Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Maze In My Head

The day after Independence Day, we followed my sister's family down the road to Sawdust Days in Oshkosh, WI. Instead of throwing ourselves into the crowds around the fairgrounds, our destination was "Little Oshkosh," the amazingly intricate wooden city in a corner of Menominee Park. Wow.

We could spend all day there, and hopefully this summer, we'll actually do that.

There's something so peaceful about being in a place that is the object of so many people's talents and imaginations. It felt like a locus of creative energy, and I felt revitalized. The toddler fairy tale land with carvings and paintings to remind you of Mother Goose's family of stories was especially enchanting. This place is a dream for me.

I didn't even get a chance to explore much of the older kids' section, a maze of narrow and steep bridges and steps, tunnels and entryways, corridors so low you have to crawl and rooms in the far reaches of this children's castle that are perfect for hide-and-go-seek and princes who are devising their fortress' defenses.

I'm living so much in my head this summer. It's not necessarily a bad thing; it just is. I feel like I'm in the center of a whirlwind hurricane, but here inside the Eye, I am calm and still, separate from the chaos, but surrounded by it.

Sitting there in a tucked-away corner of Little Oshkosh nursing Anna, I looked out across this fanciful landscape of dreams and triumphs, and I felt deeply comfortable in my heart. I'm having so many new experiences now, I've opened myself up to so much more, so many more people, I'm left breathless at the transition. For the most part, I am just leaping with my eyes wide open, not looking back, not looking down, just looking ahead towards the unknown, having faith in my intuition.

Right now, I'm looking ahead to a very special project I'm calling the Scott Street Stories in my head. With my new BFF Dino, we're going to craft a book together. I was so deeply honored when he asked me if I would write it with him, and it felt like a puzzle piece had gently clicked into place. I've always felt there was a book inside me, but I kept slamming up against the brick wall of my empty imagination. I don't have characters and stories percolating in my head. I never have. Whenever I've tried to draft a story, I end up writing myself. I can write, but I had nothing to write about.

Enter Dino, a 37-year-old hurricane with a breadth of experiences behind him, notably a career on the sidelines of a live music industry, a career full of interesting stories. He's giving them to me, a precious gift, an immaculate rough diamond for me to carefully hone into a jewel. That's right, folks. I'll be writing a book about live music and bars. Tell me. When you think "Cheryl," don't you think about live music and bars?

He knows about my lack of history with the subject, and his encompassing faith in me is humbling. I think I'll have a fun time hearing his stories for the first time, entering into this world that is so foreign to me, finding a voice, and writing.