Of true submission

“Most people think the best way to live is to run from pain. But a much more joyful life embraces the entire spectrum of human feeling.” – Lee Holloway, Secretary

I gave you a copy of Secretary. Said you were my E Edward Grey. You watched and said I’m not sure how I feel about that, because you thought I meant your kinks, when what I really meant was how you feared them.

I recognised the concerted effort, the slight tremble that comes with pushing it down. The hardened surface, the closing off. And the way it would all suddenly crack apart when it became too much – this strange tenderness that grew in the dark between us.

You were my Mr. Grey. Battling hard against the force of my submission. Only a fool would think it wasn’t brave – this laying down, this baring all. The way you said it’s different with you, and I could finally get you to make that rare sound of ragged breath, and your return.

(Only, I wonder now you are gone. Just where did my surrender take you?)

I kept my hands flat on the table for as long as I could, you know. Like the fierce and determined Lee I was completely sure of my love. I thought it could play in the shadows, give off a different kind of light. The hardest thing I ever did was finally lift my hands.

It remains my one act of true submission.

Maggie Gyllenhaal Secretary

Reposting one of my very early pieces that helped me map out the relationship between Maggie and Mack. As I send off a submission of a different kind today, I feel some kind of wonder at how The Memory of Stars grew out of these interludes, and just how much history this little blog contains.

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What we remember

body, remember blog


I’ve made it to my 200th post at body, remember!! When I started this blog two years ago, I had a cracked heart – and an idea to write it back into something whole again. I’ve learnt so much since then. Post by post. Word by word. Revelation by (painful!) revelation. Here’s to another 200, and all the mistakes lessons yet to come …


“You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too.” – Anais Nin

The end is where we start from

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” – T.S. Eliot

A big hello to my readers here at body, remember. I truly value every single like and comment you make; writing a novel is a solitary endeavour, and you always seem to provide look-up-at-the-world moments just when I need them most.

I’m moving closer and closer to a final draft of The Memory of Stars now, and this blog is a wonderfully interactive, wonderfully international writing exercise to get me there. I pay attention to what resonates with you, and I’m never more grateful than when you share your stories with me, too.

And like I said, I’m moving closer. I’ve just created a new page here; it contains a synopsis of The Memory of Stars, and a link to the first (very edited!) third of the book. It’s Maggie Valentine’s story. The woman who started it all. But as Maggie herself says – Now I know there is no such thing as an ending.

The end is where we start from, indeed …

The Memory of Stars by Jacqueline Bublitz

Revelation

and I don’t regret the mistakes love I’ve made …

Jacqueline Bublitz Image

Eidyia’s Note: A very Happy End of 2013 and beginning of a New Year to my fellow readers, writers, lovers (and leavers) at body, remember. Here’s what I have come to understand this year. It takes as long as it takes. But you get there. Eventually. Embrace those mis-takes for what they teach you. And never, ever regret the love you made xxx

Do the thing

Hey there readers!

This is my 150th post at body, remember. This little project that started with a tag line – all the things we remember to forget  – and a post about endings:

body, remember blog

My very first post at body, remember

… or earlier still, when I sat up in bed one morning struck by the idea for a novel where the lover dies on the first page. Or earlier than that morning even, when I fell into mad, true, ridiculous love for the first second time and the world turned into a mass of metaphor … and not a little pain. Or before that. Back when everything starts – as a kid, lost in my head, wondering about life and love, and quietly sure it was going to be something bigger for me.

Rock and Teish

My co-conspirator, Teisha

Why do we write? Why do you write? Anais Nin said it is to taste life twice. I think it is as much to taste something new, to explore the life not yet lived. Or perhaps just this life, differently. As a kid I rode horses, and I would spend hours wandering around the countryside and my head, creating a new character for my favourite TV show or picking up a story thread from whatever book I was reading at the time. Taking what I knew – and pushing it further. I never really did have an imagination. Just curiosity and a heightened empathy for the human experience. And always, always that desire for something more.

Why do we stop writing? That is as much the question. I have drawers full of notebooks, scribbled lines and crossed-out confessions, but for the longest time I could not get past these beginnings. I wanted everything I wrote to be perfect. And so I stopped writing anything at all. I wanted what I wrote to be beautiful and fully formed from the start, I wanted to write like Anais, or Alice Walker, or Jeanette Winterson, the women whose words could break me apart with their impact. And because I couldn’t approach their genius, I wrote nothing.

Until body, remember. Until the exercise of writing this blog. 150 posts in and everything is different now. Or back to what it was when I was a kid, riding my horse across that wild Antipodean land and turning everything into a story. I write every day. I write imperfectly. I write the occasional sentence or paragraph that I’m actually proud of. I write to tell you something. I write to tell myself more. I am inspired and frustrated and committed. I’m a writer. I am a writer!!

And that book idea that struck me in the chest all those years ago, well it is finally here. For all of my readers who have watched me make my way toward this, I wanted to share the first 15,000 words of body, remember with you here:

body, remember cover

Link to the first 8 chapters: http://authonomy.com/books/55304/body-remember/

Aaaaaaahhh! I cried yesterday when I put it out there on Authonomy. Maggie Valentine and her story that started off as mine, but became that something (so much) more. The novel itself is nearly done, it now features three strong, passionate female characters (and one dead lover!), and as I edit the existing content I’ll put more of their stories online. I had to take a deep breath and do it. I was ready.

Which brings me to the point of this 150th post. Do the thing. That thing you have always wanted to do. That thing that has followed you. The ‘if-only’ thing. The ‘next year’ thing. That project, that dream, that desire. Do the thing!! Start. Start now in fact. Because to start is to change every thing. And you never know where that beginning can take you. The story really does expand. Once you’re in it. Once you are doing the thing.

