writing on and through; a scene from Berlin

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The only cure, for writers, is writing on.  You will hear what you don't want to hear.  You will ponder it in your heart.  You will call a friend (no, be honest, the friend called you), and she will listen, and then you will carry on.  You know what you can do, and  you will do it.

Yesterday, while contemplating the fate of a book I have been writing for a very long time, I returned to Berlin, a story that challenges me deeply and, at the same time, brings me great joy.  It's the story I'm supposed to be writing right now, for many, many reasons.  It's a book I daily thank Tamra Tuller for.  Yesterday I reached the halfway mark. It is with this scene that the story turns:

            “What are you going to do?” Mutti asks.
            “About what?”
            “I know you, Ada.  You’re scheming.”
            There are hard lines beneath my mother’s eyes and shadows caught between them.  Her hair is thistles.  The light from the window glows through it, then storms her face with a sea-colored green.  Sometimes when I look at my mother’s face I see every man she ever loved and how much loving bruised her.
            “I think it’s pretty obvious.”
            “What is?”
            “That there’s nothing I can do.”
            “Nothing?” 
            “It’s impossible, Mutti.  You know how it is.  The Turks are their own country.  I can’t save Savas.”
            She straightens suddenly then shivers with the cold, unsatisfied.  She pulls her thin sweater across her chest and buttons it up to her chin, knows that I’m lying, because if I knew how to rescue Savas I would.  If I knew where to find him, that’s where I’d be. The truth doesn’t sit well with Mutti.
            She stares at me for a long time.  Draws her index finger across the bridge of my nose.  “Impossible has never stopped you,” she says, and I wonder how much she knows about everything I will always want, everything I'm planning.  I wonder whether, in my dreams, I called out for Stefan.
            “You can’t save the world, Ada.  You know that, don’t you?”
            “Somebody has to try,” I say, and I see the hurt go through her.


4 comments:

Becca said...

"Impossible has never stopped you... "

Rosella Eleanor LaFevre said...

Oh, Beth. Do you realize how torturous it is to read these awesome little bits you write without the context of the whole shebang?

Serena said...

I like this turning point.

Lilian Nattel said...

Writing on--yes, exactly. You're amazing and I'm hooked.

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