An Exercise in Revision

When I woke up this morning, I woke excited at the idea of writing.  I was going to finish my chapter on the Artist’s Way, wrap up some of the tasks, and potentially use some of them for my blog update today.  When I got the laptop out and opened the book, though, I just sort of stared at it.  Nope.  I don’t want to do any of this.  And suddenly I didn’t feel like writing at all.  I think it’s discouragement at the lack of ideas, which is something I’ve struggled with often.  I didn’t let it put me off, though!  I’ll just write until something comes to mind, then, I thought.  So I did.  I started writing about how I didn’t feel like writing, and then suddenly I had remembered that I was going to try working on revision.  But what should I even write about?  Didn’t matter, I convinced myself.  It could be complete nonsense, the point is just to write something in one go, and then completely rewrite it.

I let the ideas just sort of flow and it ended up settling on heartache.  At first I thought that I would try to write a bit about how I had felt last year, when I was going through heartache of my own, and it did have a bit of that experience behind it, but in my revision I started making it about something else.  Pronouns got confusing in the revision, so I rewrote it again from a first person perspective and then thoughts of one of my fictional characters started popping in my head.  It’s exciting to think about her again, because I haven’t really thought about her much over the last year or so.

Anyway, what follows is my exercise in revision.  I wasn’t as afraid of it in small scale, but the idea of throwing out big chunks of what I’ve been able to come up with still scares me a little, so this likely won’t be the first time I post something like this.  Enjoy!


There was a time when the world was awash with color.  When everything in it was vibrant and rich.  When a laugh would echo for miles and touch the souls of everyone.  There was a time that love was in her heart, warm and throbbing with life.  She would wake in the morning and flit on soft feet to the kitchen where she would bake her apple and cherry pies, her loaves of bread.  Things tasted different then, too.  Rich, robust flavors that would roll over her tongue and bring to mind memories of her childhood.

Now her world was nothing but darkness.  Black and white bleeding to gray.  She saw nothing as she walked down the streets, she heard no laughter.  Heavy, heavy her footfalls when she moved throughout the house now.  It wasn’t the same with him gone.  There was no such thing as love.  Love was poison.  Love was fairy tales and everyone knew that fairy tales did not exist.  She no longer baked her pies—they were a thing that he had liked, and in baking them all she got was the sharp reminder that he was no longer here to enjoy them.  He didn’t want to be.  Before the world became hollowed out with nothingness, people told her to give it time.  Time would heal all wounds.  Time was nothing.  Time had stopped and it would never start again.

**

Give it time.  Time heals all wounds.  She wondered if that were really true.  How could it be?  She felt as though she had been here, stuck in this world of black and white, for so many years.  Had it only been weeks?  Months?  She couldn’t keep track of anything anymore.  All she knew was that nothing felt the same since she had gone.  Her love.  Her light.  Even her memories were colorless now, and it was as if the ghost of her love was walking through the house.  She would see her there, on the couch, the echo of her smile and laughter nothing but haunting pain now.  Apple pies had been her favorite.  She couldn’t even bake them anymore.  She remembered how bright everything used to be with her around.  It had seemed as though she could take anything that came her way, so long as they were together.

Memories of her hair, long and wavy—had it been auburn, or brown?  The taste of her kisses, soft and warm on her tongue.  This wretched, piercing pain-did she know how deeply her leaving had cut her?  She longed for color, for light, for laughter again.  She longed for the time when things would feel normal once more.

**

Give it time.  Time heals all wounds.  I wonder if that’s really true.  How can it be?  I feel as though I have been here, stuck in this world of black and white, for so many years.  Has it only been weeks?  Months?  I can’t keep track of anything anymore.  All I know is that nothing feels the same since she left.  My love.  My light.  Even my memories feel colorless now.  When I turn the corner of the hallway I still see her there on the couch smiling, laughing. It cuts into my heart – how it is possible for it to continue to break?  I thought it had turned to ash the day she left.

Apple pies were her favorite.  I can’t even bring myself to go into the kitchen most days, let alone bake again. Everything used to be so bright with her around.  I knew I could take anything that came my way, just so long as she was by my side.  We were partners. A team.  Together we were strong.

Memories of her hair, long and wavy—was it auburn, or brown?  The taste of her kisses, soft and warm on my tongue.  I can hardly recall anymore. This wretched, piercing pain-does she know how deeply her leaving has cut me?  I long for color, for light, for laughter again.  I long for things to feel normal again.  I want to hear the laughter that lights up the world.  Time heals all wounds, they say.  Time won’t heal anything for me.  How can it, now that it has simply stopped?

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