Oh! And if you are going to fall in love – make damn sure it is a love worth writing about 😉

Thank you more than ever for coming along for the ride xxx

Warning’s fair. I don’t care. Very much (a declaration of independence)

I made a list of things that have changed in the stretch of time since I saw you last. A top five in some-particular-order I thought you might like to know. In the desert certain things grow – so here goes. Here’s what you haven’t heard in the millions of seconds since the tick tock of you and I.

For one – I’ve grown my hair. I got rid of that Amelie bob you liked so much. I went all Blue Lagoon in fact. Long and lush, and messy. No more sharp angles and coy fringe.  No eyes cast down – then up – peeking out from behind a veil.  When I toss my head now people have to make way (it should be no surprise you liked it best contained).

Brooke Shields, Blue Lagoon

I think we have the same stylist.

And two – I’ve gotten fatter. I know – I’m supposed to get fit and fabulous, right? I’m sure that is # 2 on the standard list. But I spent years trying to look better than someone else – to just be me. So I’m filling out my own skin this time. A little extra flesh to feel a little less …diminished. It goes with the hair I think. I’m suddenly full to over-flowing. And very rarely hungry (I imagine in another time with my curved belly and hand-full hips I’d be good for Picasso‘s dream at least).

The Dreamer, Picasso

The Dreamer (and me) by Picasso, 1932

Number three – I’ve gone part-time. I’ve sort of stepped to the side and let everyone else keep running their ragged race. And as they heave and puff their way up the corporate ladder I’ve slid down the snake of sleeping in and pouring wine. Can you even imagine? My ambitious friend! The house I’ll never have, the ceiling I’ll never break? Oh, I’m as aspiring as ever, but the dreams are all mine now baby (I could almost bottle them).

Wild Rock Bublitz

Spilling some Wild Rock

Cause number four, love – I’m writing. Yeah! I’ll say that again. I’m writing! See, all the words got stuck in my mouth when it ended. We used to talk every day, remember? And when that stopped my mouth filled up with everything unspoken. So many words crowding my tongue. They over-flowed and dribbled down my chin, and the only way not to choke was to spit them out. I captured the words in my hands and as they siphoned through my fingers the trickle turned to flow.

Turns out that fucking writers block was you in fact. Renouncing feeling so I wouldn’t explode, silencing the questions – that was you. It all got trapped in the tip of the pen and I scribbled blank pages for years. Now I’m covered in ink.

body, remember blog

body, remember
Image by Joanne Piechota, words by me

When I think of how much I used to say – I suppose nothing was new and remarkable in the end. Even my declarations of love were lost in the rinse-repeat. Eventually we were just like any other couple, ironically. Words as wallpaper, covering up the cracks and revealing nothing.

And now I’m all cracks and splinter, and I’ve never felt more beautiful in the light. So lastly on this list of things that have changed …

If you go, or if you stay. Warning’s fair. I don’t care. Very much.  Either way.

(if you kiss me … if we touch …)

Eidyia’s Note: I wrote the above piece almost 18 months ago, 3 months after I ended the relationship that inspired body, remember. I remember the tentative fierceness of that period, how I was angry, and sad, and triumphant all at once, and how the words just kept coming. Every night, sitting up in bed with a glass of red wine, leeching the feelings out through my fingers. As a creative period in my life, it remains unmatched. Now, now the writing is work – the best kind of work of course, but work nonetheless.

18 months later, everything has changed – and for the better. This is the genius of life – it renews and revives no matter how often you forget that it can. I’m going to write more about this tomorrow, but wanted to re-visit this early declaration of independence, today.

Thank you as ever for coming along for the ride xxx

Running

I want to hold on to the anger. It is the third stage, and the easiest. It is fuel, a white hot rise in the blood that ensures you don’t stay still when the world goes on around you. I barrel forward for a week after seeing that magazine, I start running, literally, every morning, when the sun hangs out with the moon and the black recedes to blue. You blazed into my life Mack, you altered my direction, and in these early mornings as my feet mark time on the gravel I know I am trying to run away from you, from Lucy, from a pregnant Anna on the cover of every women’s magazine.

Some mornings I am chest out, pounding the ground proud, having my own little revival – I can do this, look at me go. I can be strong alone. Other days, head down, I feel the soft sadness creep back in like a new morning rain and I run through it and in it, so slow as to almost stand still.

And some mornings I want to stop, right there on the river that watched you die. I want to let my knees buckle from the weight of my history, I want to lie down amongst the rotting leaves and yellowed grass of early winter and put my cheek against the dirt.

But I know that if I do this, I will never get up again. If I lay down the world will keep moving, it will not adjust its pace just because you and I have stopped. Anna will still be growing the baby you made when I loved you most, even Lucy will start to heal over, just like the scars on her hands she no longer hides. If I lay down now, people will simply run over the top of me, they have so many places to go that eventually they will not even notice that I am under their feet. The day will give way to a week, a month, a year, and I will not have moved from this spot. Everything around me will be in constant motion and I will be left behind. If I do this I will never get up again.

I keep going. I get up the next morning and I run with a little certainty, and the next morning, and the next. I keep going. Chest out, pounding the ground proud, I keep going. Even in the soft sadness I keep going. I sometimes think it is running that saves me.

***

Running Track at body remember

Eidyia’s Note: This now belongs to Maggie Valentine, but the piece first appeared here, very early on, as my own experience:  

https://bodyremember.com/2012/02/19/fight-or-flight-i-want-to-run-to-you/ 

It is so obvious now that all I needed to do was write. Just write. Even if you don’t know where it will take you. Just write. And keep going. It will all make a wonderful sense in the end …