I’ve been drafting this post for a long time but without a firm idea of what held its myriad topics together.
But the other night hubby and I were at a party for his department and, someone asked what the wings meant and it came together.
What wings? Well (and dad, you might want to sit down here), for my 45th birthday present to myself, I got myself a tattoo from the premier artist in our area. It was designed for me, based on an idea (wings — fairy not butterfly –, stained glass, spot color, inner wrist). And it is stunning actually. Every time I look at it, I fall in love with it more. Which is good for something I’m going to have for the rest of my life!
Hubby’s answer to the question of what the wings mean is usually something along the lines of “She’s writing a book about fairies.” And that isn’t incorrect.
I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember. But fiction has always eluded me. This changed in May but I couldn’t really tell you why. Perhaps I was finally bored enough, or the waiting process for our adoption was getting to me, or I just felt like I needed to give birth to “something”.
And so yes, I’m writing a young adult fiction piece about fairies, and music, and love, and the salvation of love, and the power of love to heal and restore faith just when you thought you had none left. It’s about a girl who is strong and strong-willed who just happens to be human and a guy who is broken, and romantic, and seeking, who just happens to be a fairy. (Ironically enough, neither of them have wings!).
It isn’t finished. There is a knotty part about ¾ of the way through where the plot is fighting me. And it will need serious revisions. But it is something I never thought I’d be able to do. And I’m doing it. Much like getting a tattoo actually.
There is a certain “If not now, when” attitude that I’m courting at the moment. I’m sure that this birthday, which at one time was designated as the entry to “middle age” has something to do with it. But I don’t think I’m having a mid-life crisis (no, really – I think looking significantly younger than I am helps with this!). I may not have a lot of the trappings that I thought I’d have at this point in my life (house, child in particular) but I’m not at all unhappy with where I am. To the contrary, I feel like I’m on the brink of something; something good.
That something good may come from this work in progress, it may come from our adoption, it may just be a feeling or attitude adjustment, of falling in love with love again (different from hubby who I’ve never fallen out of love with), or just with life. But it is positive.
Somewhere in the midst of this lives music and not just in the context of my writing. My freelance career is as a music journalist and music is always playing in my head (usually its music I want to hear, thankfully). But I’ve noticed that at certain times of my life the music has stopped. It’s distracted me, I haven’t been in the mood for anything, etc….. And those times have been difficult. It’s a chicken and egg thing: did I stop listening to music because of an internal malaise or vice versa?
One thing I know is that I’m not a casual music listener. Hubby will put our shared i.tunes library on shuffle and allow the 13,000 songs we have to randomly play through. I can’t do that. Music affects my thoughts and emotions even when I’m not actively listening to it and so I have to hand-pick what I’m listening to. There is music I know that I love but if I listen to it at the wrong time or in the wrong context it just irritates me.
But I write to music (this comes as no surprise to me, I always worked to music in college, silence just makes my mind wander). So I’ve been listening to music with the same themes as my fiction piece: (love, and the salvation of love, and the power of love to heal and restore faith just when you thought you had none left – in case you’ve forgotten). And I’m sure that’s been seeping into my daily life too. (For those curious and because I love nothing more than to promote those who make amazing music, the bands that have been on my daily repetitive playlist for a while include but are not limited to: Anberlin, Civil Twilight, Copeland, Elenowen, and Vertical Horizon). Go off and fall in love with their music as soon as you’re done reading this if you haven’t already.
And I’ve been reading, voraciously, like a person starving for words. And writing. And thinking about writing. And allowing my characters to have conversations in my head that wake me up in the middle of the night in hopes that they’ll say something interesting enough to write down.
These are all things that I used to do – things that I would have said defined me during college and after, before the drudgery of adulthood and real life snuck up on me. And they’re back. And I welcome them.
I do find that it’s shaken the status quo a bit. I remember talking to people when we were going through our infertility treatments and them saying that the process made it difficult to relate to their friends who had children or to friends without kids. I was fortunate that I didn’t really find that so much. The vast majority of my friends are “old” friends – or rather the friendships are old (and in the few cases where I have “new” friends, the bonds are deep enough that they might as well be old! ). I have friends I never really hear from but the minute I put out a call for assistance they’re the first to respond with offers to pull the moon from the sky if that’s what I need. And so while I miss them, I never feel unloved.
But it seems that I’m not the only person that the winds are change are blowing for (or in my case, I guess that would be “wings of change”) and many of them are wrestling with their own changes and not necessarily in the same direction that I’m moving in.
I also realized the other day that I’m living someplace that hubby and I have already decided we won’t stay in long-term. But strangely, it will be a place of significance nonetheless. It will be the place where I got my wings, where I finished (because I WILL finish it) my book, where we bring our child home to, and where, in a very strange way, I’ve found a part myself that I hadn’t realized I’d lost, again.
And THAT is what the wings mean.