I know there is a story inside me. But I don’t know which one it is. Have I found it yet? Is it about my two hearted girl, my heart seamstress? Is it the one I wrote lonely, late at night, my hummingbird heart pounding? I wrote it curled in bed, sophomore year, mistranslating my loneliness as a pang for words, for a world balled up inside me, pounding to get out. A mistake I often make, a mistake I never regret. It is hard to be lonely when entire worlds spin inside you, when books whisper the sweetest of secrets. Is it that story, that little novella of fairytale cliches and sugar sweet sentences? It is a story both grandiose and humble, flawed and crystalline.
Or is the one about a bookstore, the one where people trade in secrets and wishes? Another story about longing, but longing turned to other books. You deposit a secret in the black box, and then you take out a book for your heart ache. Little do you know, your wishes are worming their way into other’s books, into other’s stories. A wild little town, one set by the sea, bright colours. What if revolution really lead to bone deep peace? This story doesn’t belong to one character, though you always thought it did. No, it’s a story of many, a story of a town. A town you call home, turned surreal, turned wild. It has lost its sweet candour. Is this the story I set down to write?
Is it one about the notes scrawled in the margins of a book? A story of madness written alongside one. The Queen of Sheba dressed in blue coats from Gimbel and baked anchovy cookies, while her father painted paint by number masterpieces.
I know the story inside me wants to blur the lines between faery speak and English. She, for I know she is feminine, wants to dine with doubt, wants to speak with faith. She wants to call her God female, for He has been masculine all her life and she has come to doubt that her God is all that attached to the male pronoun in the first place. She wants her God to be a feminist, to delight in critical theory and have a proper library with leather bound books. Can I write of that God? This God so different from the one I’ve grown up with, I can’t fashion God in my own image. But if I am fashioned in their image I must assume that they aren’t opposed to such ideas. Should I refer to God in my story as they or their, he or her? Will God make an appearance in this story I am trying to write?
Where do I find this story? Do I already have it bundled up, ready to assemble or has it not found its way to me yet? For me, finding a story is like finding a warm ember on a freezing day. I simply hold it, wondrous of its existence, grateful for its presence. But how do I know when it is THE story. The first story, the first novel, Adam and Eve. This is the beginning. How do I know when I have found the beginning of my novel writing days, when I am about to embark on the journey of the lifetime? Do I just have to buy the ticket and hope the journey leads somewhere? I guess so. I’m just having trouble finding the station I leave from.