All these words… My words. Stories of my past. And of my imagination. Where do they fit?
I read the stories published as literary, that mock my conservative small-town world, my faith. Stories in which l lose my way between what’s literal and what’s figurative, where last night a figure of Jesus was shoving ice cubes up an unconscious girl’s anus.
And this is mainstream. The markets open to writers of any, at least theoretically, faith or political leaning… as long as their writing doesn’t reveal latent conservativism or sympathy to it. If you believe in Jesus, you can’t imply He is the only way, or you believe there is Truth – yes, capital T Truth. Markets where there isn’t an obliquely or blatantly stated prerequisite to champion the belief that there are as many genders as individuals want to say there are, regardless of the genome.
Where’s the middle? It should be broad. Where I’m not considered too narrow or too brazen. Too spare or too poetic. Overt or sanitized to the point of unreality. There seem to be many books that fit, but what about short format? Out here in the middle, struggling to finish cohesive stories, real and made-up.
In much of my life I seem adrift in the middle. Between transforming faith and apostasy, between committed wedlock and dissolution, a state of spiritual and emotional separation. Looking for mooring… no, not looking for mooring, looking into the depths. I’d accept a favorable wind or current worth catching if it came along. But for now…
Some of it’s summer, isn’t it? That in-between that begins when you’re a child and start school. And stays or returns if you become a teacher, or parent of school-age children. I won’t be going back to teach preschool in September. But I will be getting back into greater involvement with homeschooling my kids. Changes are coming, testing new waters.
I refuse to merely drift. And I won’t be swamped by others’ apathy.
The words from here don’t fit where my words used to. I want to tell stories. But don’t know how to find enough people who want to read them. I say things that some won’t want to hear from me. They don’t fit their image of me, or, in some cases, what we believe.
But I sail on. For now, through the middle.