Thursday, September 27, 2012

Breaking Through

To a surprising extent, being exposed to prolonged trauma holds us back.  This is especially true when the trauma is comes from the outside, beyond our control.  We see this in Pages in the Wind as Emily contemplates how to venture out, now that she is turning eighteen.

I envisioned myself walking on a sideway, day after day, and never going anywhere because I can’t cross the street.  I want to cross, but I can’t.  The oncoming cars are everywhere, one after another, and they’re speeding so fast I can hear the repetitious sound of tires and wind as one flows into another in steady procession.  It’s too dangerous to cross, so I stay on the sidewalk where I know I’m safe.  I desperately want to go somewhere, any destination that gets me off the sidewalk to a place where I can be happy.  Even if the destination doesn’t turn out to be the right place for me, at least I could find out.  I wouldn’t have to stay here, I could cross the street again and find something else.  If I could get off the sidewalk, and cross the street, I could explore the world in front of me.

At first glance, you would think that her dismal surroundings would propel her forward and out of her environment.  In truth, at least for Emily, it does the opposite.  It holds her back from exploring what life has to offer.  As the story unfolds, she will struggle to break through her barriers of fear, and find out what is out there.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lost Optimism

It’s a challenge to be optimistic during difficult times - I know that I struggle with it.  Emily, the heroine of my developing book, finds this particularly difficult when she is forced to move to a new city and leave the man she loves.  As she arrives in the city, she inadvertently draws a comparison between the city and her own feelings of abandonment. 

The decaying buildings were coated with layers of murky filth from decades of carbon monoxide spewed by speeding cars.  It was deeply embedded in the wood, which made it hard to see what was once new and magnificent.  Through the lens of my darkened mood, all I could see was the damage clinging to the building as a testimony to what people do without regard for preserving the ancient building.  I couldn’t think about it anymore; I had to shut my eyes and stop the onslaught of barren, cracked, and damaged images.  When I closed my eyes and repeated the words barren, cracked, and damaged - I realized that I was describing myself.  I felt barren, cracked, and damaged, and arriving in this unwanted city was a match to exactly how I felt all the time.