books on a desk and let the ideas swoop out and choose, like children shrieking dibs on bedrooms in a new home. I want danger and peacocks and spice to spill out onto the pages, for the books to take deep gulps of words and lay back full-bellied and woozy with joy while ideas ride camels and stage coaches across them, leaving behind wheel ruts and wine stains and long husks of serpent skins blowing in the wind.
I want to write the books I’ve got locked up in purgatory in my mind. I want to release them with abandon, with knife fights, supernovas, calamities, hauntings, and high fives. I've at long last found the magic valve that turns ideas into stories, only to learn that it's not magic at all. It's the simplest thing: getting out of the way of my ideas, sweeping open the curtain and letting them out. Now I want to do it everyday! That is my wish, and although there is no assurance I will not fail, that is what I am going to do.
If I WAS assured I would not fail, I would also scour the world for mythical beasts lurking in labyrinths and lochs and chasms and castles, then I would give them snacks and leave them in peace. I would grow wings and a fine striped tail long enough to loop round my neck like a scarf. I would reintroduce the magic carpet. I would circumnavigate Sicily in a peddleboat. I would sing, carve marionettes, smite evil men, have some babies, and build the best treehouse the world has ever seen. And, I would convince all children that their dreams are living things they can ride like tigers into the future, as long as they love them well and feed them daily.
Happy Sunday. Have a scribble of your own!