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Introduction / Week 0

In the morning, I stumble into the room, guided by the dim outline of light around the edges of the pocket shutters. Perhaps once they were able to completely darken the room, but two hundred years later the wood is warped and covered with too many layers of paint. Still, they keep the room dark enough and provide insulation against the winter chill. As I slide them them open a voice booms in the darkness to the accompaniment of the skittering scrape, “MAMA!”

Knit two into three, slip, slip, slip, knit, knit three, knit three together...

1st April 1940 and they're not where they should be. Streets are combed block by block. Family and neighbors located. Yet, Dorothy and her twin sons are nowhere to be found. Questions are asked. All potential leads are followed. Finally, one afternoon, after months of searching, she turns up. Dorothy B---, age 20, inmate. But the infant twins, it's like they never existed at all.

Knit three, yarn over, knit three, yarn over, knit three...

They came in early autumn. First it was just one, inspecting an echinacea blossom in the garden. Next day we saw half dozen in front of a picturesque two story federal in Dock Square. Soon, they were everywhere. You couldn't walk to the beach without counting dozens. I'd never seen so many. Was it an omen? An invasion? A sign from God? Then one Sunday afternoon, while out pushing the carriage, it happened. Just as I was rounding the corner by the stone church on the ocean cliffs they soundlessly rose as one. There must have been hundreds of them, maybe a thousand or more. It was unfathomable. And then, as mysteriously as they had arrived, they were gone. Weeks later, I still felt a longing in my heart.

Knit one, slip one, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over...

In the middle of the woods there is a cemetery. No path leads there. Usually it is lost, until some adventurous soul wanders from the trail to push through scraggly branches and trip over gnarled roots. Then, maybe, if the course of trajectory is just right, it appears. First the granite posts and rusting bars that encircle the residents in their eternal rest. Then the twisted underbrush that threatens to consume everything. Some empty beer cans and soda bottles give testament to the fact that others have come this way. Just as the fine craftsmanship of cut and chiseled stone comes into view there's a loud snap.

Knit five, slip two, knit one, pass slipped stitches over, knit four...

A friend of mine once mused that we're all characters in a book. If that's the case, then call me Ishmael, for my stories often as not are about other people more than me. You know when you meet a main character. They're the compelling captains with an obsession. And I'm not one of them. I'm the person who goes through life seeking out main characters; surrounding myself with them; collecting them, if you will. I'm the one who remembers them and transmits that memory into the world.

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
mezzogiorno
Jan. 20th, 2013 10:10 pm (UTC)
I'm the person who goes through life seeking out main characters; surrounding myself with them; collecting them, if you will. I'm the one who remembers them and transmits that memory into the world.

What a beautiful line, and a beautiful thought.
occasionally
Jan. 22nd, 2013 12:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I feel like I'm starting to find my words again.
baxaphobia
Jan. 20th, 2013 10:20 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful! You are in the game! Yay!
occasionally
Jan. 22nd, 2013 12:45 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to be in the game. I think it's good for my spirit to write.
momebie
Jan. 21st, 2013 03:02 am (UTC)
The overall tone of this is delicious. And I'm incredibly curious about them, as I tend to be when a them appears.
occasionally
Jan. 22nd, 2013 12:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Maybe they'll make an appearance in a later entry. Or maybe not. We'll see where the game takes me.
lilycobalt
Jan. 21st, 2013 04:21 am (UTC)
I enjoyed the feeling of moving around in time from paragraph to paragraph. The knitting sentences helped bind each scene together. Your writing is so lovely, especially for Idol.
occasionally
Jan. 22nd, 2013 01:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm glad the movement and knitting things up worked for you.
comedychick
Jan. 21st, 2013 08:41 am (UTC)
This was a delightful taste of what we might find from you this mini-season. I liked the way you switched between paragraphs.
occasionally
Jan. 22nd, 2013 01:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I wanted to display not just pieces of my life, but pieces of what sort of writing I might produce.
kandigurl
Jan. 21st, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
You had me at "Knit two". :)

Gorgeous entry.

Also, I'm glad you're using the same icon for this journal because I recognized you immediately!
occasionally
Jan. 22nd, 2013 01:59 pm (UTC)
Knitting is awesome. And it works well as a metaphor, too.

Glad you liked it. It was nice to write it, too... I always forget how good it can feel to write.

Yeah, I wanted to have a public journal--but I wanted to help people make the connection that it was still me.
kandigurl
Jan. 22nd, 2013 03:37 pm (UTC)
"I always forget how good it can feel to write."

Same here!
jenny_evergreen
Jan. 21st, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC)
You brought that together so beautifully at the end; really excellent. And very cool. :)
occasionally
Jan. 22nd, 2013 01:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Finding a good ending can be a challenge, but it's definitely something that I work to do well.
cheshire23
Jan. 22nd, 2013 12:38 am (UTC)
I absolutely love the flow of this. Beautiful, as always. <3
occasionally
Jan. 22nd, 2013 02:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you. It's always a gamble putting your own style out there--I prefer to write in a way that's true to myself, but it can feel a little vulnerable, too.
halfshellvenus
Jan. 22nd, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
The thought that there are characters and stories that compel you to tell them is like a brand on the soul of a writer. It never leaves, and never relents.

Welcome back!
occasionally
Jan. 23rd, 2013 02:57 am (UTC)
I always tell stories when I'm sitting around my house... but so often I don't think to write them down. Not that anyone wants to read about budgies taking night school courses for their accounting certificate.

It's good to be back. Thanks.
fourzoas
Jan. 23rd, 2013 04:11 am (UTC)
The mystery, the movement, the knitting--loved this!
occasionally
Jan. 24th, 2013 01:43 am (UTC)
Thank you! I tend to think that mystery, movement, and knitting are all important traits of mine. :)
(Deleted comment)
occasionally
Jan. 24th, 2013 01:57 am (UTC)
They're not references, just mini stories in their own right. They're all based on my experiences: Motherhood. Genealogy. Walking. Exploring. How I relate to people. Each one was a play on how I could make real life more exciting by how I framed things, the details that were shared. My brain tends to draw connections between things that I'm fairly certain aren't apparent to most other people. But I try to write from a place that assumes that they'll be able to make them (because the alternative feels a bit too arrogant for my liking).

I'm glad that you liked it, despite feeling like you didn't understand. I don't think that complete understanding is required to enjoy art, to be moved or touched.
imafarmgirl
Jan. 25th, 2013 12:33 am (UTC)
This was great. I kept waiting to see what would happen next.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )