I wandered off down memory lane last night, a little trapdoor under the carpet, a rabbit hole again. What started it off this time? Somehow reading about the scene on Ludlow St in 2005 led to me thinking about 1994, and tap tap tap a few minutes later a face, a memory, oh my gosh it’s you, and you, and you… Another half-written memory, another playlist revisited and another story to tell.
Writing this book is HARD. I hesitate between telling myself that I have been waiting to get all of these pieces out of my head, journals, and off of my laptop forever, and telling myself that no one wants to read hundreds of pages about me. That’s a little boring, no? But really it’s not all about me… I’ve lived in some really special places at some really special times surrounded by some really special people, so maybe someone would be interested enough to buy a copy, to read a few pages?
I keep adding and deleting and realizing that a story is missing and another is too much. Some years I wrote a lot more than others, and I keep finding loose sheets of paper, scribbles in a park on a lunch break, emails to myself from 2001 or 2015, and notes and post-its stuck to postcards. I have to decipher them, connect the dots… Where was I, who did I love, what was I listening to? Was it vodka, whiskey, coffee, or sobriety? Was it film, digital, phone, or all of the above? Was it Doc, Frye, or barefoot?
Do I publish 600 pages of stories, memories, moments in time? Do I divide it into two? Chronological? Random order? Poetry sneaking through the pages? With Spring Comes Hope was straightforward: a beginning and a place to finish. Of Hearts and Sea Glass is a brick, a cloud, and a marble, or maybe a snowball, rolling, rolling, rolling, collecting layer after layer of thickly packed snow.
You tell me… Are you interested in England? In France? In Israel? In NYC? Are you interested in music scenes, depression, sex, drugs and rock n roll? Are you interested in heartbreak and happiness, facts, autobiographical fiction, real people with fake names? Are you interested in the ocean and the stars, writers and dreamers, lost souls and barefoot wanderers? Are you going to be upset if you recognize yourself? Are you going to be hurt if you don’t appear? Couldn’t give a shit either way? My writing is often impulsive, spur of the moment, a sudden image flashing from my memory unraveling a string through time, words rushing to get out, to convey that one moment. It’s that song that takes you right back there, every single time, a punch in the gut while it rains stars over your head. When it happens I have to drop everything and grab what I can, writing, typing, dictating, because once the string has unraveled she floats off downstream, just another pearly drop in the water.
I stood on the beach in Nahariya in 2003, and the streets of Oakham in 1995. I walked through Place Grenette so many times I could still do it with my eyes closed, the same way I walked down Orchard St in 2005 or in 2014. I have stepped into the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, the Pacific, and my beloved Atlantic, toes touching sand, fingers shielding my eyes as I looked out over the water to the end of the world. I’ve walked up mountains and through deserts, lived in the biggest of cities and the smallest of villages and places in between. I have loved many and probably been loved by many, often letting it all flit through my fingertips. And right then, typing those words, Catch starts up in my head, and immediately the feeling of sitting in the passenger seat next to my best friend, zooming down the New Jersey Turnpike towards our skyline, cigarette smoke and dreams, wind tying our hair into knots. Our freedom was the city, nooks and crannies filled with stories upon stories upon stories. I still smell the Bakers Oven across the street and dream of soft éclairs and baguettes from the boulangerie next to Stendhal. I try to treasure all of these memories, because I am so afraid that one day they will all disappear into a black hole.
Are you interested? Am I writing this for me alone? For you? For my children? For no one in particular? I don’t know. But it will be done soon, another month or two of editing and it will be done, as long as I know where to start it and where to cut it off. Words for days, stories for years, it will all come together soon.
In the meantime, if you want to help me choose a cover for Of Hearts and Sea Glass, as well as read some previously unpublished snippets over the next few weeks, add your email to my mailing list (see below). I don’t email often, but I promise it will be worth reading when I do! <3