Thursday, January 17, 2008

Death, Energy, and Childlike

There is something renewing about channeling positive energy, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. It "wakes" me in the midst of the stupor of seasonal depression. I'm not so much sad this time of year (although there is that) as sleep. My body and mind shut down, are slowed to a crawl. They say it is the lack of sunlight… but I think its more than the sky is overcast. I think the length of days is also part of it. I don't know for sure.

All I know is that channeling energy wakes me. That could mean cleaning the room or taking a walk, both things which get me moving, but are extremely hard to do. Or it could mean writing a good scene… the sort that speaks to me, reminds me of why I'm doing this. And of course I could pray. Not that I would do that… that might heal me.

I do wonder if negative energy has the opposite effect. I've been stuck for nearly a week on revising my first novel. The chapter I keep starting and letting go is my first ever character death. Rowling describes murder as losing a part of your own soul when you do it. I think that's fairly insightful. I think when you kill someone, part of you dies with them. The largest thing I've ever murdered is a box alder bug… or maybe a large cockroach, but I don't even do that often, I can't stand the crunch. I can bring myself to kill anything easily except mosquitos.

So yeah, killing characters is unpleasant for me. I know they don't exist… but see, I use my imagination for more than my craft. I use it also for prayer, and I do wonder if that blurs the lines of reality a little for me. I tend to do that with a lot of things. I'm a peasant by the modern world's standards. If I feel out of place, scared, or threatened, I'm likely to do the sign of the cross or splatter holy water on my room. Evil spirits make me nervous, and I do think I've encountered a couple, as well as some possible angels. Who knows for sure, but I do suspect I have. When some of your best friends are dead, you're bound to be a bit strange… and by that, I mean they died before I was born, but I know them through the power of Christ that lets us be friends and connect with the whole "Body of Christ" even those who have passed on.

I'm hopelessly medieval, and I don't care. I can't even say I'm against indulgences, having gotten a couple before. (Don't worry, I didn't pay for them with money, but rather prayer and hard work. They're more like Boy Scout badges than anything else, anyway. I've got the little certificates to prove it.)

While I know my characters don't exist, I also feel responsible for them. Sending Drackun to hell, however briefly before he's released, doesn't sit well with me. I think perhaps that's why I'm stalling.

It is in play that we face and deal with our reality. That's why the psychologist think kids should play, and I guess I never grew up. I don't mean the physical side of that, but emotionally I think at times I'm still about twelve or thirteen, standing there among the roses saying to God, "Give me a moment to see the world as I might if I were without sin" and feel as if I'm flying. I'm the same kid that cried over severed worms and burnt ants. For me, play is serious business. It awakens those feelings and energies I've not faced or shy away from, and makes me look at them straight in the face. Sure, playing is still fun, but it also scares me, because I scare myself.

As a scientist, part of me sits back and watches myself, noting each feeling, each experience, and saving it for the proper moment when I'll need it. But the part of me caught up in it shivers like a rabbit under the mouth of a wolf. That's the part of me, apparently in control of Drackun at the moment. Even if I've written this death twice already… even then… I don't want to kill him again. I like him, and his death is fairly unpleasant and undeserved. Worse, he doesn't find peace and happiness before he dies, but still is in an unfinished state, struggling with both love and hate.

In short, he's like most of us. He's not ready to die.

God takes people who are unready all the time. I wonder how He feels about that. I mean, I know Drackun gets to go to heaven eventually, when Zincu balances the world and all… but I just hate killing him too early, no matter what. Is this a good thing or a bad thing, my empathy? It makes my life inconvenient a good deal of the time. I don't know. All I have is questions, and a character scheduled for termination.

Is there anything more child-like than praying for the strength to write a death scene? Maybe I'll make it to heaven yet. At the hazard of feeling about eight and playing with my toys trying to rescue Luke before Megatron finishes grinding his face off to make him tell the location of the rebel base, only they're not doing so hot since only my brother Leo knows where the bad guys base is, and so my toys need to pray about it, let me just say: Oh Lord, help me write this scene, finish this book, and glorify you through my writing. I am, ever childlike, your servant, and wish to serve you through my stories. If it be your will, help through this revision. Amen.