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Before the Dawn

July 2024


Yes, it sure is darkest at that point in time.

 

I now tend to think of my life, creative and otherwise, in terms of Before The Dawn, and After The Dawn.  My reference point refers to the writing of this two-volume novel.

 

For too many people whom I knew before, during, and after the creation of this momentous tome — it was dark, even at dawn, and darker still after the dawn.

 

I still cannot comprehend why certain individuals deflect daylight as if it’s something that’s out to get them.  Attempting to cheer up this despondent type of personality courts trouble, sometimes in nasty ways.


The benefit for me, once the effort to uplift a recalcitrant embittered person has exhausted itself, and me, has nearly always been an unexpected awakening to opportunities, the providential occasions that I’d either ignored, or had not been aware of.  The primary reason why I’d been unable to spot a fortuitous opening to the future was because it was being road-blocked by The Miserable Being.


I’ve not become so cynical as to believe that the Doom-and-Gloom Wastrels of the World are intentionally there, in your path, to trip you up on any forward path to the pursuit of happiness.  And that lofty goal is, in deed, and in writing, placed in the Declaration of Independence.


The pursuit of happiness may have been envisioned as a most idealistic goal ‘round about 1776.  George Washington wasn’t the most happy of fellas, or the most shy-and-retiring, but he did enjoy robust confidence and disciplined contentment.  And he did foresee, as well as help to conceive, a brand new nation built upon ideals, the likes of which mankind had, and has, never seen.

 

Thomas Jefferson, who deemed himself The Author of the Founding Fathers’ Foundational Documents, was a prickly Deist, brilliant rebel, and crotchety friend/rival of John Adams.  I wouldn’t have wanted to have been either friend or enemy of Thomas, but securing a spot as a trusted ally would probably have been worth a try, just as long as I didn’t introduce my literary self to him.


The peevish power-mongers who pose as happy fools didn’t fool me.  I was more often taken in by the woe-be-gone, misunderstood child who was, in fact, even by the age of 12, a con artist who could have schooled her parent, who was routinely a very absentee mother, in the practiced art of lying through her orthodontically straightened teeth.

 

Yes, Debra, once an orphan herself, was, as an adult, a complete sucker for the orphaned girl of a new-era:  The 1990s.  That decade of fraud and deceit was appallingly filled to the brim with adolescent shysters, long before the online-pubescents got to star in their own porn shows, cyber-plan crimes, and digital duping of patsies through click-bait and bogus Selfie Selves.


When I asked, out loud, in the mid-1990s, “Why am I baby-sitting my baby-sitter?”, I was beginning to get the clue as to just how many middle-aged divorced women were dumping off their spawn on my front lawn, and the front lawns of other mothers, working in-the-home, and waving goodbye, till . . . whenever Her Work came to an end.  Once it was almost 9 p.m. when the Professional Woman showed up to pick-up Darling.

 

When I protested this treatment of my trusting self, I was accused of “simply not caring.”

 

Yes, the Caring Ploy was probably the biggest scam of the 1990s.

 

That emotional blackmail was the stock-in-trade of the heartless wenches, weirdos and rakes of then, and it persists to this day.  Consultants and slick experts have joined the rip-off fray to disguise the truly-creepy from the somewhat-creepy, so that the rest of us miss the sinistre side that’s on all sides of the fraud.

 

Of course, I did not call these phonies “fraud” to their faces, at least not here, in California.  Back in New Jersey, it was a different story.  A much different story.  And that’s how I came to live in the Golden State!


Inevitably, I left the morose person, be he hustler or mere emotionally-humpbacked human, to his or her, unyielding and self-imposed misery.  I moved on, usually slowly, with disappointment, but also with the knowledge that there exist people in this world who refuse to accept any help or hope for happiness.  With an alarming sense of self-pitying martyrdom, they harbor grudges, grievances, gripes, and a deep-seated desire for vengeance.

 

Before the age of thirty, I was typically blind-sided by the harsh blindness of such injustice-collectors.  By the time that I was composing THE DAWN, I had those learning experiences well in hand, and, thus, could artistically dip my pen in the dark, murky ink that had been their vindictiveness.

 

I was a much young person before I wrote THE DAWN, and not merely in chronological terms.  There were many truths of life that I’d intentionally, albeit not consciously, waited to reveal in literary terms.  Those verities I’d quite resolutely put off putting down on paper, until I sensed the time had come for me to state them in fiction.


If there is one enormous down-side, for me, in being a writer, it is the requisite postponement of bringing closure to specific events, experiences, assessments, and discernments — on purpose — so that they can be used in My Writing.

 

When this resolute and subconsciously planned delaying tactic, and, to some extent, strategy, began, I do not know.  Dear Husband, however, perceived it very early on in his knowing of me, and My Muse.

 

Sometime during the year 2000, when I was in the turbulent throes of taking my first agonizing steps of grieving an entire, and large, family of origin, he informed me that he’d known, from the very beginning of learning who I am, that I would not be dealing — head-on — with those sorrows, losses, hurtful hypocrisies, and deadly double-dealing — until that moment in time had come.


And I was brought to tears by the awareness of how very much my dear dear spouse knew, and continues to know, these aspects of my needs, of my very being as a person, as a woman, as a mother, and as an artist.  I realized that without his astounding, and astoundingly quiet, perceptions of me, Debra, I would not have ever been able to even begin this journey toward THE DAWN.


He’s an unsung hero in my life, and it’s very much by his choice.  Perhaps his role as the quiet, strong man in my world was among his first choices when we wed.  I dare not ask him to be anything else, for then I wouldn’t be able to be me, and to make these bold stabs at being “myself”.

 

During our lengthy, arduous, frustrating, fun, chancey, dicey, daring and determined process of building our Dream House, from 2018-2020, we packed and boxed and stored and moved all of our belongings into either mini-storage or The Rental Dump.  After twenty years of life in Newcastle, we finally moved out of the Peach House.  The Peach House was the Master House, where the Master Book, THE DAWN, was created, brought to fruition and e-published.


Amazingly, we “lost” only 1 item along the way from There to Here:  a color photograph taken for Our Engagement.


It’s a professional photograph of me and Dear Fiancé, in late winter, outside, at a park in Grass Valley, CA.  We are each dressed very simply, since, in those days, neither of us could afford much in the way of clothing.

 

I’m wearing a pale turquoise, long-sleeved, pointelle-knit sweater (and, yes, I was freezing cold!).  Dear Fiancé donned his favorite black velour top, with a decorative racing stripe across the chest.

 

My ice-cold hands are holding onto a sun-dial, and I’m almost laughing.  Dear Fiancé stands behind me, looking on.  The photographer employed a type of fuzzy-effect around me so that I’m bathed in a bit of an aurora.  We’ve got B&W pix from the same photo shoot, but this color image made quite a compelling statement.

 

Dear Hubby and I continue to look for this “vanished” photograph.  He’s much more bothered than I am by this missing-piece of our past that’s still missing.  From time to time, he’ll undo a framed pic, looking for The Sundial-Photo behind it.  In the limited square-footage of the Peach House I was often wont to swap out pix in a frame, and keep the prior one behind the newer one.


We still haven’t found this obvious image of My Aura, and the Handsome Man Behind It.  I’m okay with the reality of it, every day, and shrug, thinking that one day I’ll happen upon it, somewhere, when I least expect it.

 

I’m content, knowing my hands are still on a sun-dial, of some sort, and I’m almost laughing.  My Dear Matey stands foursquare behind me, looking on.

 

What’s truly important is that we’re both looking forward, in the same direction.

 

And, maybe, just maybe, that’s where we’ll find the Sundial-Photo.

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