Over the last three months I have been off taking a class, mostly writing Midrashim and other poetry instead of working on my book. It has been a good winter. But now, in anticipation of a summer of focus, I am coming back to the main project. Over the next couple of weeks I will re-familiarize myself with the files, hardcopy and soft, that contain the manuscript. It will take me a couple of weeks to do this, but I will figure out where I left off, my plans for draft four, and my new most recent opening chapters. I will look at the notes I left for my future self, decipher the breadcrumbs, and make a start again. It is not the first time I have done this, as other shorter work filters in and out, but it is not an easy or comfortable process.
I can only imagine it is like meeting up for lunch on a weekday afternoon with an old lover. You arrive early at the old café where you used to hang out and anxiously scan the thinly populated dining room. You look for the one who’s every detail you once knew so well and by which you mapped your course. Finally you see her, sitting alone. She appears new, at first unfamiliar in the faint light. You approach slowly, taken by beauty marks and scars you don’t remember. As she looks up and you sit down, it is her, again. You say hello. She smiles, but it takes a great deal of faith that the conversation can be picked back up, that the common, well-trod paths can be trimmed back, re-established and reclaimed. It takes a deeply plumbed confidence that both parties will find the experience amiable, for both have changed much since the last meeting. You have hope, though. You know that the old spark, the dim glowing coal, must surely be there somewhere. You ask to see pictures of her kids… dm