Letters of Life

The Papa Hemingway Writing Challenge

Gilding the lily.

Gilding the lily.

In answer to the Weekly Writing Challenge this week, I’m pulling my archive drawers open and riffling through old posts for “a bloated, nasty, air-filled paragraph.” Then, I’m to “edit it until it cries for mercy.” 

I’ve chosen several lines from my introductory post on featherglass for butch— I mean, editing. The post is about how my blog’s original title, Don’t Dream It’s Over, borrowed from a song well-loved in college.

Here goes.

Before this round of editing

So what do reminisces about college and a 21st century blog have in common besides the name of a song? Maybe it’s a deepseated longing for a more carefree time, when things were less complicated, and one could imagine being curled up in a corner of a wood-panelled room, bathed in non-destructive sunlight, asleep.

It’s a reminder to me, today, when our speedy lives take precedence over the simple and uncomplicated, that there is a space I can retreat to, where I can be ignore the urgent pounding on the door.

Where I can pretend I am today what I was in a not-t00-distant past: Dreamy-eyed, in no rush to build an empire (no matter how small), or strategise a career path, or hide behind masks.

Of knowing, without a doubt, that between old friends nothing is over, that there is something there that cannot be affected by change, no matter how far, or how few the conversations are in between the silences.

Ephemeral threads of dialogue that can be easily resumed as if no time has passed and everything is as it were since the last time. Of implicit trust and belief in who that person really is, the part that, no matter what transient life brings, remains changeless.

It is in the heart that these things stay.

After editing

So what do memories of college days and a 21st-century blog have in common besides the name of a pop song? Maybe it’s a yearning for a more carefree time, when one could think of curling up in a corner of a wood-panelled room, bathed in non-destructive sunlight, asleep. It’s a reminder that there is a space I can retreat to, where I can ignore the urgent pounding on the door. Where I can pretend to have stubbornly remained dreamy-eyed, in no rush to strategise the trajectory of a career, or hide behind masks.

Of remembering that very old friendships start from very small beginnings. Ephemeral threads of dialogue that are picked up as if no time has passed and everything is as it were since the last time. Of implicit trust and belief in who that person really is, and no matter what transient life brings, remains to us changeless.

This is both a sad and happy state of the heart.

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2 Responses »

  1. Subtract without deducting?

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