Imagine that our lives are novels, ones that have been written by somebody else.
Each morning, we open ourselves up to a new chapter. Sometimes it’s just an old paragraph that we have convinced ourselves that we have been working on; work in progress. When we first went through this it seemed alright, but we have had to go back to it again and again; a reread and a rewrite. No matter how many times we examine it, it will not relinquish its secrets or even clues. It just doesn’t sit well on the page.
So, this morning we wake up. The last two hours of sleep were irritating with the early light creeping into our dreams, the sound of birds twittering, and the internal alarm reminding us that the time for repose is passing as soon it will be awake time and the start of a new passage. But the dream world that we have just left has left a little lump in the pillow. It’s that paragraph again, the one that doesn’t sit well on the page.
You know that there are quick reads and there are not so quick reads. Then there are reads that refuse to be digested, indeed it is more than likely that they will digest you.
The writer has been at it again, inside your head, penning your motivations and etching your dreams. Today the writer has dangled a potential plotline in front of you in the way that a tormentor would dangle a piece of string in front of an inquisitive cat.
The string is moving from side to side, always just out of reach of the mystified moggy, but the feline believes it to be potential prey so it moves wherever the string leads it. Watching the power that has been gained from the string, the writer allows it to touch the nose of the frustrated pet. The cat jumps, victory at hand, but the string is whisked away. Confusion.
Whoever is writing this knows that the cat will have another day, the tormentor will be forgotten and real prey will be found.A page will be turned and never returned to. It was not a missed opportunity because the opportunity was never there.
With us it is a hook, a device to get us to skip to the next chapter, read on and get to the end. After all, it’s just a story and stories have to have endings. Unlike books, where we can skip forward to the end, find out what’s in store, and join up the pieces, admire the writer’s skill. We, however, are only left with the paragraphs and chapters, and sometimes the odd clunky sentence that needs to be culled.
Whatever the outcome, we will always be there regardless of the quality of writing or structural mastery.