Mix And Match


Don’t you wish sometimes that your life was like your fiction? Where you could cut, edit, rewrite whole chapters, entire sections, change scenes, get rid of unnecessary characters and add new interesting ones, just to make it your best?

When you start writing your story or novel, whether you have planned it chapter by chapter or you just have a notion of your beginning and end, your writing is bound to take its own course whether you like it or not during the actual process of writing. There will be a time when your characters will take over and all you’ll have to do is follow them throughout the story. If the end result turns out to be better than what you intended to write in the first place, fine. If not you are the producer of your own show, you can cut, revise and rewrite as many times as is necessary to your own satisfaction with your work. You are allowed to make a mess of it, you have the:

“Ability to accept the imperfect until it is better. The fruits of afterthought are sweet.” Bernard Malamud

Imagine applying the same principles of revision to your own life. Imagine if you can weed out anything and everything that is not working for you but working against you in your life. You edit, you revise, you add. Because your life at best is a planned mess. As John Lennon once said:

“It’s what happens to you when you’re planning for something else.”

That’s right. It’s what happens to you when you are planning for something else that hits you the hardest and knocks you off course the most. You lose your job, you lose your home, you change cities, it doesn’t work. You move to another country all in the hope of making your life better. And when you are faced with new difficulties, like losing your health, what do you do? What comes next? Do you quit? Or do you continue?

You know what? People talk a lot and you often have to wait to hear their true stories. You have to be patient to even know how your story will end. But you feel you can’t do that at this point in your life. You don’t have the tolerance. You are aware that you are not the same person you used to be and that time is running out on you. You think and dream and think again and dream again and try again. It’s not that simple and you wish that things were different. Hey you are still alive aren’t you? So you talk to your friends, you write down your thoughts, your feelings, your dreams. You write about your pain, and your heartaches. And then you wonder.

If only you could rewrite your life like William Burroughs did his work. Mix and match and see what happens.

William Burroughs sometimes cuts up sentences, tosses them in a hat, pulls them out randomly, and writes them down in that order. Or so he says.

ChK

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4 Responses to Mix And Match

  1. A life lived, whether good or bad, shapes a character and makes them what they are at any given point in their life. There isn’t too much that I would edit about my life, except for cutting out certain conversations that haunt me or creating dialogue with someone when I hesitated to say anything at the time.

    Sometimes, it doesn’t really matter what has happened in your life, but how you accept the difficulties and move on. Some people can’t move on, letting their bad experiences eat away at them until they become bitter, self-absorbed Octogenarians. Case in point: both of my grandmothers had difficult and eerily similar lives growing up, but the way they dealt with their pasts were quite different. I call them my Cup-half-full-Grandma and my Cup-half-empty-Grandma. I think, Cup-half-empty-Grandma would feel she needed to edit her life, rearranging sequences of events, cutting out the grief-ridden scenes, bringing to life those she had lost. Cup-half-full-Grandma would probably feel as I do. One of her favourite expressions (and one I believe in, as well) was, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” 🙂

    • chichikir says:

      I agree with your grandma Susan, ‘whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.’ But there comes a time in your life when you think that after all your hard work and the hard times you’ve been through you have the right to live your life, to simply live it and when trouble hits you again and again then what? And by the way, I am a very positive person to such extent that I am more of an idealist, a dreamer and that’s why I am quite often disappointed.

  2. thinspaces says:

    There have been times in my life where I wish I could go back and have a do-over, mostly related to parenting! Hind sight is 20/20 as they say, and it’s so easy to look back and see my mistakes. But I think from now on I will try to adapt to mywithershins comment, and regard my mistakes as “cup half full” moments instead of “cup half empty”. 🙂

    On another note, as one who has struggled many times with health issues – I try to fall back on an often quoted Winston Churchill, who said, “Never never never quit”. (that is the nutshell version of his quote. :)) It helps me to grab on to God and keep moving forward. It’s not by my strength, it’s by His.

    Did you ever read “The Black Stallion”? It’s a kids book – I read it often when I was in grade school during my love affair with horses. In the book, the main character, Alec, is saved from drowning in the ocean when the ship goes down, by grabbing on to the tail of the Black. The horse swims to a nearby island, pulling Alec to safety. I imagine that is what it is like for me – when I am drowning, God is there, pulling me thru the water to safety.

    • chichikir says:

      I love “The Black Stallion” and I feel with my troubles and difficulties I have always come out stronger, and that somehow someone has always watches over me, pulls me to safety. I do want to imagine that all is going to end well, my faith is strong. Thanks for the encouragement.

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