Friday, April 16, 2010

Ellanor at work

A book excerpt, from the time surrounding Ella's memorial and talking with Barry, the celebrant who conducted the service:

“Kirrily and Steve, when asked, will say ‘It’s okay’. But they know it's not okay. It's not okay in that it hurts like hell, and will for a long time. But in another sense it is okay. Ultimately, it will be. Ultimately, it is okay.”

Steve and I had stressed to Barry that despite the obvious horror if the situation, we had a very positive feeling that all of this, quite simply, when all was said and done, was “okay”. The word seemed so weak, for want of a more fitting explanation, and I recall seeing Barry’s almost disbelieving look as we tried to assure him how we were feeling. But it was simply that: okay.

Steve and I had had conversations already about the hopelessness, the unavoidably bereft feelings we had been dealing with, feeling so alone in our grief, yet standing side by side. They were far from the last discussions we would have about Ella and how strongly we missed her. But we had already gathered a certain strength, in instinctively accepting that it was how it was and energy would be wasted in trying to deny or not accept what had happened to us and to Ella herself. What we now had to do was graciously experience our lives with her having been in it, just turning headlong and going straight into those incessantly crashing waves. To not accept this would have been our swift undoing very early on.

I have been up since 4.30am today. Called out of bed to sit and work on this manuscript. Steve and I had a quick brainstorm the other night and the book has moved up in the queue on my Things To Tackle & Tinker With list ever since.

We worked out a bit of a model for the latter part of the book - I have been stuck on this for sooooo long, like.... a year - and I think it may just work. Basically, to bridge the events between Ella's memorial and the end of the book (it is inevitable, it has to end... eventually... SURELY!?!?!?), we have worked on a 5-pronged sort of branching. Separating it into parts or sections. Like acts in a play.

The first section of the book is long. It encompasses our beginning right through to the beginning of our new lives, post mortem. And then, the idea is now to write about the five main areas of our lives (Steve's and mine) that have become affected, writing each of them from the same starting point through to the conclusion of the story. If you get what I mean.

I hope this technique works! It is proving really tedious (to read and write) to continue the story in straight chronological order after Ella dies, because... well, I don't quite know why. It just is. Perhaps because there is just SO much that changes, none of the aspects of those changes is given the opportunity to be fully explored the way I'd like.

So I am trusting this will inject some much needed, long overdue inspiration into the work.

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