Friday, June 30, 2017
6:15 a.m. Miss Rita, I sense that you may have something to say to me this morning. Or maybe I’m just nostalgic for the old morning messages.
You might explain to people why you feel you can’t both write novels and serve as conduit for messages.
You know – I can answer that, easily enough, but I wonder about, and suspect, this tendency to have the focus more and more on me as a conduit rather than on the information received.
But that isn’t what is going on. Instead, you as conduit are an integral part of the message, because the message is, “If he can do it, you can do it.” Other parts of the message have been delivered and absorbed, mostly “The access is always there, if you stop distrusting it.” But your life and open apprenticeship is as useful to people as anything, because you did not attempt to hide, but instead explored, and explained, various wrong turnings. Naturally that leads to a somewhat greater interest in you as a persona. Your task is merely to prevent the persona from absorbing the individual. Your own self-suspicion helps, there.
To answer your challenge, if I do this, and transcribe it, and post it, that feels like a day’s work to me, and so what is there to go into a novel? But of course if I am in a non-creative part of the process – organizational, or editing, or something – that early-morning burst of creative energy is not so necessary. Is that what you wanted?
It is, and for this reason: Everybody who comes to this work is going to have to juggle time and attention, so a little reminder that it is a problem for others may serve to encourage.
Okay. Is that the message, this morning? I’m not champing at the bit to go do something else. Just asking.
You need to settle in a little more. There, you feel the difference.
Even as I wrote out that first sentence, yes. The reminder is all I needed. So, then?
Your work with Hemingway, shaping and reshaping the book you are working on, is a good metaphor for life in the 3D world. You never work alone, regardless how it appears; there is always more to learn; learning is always seated in only by practice, never by disconnected insight; always progress brings discontent with where you were, and, often enough, with where you are. At the same time, discontent may be a productive or a hindering tendency. It is productive to the extent that it spurs you on rather than allowing you to fool yourself that you are further along than you are in fact. It is a hindering tendency insofar as it leads you to question your own past and present actions, decisions, in short, your past and present state of being.
When you sit down to revise a manuscript, you would not profit by condemning yourself for every word you now see as misplaced or wrongly chosen. In crossing out or moving words, or phrases, or sentences, or whole paragraphs, you would not profit by condemning your past misjudgments. Instead, you use your present awareness, taking increased clarity to be the gift that it really is. Do the same when looking at your life, and things go smoother.
I am not under the illusion that these words are meant only for me, nor that they are not meant for me nonetheless.
No departure there. That has been the theme-song from the beginning.
I remember being told – a good long time ago, now – that one reason I was chosen is that I am able to put it all out there without too much worrying over image. But of course this created a persona, I am aware.
Remember, life without persona is not possible. No one sees all of any other person, regardless how willing either or both may be. And the habitual way one sees another is the persona in the eyes of the observer. Another observer will have a different if perhaps similar mental image of the other. But nobody can know everything about anybody, any more than a person could see all sides of a mountain simultaneously. When the observed person does something that does not entirely fit the persona, we say he or she “stepped out of character.” All anyone can do is to try to be as authentic and unaffected (meaning, not trying for a given effect) as possible. You are not responsible for how others see you, only for how you consciously present yourself.
Many people feel that Hemingway became a prisoner to his own persona, trying to live his myth.
That was not his problem, exactly. It would be more accurate to say that he wanted to continue to be himself but had the unceasing awareness of public interest in his activities, and public interpretation of ambiguous events always in a certain way. [I take this to mean that after a while the public tended to regard anything he did in a certain light cast by the Hemingway Myth, more or less regardless of the facts.] It acted as a drag of a hook and line in a fish’s mouth, as he said to you or through you once. It was a constant drag, and pulling against it took a toll in energy, spontaneity, and the ability to forget his own personality. Fame had its cost, and it was not what he had expected or what others recognized. Instead, they condemned him for being theatrical, not stopping to reflect that he was living his life on stage willy-nilly after a certain point.
I get the impression that you have become acquainted with him in the non-3D world. But even as I write that, I smile, because I realize, I’m being suckered in again, aren’t I? I can sense the beginning of an answer to Bob Friedman’s old question – “what do they do over there?” Are we in for yet another Rita book?
I told you my ideal existence.
Yes, endless research and never a need to write a report. I found that a sort of bemusing inversion of the way I’d prefer things.
I’m doing the research merely by living here, as you there do by living in the 3D world. If I talk to you about what I have experienced and you use the already-gathered material to create a book, are we not each getting the best of both worlds? (In both senses of the term.)
Oh, I’m ready if you’re ready. But I still have “Papa’s Trial” to finish. At this point it looks as if draft eight is going to be more like a complete rewrite.
No need for the two projects to interfere. You’ll see.
Very well. I’ll type this up and send it out, and we’ll see if we are once again off to the races. On behalf of many people, thanks for so much research delivered so far.