I started running out of things to write. I’ve told you about all the wild things, my wildcard parents, my over-bearing, artistic grandmother, my messy scramble for love, our dirty homes and apartments, all the mistakes we ALL made, and will continue to make…I told you and then I came to the end. I started running out of things to write.
Spring came–and with its newness and promise, I was able to recognize the closing of the first part of my life; my first twenty-eight years. Nothing spectacular happened, nothing dramatic, but it was a slow ease into my twenty-eight spring. And that stillness was something different, something new, there’s maybe even something dramatic about the way the waters calmed and stilled and pooled after years of gushing and cascading.
All the parts have closed in on themselves. The wild things have closed their wings. I think, finally, I am done. I am done telling this story. I was wondering when it was going to end, and how. People always ask me “Is your book finished yet? How do you even end a memoir, cause, like your life is still happening.” Exactly I always say, How do you?
At this stage of my manuscript it looks like this: I should maybe not even call it a manuscript but a project. Projects get messy, this is messy. This is not 303 typed crisp white pages binded and clipped with a title page and dedications. I do not know the title yet and I have a ton of typing to do!!! See, I am a writer, not a typer. I am a writer, not an editor! My project looks like this: something like twenty-four notebooks complied over the past six years filled with long, drawn out and angry dialogue during which I am both teaching myself to write and scribbling all the letters I never did, but apparently really wanted to write to my mother, lovers, and other people too. Oh I let them have it. I didn’t only say nice things about my father either. Didn’t only say nice things about anyone I wrote about except maybe Charles.
So its Spring now and I’m twenty-eight (and a half) and I’m standing out in my boyfriends lawn and he’s just mowed the grass, the air is perfect, the trees are like magic, and I’m not even high on anything. I look at the sky and it’s perfect too. There’s a wiry black dog running around at my feet. My feet are bare, I’m wearing nothing but a long white cotton halterdress with orange blooms, my hair is down and long now, my body is weightless as I realize that the moment is perfect, just me, in the woods, no book even, no coffee, no shoes, a man off in the distance, the promise of sex and comfort, my bareface, my dreams, the lightness I feel in. this. moment.
I notice something over my shoulder. I slowly turn and look, I see The End. I see the chaos that was my past, my history, tromping off like a brigade heading to who knows where, not any longer attached to me, but parting from me. I bid goodbye. I holler and smile. I prepare to let go.
8 thoughts on “This is The End”
Oh Terah, This is so wonderful. I am so happy for you.
Thank you Elizabeth! P.S. Write me a letter. Didn’t I send you one? Now it’s your turn 😉
See? This is why Creators must stay celibate and miserable. Once you start having great sex and enjoying sunsets, your art goes to shit! 😉
I’m happy for you too, Terah. Shelving the graphic novel I had put 1.5 years into was a terribly hard decision, but I’ve had no regrets, and in fact, life (and creativity!) has been remarkably better since. I’m all for dedication and follow-though, but why slog through a project that no longer inspires you? A blog commenter on another site made a good point regarding this matter: If working on your own project becomes a wearisome bore, why would you expect readers to regard it differently?
At any rate, I take this post as a declaration of the end of this project and not the end of your writing. Ya know, my favorite writing of yours has not been the memoir-y stuff, but of things happening in the present. Your experience going to that event to see your favorite writers, and your post about your library experience come most vividly to mind.
Reinvention takes time… and space. Take a break from the blog and even writing if you need to. Don’t worry if a new project isn’t yet making itself known. The out breath is just as important as the in breath.
Good luck to you.
Celibacy and I don’t get along. I actually wrote an excellent (if I do say so myself!) piece called Sex Stories. It’s about sex so that like automatically makes it excellent 🙂
I did not mean to imply that I was dumping this project (memoir) but that the ending finally revealed itself so that now I can work on editing and typing. My productivity HAS slowed down a bit since I’m so unfamiliar with this stage. But at least now I feel that I need not drag my memoir into the present, anymore than it already projects that. Thank you for the link, thank you for liking, thank you for reaching out…it had been a while and it is really good to hear from you friend.
That is amazing that you enjoyed those pieces you mentioned. To me those were awkward! Hard to write, so I imagined they were hard to read too.
I value your opinions and insights. And I wish you the best!
Hi Terah, this is David looking in, This reminds me of the poem about the poem, ” The land of Beginning Again” . . . ” where all of our mistakes and all of our heartbreaks and all of our poor selfish grief can be dropped like a shoddy old coat at the door and never be put on again.” It’s like you made it there and you know what your job is. Keep working, you’re doing fine.
The poem about the poem? Wow. David, thank you. I have no idea what my job is. I have no idea in general. I am a poet, like you. And I do not make this shit up.
PS It’s not work.
PPS Miss you. Always happy to hear from you. Not always able to promptly return your attention. Regrettably. Stay tuned.
Lovely, lovely piece. I feel the sun, the lightness of being, the peaceful exhale, the release that follows calm waters and being “done.”
P.S. Excluding, perhaps, the “At this stage…” paragraph, this is exactly how one ends a memoir.
Is this the Kathleen I think it is? You posted this on my birthday. What a gift!
Yes, I went searching for the ending about 2 years ago. I was frustrated when I couldn’t seem to find it. Then it slowly snuck up on me, saying “I’m not quite as epic as you thought I’d be. But I’m here. I am peace.”
I better end that shit before it gets chaotic again.
Thanks for reading. You’re amazing!!