When I’m in the middle of a project I’m pretty careful about what extracurricular activities I allow myself because I understand that being open to them may (and often does) divert, as well as inform what I’m writing. Today I trusted in the actress Julia Roberts, and went to the movies to see her in EAT, PRAY, LOVE where I was introduced to Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 story. (No, I haven’t read the novel.)
I don’t need to tell you that there is evidence of rebirth out of destruction all around us. My little bit of transformation actually occurred in the lobby before the movie, while I waited for about twenty minutes for my mom and sister to arrive. I was early; they weren’t late, and no, there is no reason to bore you with the details of my “destruction” of nearly twelve months ago.
For, as I wrote in my last blog post I was diverted from my play rewrites this summer when I suffered the pneumonia relapse. Then I was inspired to start writing the first of my novella series. Somehow two weeks ago, after my birthday, I was diverted off my writing track and have been literally consumed by researching my family tree.
I realized today that I got blocked two weeks ago, because I don’t really know who my protagonist is. What I realized today is that I write to figure out who I am in relationship to the world around me, i.e. I also don’t know who I am. Since my protagonist shares my worldview, albeit she’s twelve-years-old, this poses quite a dilemma. Some people, like Ms. Gilbert, call that finding God or the god within ourselves.
What I’ve learned in the last couple of weeks is that I am apparently descended from French Huegenots and Lutherans, and others who desired a better life for themselves and their children and escaped religious persecution by coming to North America. They settled in Virginia, fought the American Revolutionary War, and were rewarded with land grants in the newly formed counties of Georgia, which were confiscated from the Creek and Cherokee peoples. Many bought and sold Black people, but I was gratified to discover last night that at least one family may have fought for the Union during the American Civil War.
It is no wonder to me that the first Amendment of the United States Constitution is: The Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
I believe that my little trip to the movies has started the path toward my creative rebirth. Let’s just say, I’ve worked through my block and have a better idea of where my project is going…