“After we had the pond filled in, I built this wall to separate that spot from the garden..
I found the cherub at a yard sale. It reminded me of him.”
As the year works its way to a close, our house is littered with the trappings of Christmas just past: empty boxes, bits of wrapping that eluded the pick up, piles of small items emptied from someone’s stocking, books, coats, boots, and hats. Mittens and gloves everywhere. Grown children and grandchildren spiraling in and out of our house, the nerve center. There is an unending Sisyphean urge to manage the ball of chaos, fully knowing it will roll down the hill quicker than lightning. If I could put a border around the mess I would. But at this moment, while the grandchildren are enjoying each other at another location and the house exudes a preternatural silence, I have a little time to think. And write. I imagine I’m wearing a dog cone and wall out the mess, at least metaphorically.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about walls. It’s hard not to. The notion of walls never leaves the news cycle. Walls and fences. Borders and lines. A line in the sand. Beyond a border.
I have written about backyard fences to keep children in, gates to keep the curious out, a stone wall to help a mother heal from her greatest loss. Characters are walled off from each other by illness, class, desire, temperament, and even magical ability. But as characters (and real people) evolve throughout the stories of our lives, we tend to seek ways to break the barriers down. It is the coming together that soothes us. Our best natures are to grow towards one another, not apart. Despite the brouhaha, everyone, at some point, realizes this.
I have some personal goals for the coming year: to finish my PhD, to dance well at our daughter’s wedding, to take more walks with my husband, and to write more stories about Genuine. These are not resolutions, just desires to follow. And while I can hope there will be no barriers to the realization of these goals, I also know I might need to open the gate to other possibilities.
Wishing everyone steps of progress toward your goals in 2019 and a life wide open to unsolicited surprises.
Happy New Year.
From The Stone Wall
Kate sat, head bowed. Genuine stood and walked up and down the length of the wall. Finally, she stopped in front of her so that Kate had to look up.
“You’re going to be okay,” Genuine said, picking up the cherub.
“But you need to take down the wall.”