Day after day, week after week, month after month … This is where I sit, where I work, where I place all my values and dreams and … write. It would be a solitary business, but the people I create and speak to each day are much better than the real thing.
I tell stories. Usually in long form, a novel or epic. Sometimes, little ideas pop up and I play with them for a bit, work on the structure of it before it gets put to bed in the Wheel of Fortune. These are my friends, the people in the middle of a story who want me to speak for them. I am their orator.
My legs don’t work so well, and walking or running or swimming or sailing are things I can only dream about. But my characters can do those things for me. I can experience their lives for a short time each day. I can live their lives with them.
Rain pours over the window in sheets so heavy it’s impossible to see the garden edge less than a metre away, but as I enter into the world of story, I am back where I want to be – somewhere warm and dry, where the eagles soar and insects scritch their sounds into the stillness of the air.
I don’t hear the voices of other people, but I can have long and meaningful conversations with my peeps on the page. Their conversations are more real than the meaningless drivel spoken at me by the softer, more carbon-based entities.
Is it abandonment that has led me here, to this lonely tower in a castle of my own making? Am I rejecting the world before it rejects me – again?
Is it fear of total abandonment that led me into the pages of story?
No. The stories were always there, the characters were always there. I was one child in a family of eight. But in the midst of the chaos, I was alone. Except in my mind.
I didn’t see a book until we left the country and moved to a town. The school had a library. It became my safe place. I couldn’t take books home, though, because someone would chuck them out, call the books names. Maybe she knew the influence they had on me; maybe not.
On opening a page, I recognised the story-mind. I was home, at peace. A mindful creature who wasn’t alone in the crowd anymore. Free to be me.
Copyright Cage Dunn 2017
- and now I can get back to the serious work of story-telling …