Maybe there’s a galaxy with a planet that’s just a little more tilted, with a sun that shines just a little bit darker, and that’s where I’m supposed to be, where it somehow makes sense to feel this broken. ― Amy Reed, Crazy
(I haven’t read the YA novel that the above quote is from, I just found it somewhere and liked it.)
I wondered how you guys are doing, out here on planet bipolar? And I was wondering whether you look at your life as if it were storyshaped, if it’d fit into a book? If you do, I wonder (let’s pretend there’s a magic wand here, rather than the blood, sweat and tears of creativity) whether your story would be a memoir or a novel? What genre of novel? How long? The magic wand, by the way, offers a choice of prescience or wish fulfilment, which allows me to ask you whether the ending would be happy, sad, or something else on that allegedly bipolar spectrum? Would you be the protagonist or the sidekick? If you could have any writer, living or dead, write your biography, who would you want to do it? If…
Okay, okay, I know that’s a whole heap of questions, but they fascinate me. See, once upon a time, a friend said to me, “I wish you’d stop seeing yourself as a work of fiction.” I was flattered. It’s one of those lines that swim around your mind forever, you know? They’re not always visible, but occasionally they surface and you get a pensive, faraway look in your eyes (see what I mean by storyshaped?) and they make more sense, or different sense along the way. Ageing has meant the extraction of my head from my nether regions, so I stopped seeing myself in a dramatically existentialist way and shifted towards prosaic existentialism. Now… well now I vacillate between wishing I’d done less sitting outside myself observing, and more living, and being grateful that dissociation was early on the learning curve. It doesn’t matter either way now. The remark floated along my mindscape for the first time in years today and my first reaction was sorrow, because the friend who said it is dead. And then I wonder if any/many of you had similar themes in your thoughtstreams.
It’s more than dissociation, isn’t it? It’s not simply the removal of the self to a safer place, with a changed perspective; it’s the shaping of that perspective into a daydream, in a way. So I guess I’m asking (as if there weren’t enough questions in this post already) whether you’re an documentary maker or a storyteller? What kind of film would they (good old ‘they’) make of your life, of you?
I should probably answer my own questions.
If I could put myself into an ideal situation, you know I’d want to be one of the Rohirrim, but I’m trying for some vague realism here.
I’d want a novel, because a memoir (or a documentary) would wind up being like one of the many Irish novels I avoid, full of pain, abuse and downtrodden people. It’d be entirely the wrong kind of grey, no matter how accurate it was. Actually I can answer a few of my own questions at once, by saying that my ideal would be for Juliann Garey to edit the money and flamboyance out of Too Bright To Hear Too Loud To See, change some pronouns and the job’s a good ‘un. The quotes I included in my post about it, pretty much say it all for me. A film would be pretty much the polar opposite, have you seen Three Colours: Blue? I’d be the part where Juliette Binoche just weeps and weeps and weeps and weeps. I’m rolling my eyes at myself. If I had zero choice in the matter, I’d probably be written and directed by the bastard lovechild of Monty Python and Salvador Dali.
I’ll change my mind about it all by tomorrow.