Monday, 25 August 2008

The Wellness Papers 3 Written Women

It's always a fight.

A struggle against a male desire to control what will get written, what becomes the norm, how the balance of what is spoken and what is written will be expressed.

Movement and its repression.

I sit. On a path, at a wall, at a table, watching the patterns and flow of his story as if it were a malleable art, as if it belongs to me, too.

I'm very close to it, I can see the children's nightmares, poised like clouds above our heads as the two middle aged men veer towards us, out of their minds.

'Why don't you?' I ask, pushing him into my present.

He's silent for a moment, looks at me as if I'm real but he can't understand what I am saying.

Here is a new world because he knows how much the old one injures us.

I ask to be understood.

I feel him writing. I look up. He's writing, the same moment when he notices me, he writes.

I think: 'I need to let you know how it feels to choose a moment to write that is really someone else's full stop; their paragraph, their semi colon: how it feels to find each detail of your life hammered painfully across someone else's road map for their future'.

Writing is hiding, boxing clever. Expressing love for the work in such tender terms, perhaps letting you feel that you are really the writer. Taking you in, explaining what I may do next because that is what writing has come to mean for women: preparation, ritual, rehearsal, of an act of betrayal, whether of an individual, group or a cause.

A bit like a crucifixion, really.

The written never really tells what they were really doing. Or even what they could be doing! Noone really interrogates the scene of the crime of writing except for a few odd critical theorists, getting even.

I read people and I am read. Witness and criminal. Needing to do this because I am misread. In denying my art I take him with me as if he is a drug.

He is fascinated and amused that he can fix me and walk away. I am overwhelmed. Call it lust, love, pleasure.

Anything but what it is.

I am trading silently.

It's always a fight. A struggle against my desire to control what will get written, how the balance of what was said or done will be expressed as writing. Writers feel other witers writing against the possibility of them writing all the time.

Women never have the space they think they have.

'Here' is always where I express all the imagined freely, express my 'innermost' thoughts but when they become words on a page you don't really know where I've been, don't really know the cost and price of these words.

It's only if the rhythms, patterns are any good that you'll find yourself idly following my train of thought.

You're here then, just for the ride.

Don't move! 'Sit on the wall and wait for your dad to come home'.

Don't move! 'Hold your father's hand while we give you this blood transfusion'.

'Don't move your father's head from the steering wheel. The ambulance will soon be here'.

'Don't move'. The big Irish builder stroked my head and told me that an ambulance was coming.

First position. A baby. Sprawling map of humanity. First knock, slap, repression. First position with others.

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