Beauty Stops the World on It’s Axis and Makes us Realize we are One.


 Painting by Mckella
Dear Friends,
Today I finished reading Janet Fitch’s book “Paint It Black.” The story takes place in Los Angeles in the 1980’s. If you had asked me what this book was about when I was half-way through it, I would have said suicide and it’s after math,but it’s not. The book is about childhood trauma running from one generation to the next. Fitch’s book is an interesting unveiling of trauma experienced by the child of  famous and wealthy parents. Despite his wealth and education the main character succumbs to his own wealthy version of trauma at the hands of  famous parents.
While  reading Fitch’s book  I asked myself, whether the story told through the eyes of  the poor white trailer trash girlfriend is really Fitch’s story.  I will perhaps never know, just as my future readers of my soon to be realeased book “cracked” will wonder if the heroine of my tale is really me.  “cracked” is a tale of  a character  named Lilly Marie St. Blanc and her spiral into crack cocaine addiction. The book takes the reader inside the glitzy  cocaine fueled life of the main character and her trust fund client who becomes her lover. Those of you who have read this blog know that I share a number of similarities with the character in my book, but I am not her and she is not me.
Lilly Marie St. Blanc, the character, is emotionally naive. She is still operating but not coping well as she achieves one of her major life goals. This character is  like many of us  still operating from survival, using the tools that we were forced to find in order to save ourselves.  Lilly Marie St. Blanc has not mastered, as I have, the skills of compartementalizing and isolation. These unbidden physical and psychological behaviors that allow me to make it through the day and appear as if I’m functioning at a high level are not even in this character’s arsenal. However, this character is honest and courageous and fights her way from the darkness of addiction, like I did. Unlike me, the character in my book had no tether strong enough to hold her to the earth. This character  only admires beauty, but in my life beauty saved me.
When I was a child  I searched for beauty anywhere that I could find it. Beauty in a flower, in a woman wearing a dress that I at that time could never imagine wearing. My world at 13 was one of urban decay.  Everywhere around me I could see nothing but squalor and abject neglect from people who did not care about beauty or order.  I searched for beauty and held on to it for dear life.  I knew even then that people who create beauty, who cared about beauty lived a life very different from the one I found myself.  So I held on, to the beauty of a warm April afternoon, a summer sky swollen with rain. I found the rose bush growing wildly against a fallen fence. Some how each petal was a talisman of hope for me.
When I was 15, I was sent to Mt. View California, where for the first time, I got to play in vast plum orchards and to swim in a pool shared by the people who lived in the complex where I lived. It was a vision of beauty. From that little town, now famous and wealthy because of the dot com industry, was where I began to gather the elements of  beauty from which I would create a haven. In that haven I began to create and to dream and to share those dreams.
Long ago, before I learned that it was dangerous to dream in a place where no beauty existed, I dreamed that I would someday become a writer.  I would write tales that would make my readers cry and  make them think.  In a few short months, my book “cracked” will become a reality. My friends, you will wonder as I wondered while reading Janet Fitch’s book  “Is this character really her?” And I can answer now “No, I am not the character in my book.”  That character has yet to master the ability to set aside the truths that negate each other. She can not comprehend that one person’s truth makes the the other a liar. This character can only see through eyes that make no distinction between what is real or what appears to be real and whether any of it makes a difference. The reader learns  along with this character how to find the light that calls her back from the dark to life- even if the world is uncertain and the journey ahead is uncharted.  Today, I hold tight  to what makes me wake up and take that first step. Hold on to the light of your life no matter how faint and far away it might appear. Hold on, dreams can become real.
The Addict Writes

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