Communion Of Dreams


And the mind’s true liberation.*
April 4, 2010, 11:50 am
Filed under: Alzheimer's, Depression, Health, Music, Writing stuff

A bit of spring cleaning.

Last weekend I started in on a long-delayed project. Honestly, it’s probably been delayed at least a decade. Maybe longer.

I started cleaning the windows.

* * * * * * *

I’m almost done. Well, with the current phase of work, anyway.

I’m talking about Her Final Year. I have one more ‘month’ to go through – doing simple editing, checking for typos, familiarizing myself with the material again. I should finish that today or tomorrow.

This is how I work. It’s something like loading data into a computer. I did it with the revisions to Communion of Dreams, as well. I go through everything, carefully paying close attention. And when I’m done, and have *all* of the material fresh in my memory, I can see connections and linkages that are harder to understand when you only read it a piece at a time. With CoD, it was how I was able to keep track of the minor tweaks and changes, and how they would play out in this or that plot twist or character development – you basically see the entire text at once, almost as some kind of three-dimensional construct or sculpture. Then it becomes easier to understand what to trim, what to smooth – the classic “remove everything that isn’t the sculpture.”

But it takes an awful lot of concentration to keep it all ‘alive’ in your head like that.

* * * * * * *

I’ve mentioned before how our home is a “notable historic property.” It was built in 1883, and while it has been through a lot of changes in that time, I think the bulk of the windows are original.

Most of them on the ground floor are tall – 8′ or thereabout. With 12′ ceilings, they fit the style of the house. So cleaning them is a bit of a chore. Particularly when you’re talking about cleaning the storm windows, as well.

Here’s how it works. I have to unlatch the bottom of the window. Undo the turn buckles about halfway up. Then pull out the bottom of the frame, and lifting the window at an angle so that the top part will unhook from the hangers which support it. The storm windows are made with stout wood, and heavy glass – about 2′ wide and 8′ tall. They weigh a ton. They’re subject to getting caught by the wind. And it has to be done outside, in places where you’re lifting the thing from about shoulder height or from a ladder.

And there’s something like 30 of them.

* * * * * * *

Had a good chat with my co-author yesterday, about how progress is going on the book. He’s doing the simple edit/review of my material, as I have been doing the same of his. The next phase is to go through and identify what entries or excerpts we don’t need. Because I’ve got more time than he does currently, I’ll be doing the bulk of that, moving things into a holding file if I don’t think we need them for the correct tone of the book.

Once that is done, then we’ll go through and make sure each entry is assigned to the proper ‘month’.

Once that is done, then we’ll go through and arrange the entries within each month so that they all connect to one another in a smooth way.

Then we’ll generate the additional material we need (chapter introductions, explanatory references, et cetera).

After that, a final read-through for editing to get the manuscript in shape for submission.

We both figure another 6 – 8 weeks should do it. Maybe less.

* * * * * * *

Once the storm window has been removed, then everything gets cleaned. First, extraneous splatters and swipes of paint are removed – over the years, there has been a fair amount of this. Then thorough cleaning with a towel and glass cleaner, inside and out. Do this for the actual window, as well as the storm window.

Then remount the storm window, reversing the process described above. It takes 45 minutes to an hour to do each one, and it is somewhat physically demanding.

Ah, but the difference it makes! I’ve done half the windows in the last week, doing two or three a day unless it is storming. Now, half the house is significantly brighter, almost rejuvenated. And I can look out and not feel like I am peering through a veil, or trapped inside.

All things are becoming clear.

Jim Downey

*from this, of course.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Wonderful metaphor. Also, great song pick.

Comment by stinger

[…] */ Well, that’s annoying. April 13, 2010, 5:17 pm Filed under: Health Well, I finished the storm windows on Sunday. As I told a friend, I wanted to get it wrapped up before Monday, when I expected my […]

Pingback by Well, that’s annoying. « Communion Of Dreams




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