Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mon roman français (my French novel)

To know another language is to have a second soul.

- Charlemagne, King of the Franks -
Text on book is backwards because of iPhoto.
I bought my new French textbook yesterday for the Level 3A class I'm in now ... and guess what colour it is.

Speaking of 'French' and 'book' ... I am writing a novel (un roman) in French. I am compelled by it and have been working at it steadily since October 23rd when 'it all began to unfold' quite suddenly. It's like I didn't decide to do it. It decided to do me.

I don't know where this will lead, but that is the adventure of it. Writing in another language is interesting because, not being a 'master' of it, I don't have the ability to 'command' it (as with English). It commands me. New parts of my brain and consciousness kick in and I am swept along by a different current.

However, for the past two days I have been what one would ordinarily call 'stuck' ... i.e. I haven't written anything and don't 'know' what to write next. But, given the nature of the novel ... (a) I will not know what to write next until it reveals itself (b) I therefore don't see the moment of not-writing as being 'stuck'.

In a Kundalini yoga class, we follow each posture (where we 'tense' or use the body actively) with a short period of complete relaxation, to allow the energy generated through the preceding action to go where it needs to go in the body and be assimilated.

So ... I'm assimilating the energy of what has been written thus far in mon roman.

Similarly, in life ... if we relax and be patient and trusting in our 'slow' or seemingly 'stuck' and 'unknown' moments ... between periods of active doing and knowing ... instead of worrying about why 'nothing' is happening ... we would flow as and where we are meant to.

When things don't seem to be moving (physically), they still are ... energetically.


Lynn Cohen said...

Bon jour Elspeth, and congrats on your French novel! I am so impressed!!!!! !!!!!! !!!!!
I love how you write about your process and compare it to the yoga you do. Great ideas for allowing all art to flow through us. Thanks for the reminder.

Elspeth said...

Merci, Lynn. Volontiers.