Monday, June 21, 2010

Down the Road

The Wiz caught me this afternoon and pinned me in front of the TV. Dorothy's dress and the painted playground of the skating munchkins started talking to me about what I'd expected to be when I grew up, where I thought I'd go, and the odd double-image of adulthood that I've carried for so many years. In one eye, there is the image of the writer and the doer, in the other eye, there is the fog of family. For me, New York is an image and a talisman, a place that is an unreal as Oz but as potent. It is the talisman of the clear-sighted eye. In this view, the lands of adulthood have always been childless for me. One had companions and one had, either before or behind one, the City.

The talisman of the foggy eye would be the expectations that fell on me through my family that I gathered and made an umbrella of. The fear of unknown places, the desire to shirk because "nice girls didn't..." They didn't do anything except hit their meaningless marks. Clean the same furniture over and over and over. Make the grades and get the degree that "doesn't pay anything." This talisman is the voice in my head that says "stop" or "quit." This is the voice of the wizard.

As you can probably tell, The Wizard of Oz is one of those stories that swirls around in my head, popping up every so often in my own writing. I haven't read the books in years; however, I did read all of them as a young child and found the secret cities and giant poppies and slender crowns forming one innocent edge of the Surburbia of Wonder.

Since today has been one of those days when I've been fighting the wizard, it was nice to also get a chance to remember what I was aiming for in the first place.

Oh, and I did finish Divine Misfortune, so that will be the subject of tomorrow's post.

Good words and great days,

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