Friday, November 04, 2011

Counting

I was going to talk about World Fantasy Con, but I haven't finished processing it. You can go read this interview I did with Marissa Meyer about authors and cons.

I've been thinking about moments and memory. Neil Gaiman read this story at WFC called "The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury," and I can't get it out of my head. The concept was what if one person had the responsibility of keeping an entire thing alive—what if that person forgot say, Ray Bradbury, and as a result everyone forgot.

The story unnerves me, because I don't think one person should have that kind of responsibility. There's a difference between calling something back because one person remembers it, and declaring it's the responsibility of that one person to do so. Can it even be their responsibility if no one else is aware such a responsibility could exist?

Here's another scenario: What if you met someone and you forgot you met them, because you meet a lot of people and you can't be expected to hold all of those people in your head. Does the meeting cease to have happened? Because I remember, and it still means something to me. I'm not Amy Pond-ing here—others witnessed this meeting and I know at least one of them remember, too.

Although, there are times when I do feel forgotten. But I haven't given into to the notion that I don't exist yet.

This entire post may not be making any sense because it was all half-composed in my head like three hours ago, when I thought it was important and worth sharing. Now I'm not so sure, so maybe whoever was supposed to be in charge of remembering the importance of meeting people you admire has forgotten it and all of reality has been rewritten as a result.

*

Throughout October I warmed to the idea of NaNo, of documenting and metrics and public check-ins. Accountability, thought I. That's what I'm missing. Then I went to WFC and I looked around and I reconsidered the whole idea of NaNo.

I think NaNo has something to it. Something good, but it gets lost in this more prevalent idea that words written during one month are somehow more important than words written during 11 other months.

I'm tired of feeling resentful that I don't write (fiction) all day and post to Twitter how many words I've written. I'm tired of feeling like I should be entitled to write (fiction) all day and post to Twitter how many words I've written. This prickly under my skin feeling has been all week long, and it was today that I realized the cause. November is when publishing and I break up for the holidays, because publishing has more than enough writers waving their wordcounts around the internet.

*

I don't know how it's November, when I can't remember September passing. Yet, I feel like September was three lifetimes ago and this November is an alien one fallen through time and belonging to a distant year.

There are still leaves on the trees and sun slanting between the buildings downtown to paint the sidewalks. I've been walking from the office to the halfway point of my commute then climbing on the streetcar. The walking is doing wonders for me—not crushed in a streetcar with more people than seats and space, not standing at a stop waiting for a streetcar with more space than people to arrive. I walk and I listen to music and I see things. I hope the weather holds so I can keep at this.

Because I missed the walking and the mountains and the ocean nearest to me being the right side of the continent—which is actually the left side if you're looking at a map. I had all that and stars in San Diego. I missed it enough to wonder about moving back to California, even with the US in its present condition.

Still, I think about staying long-term in Toronto. Catch myself making plans—I'd like to be walking all the way home by spring—and wondering what the place will look like in six months, a year, or two.

Maybe that's how roots set. Maybe it occurs in increments, in little ideas that allow the possibility in. Other days, home feels a long far journey from here—a discovery that hasn't happened yet.

*

You know how the Doctor and Amy laugh? The mad, joyful laughter shared between friends of not believing what just happened even though you were there and it happened?

I laughed like that with a friend at WFC. Laughed and laughed at the sheer impossibility of how a situation mirrored a previous situation. Laughed like we were in on the joke this time. Laughed like it didn't matter if the whole world heard us.

Laughter. It'll save the world.

1 comment:

Leigh Purtill said...

This whole post is brilliant, Chandra.