Today the weather turned unexpectedly cold while I was out at breakfast with my friend. I had walked to the restaurant, on what appeared to be a misty but warm morning, taking stock of new flowers that had bloomed in the neighborhood, and walking back in the cold seemed especially cruel. After I put the heat back on, I comforted myself by painting the post office in Seaside, Florida. This surely must be one of the prettiest post offices in the world. I think I’d like to visit Seaside someday.
Despite allowing myself to be transported while painting, I still got seriously sad in the afternoon. I channeled it as best I could into the ghost story I’m writing. After all, today was the day I was supposed to kill my characters in the Storm of 1900. They die because they refuse to learn the lessons they’re meant to learn, and because they cling to attachments that are bad for them, to relationships that are not meant to last, but meant to teach them things about themselves instead. They will repeat the same patterns in their new lives, and will die again in Hurricane Carla in 1961. In fact, tonight I’m looking forward to rereading what I’ve written so far on the 1961 section of the book, so I can meticulously plot their next demise.
Interesting how in fiction lives are so expendable, but also easy to resurrect and reinvent. I suppose my characters can afford to take several lifetimes to figure things out. As for me, here’s hoping I can do so in my current one. Though perhaps the more pertinent concern is that, having understood what certain situations in my life were meant to teach me, I need to still find ways to apply the knowledge. Perhaps, unlike my fictional characters, I only get this one life. But in this one life, do I get to go on to the next level, like in a video game? Do I get to use the tools I’ve acquired and finally slay the dragon and free the princess? Here’s hoping! I’ll keep you posted.