A watershed moment is a mountain top experience. I love them. I take my next breath hoping another will appear. Better than Hershey Kisses, banana splits, t-bone steaks and sex. Watersheds are my most treasured highs.
This is how I felt about my reading experiences with Henry Miller and D.H.Lawrence. With one I read their non-fiction and the other their fiction. The non-fiction delightful because it seemed unreal and made up and the fiction compelling enough to be true. And that was it, the watershed. The breaking, busting, fast delivery crescendo of the watershed moment.
One retired pastor, speaking to me as a friend, said, “Follow the bliss.” It was as if I heard the raven say, “Nevermore.”
Somewhere wrapped into this is my curtain call to fiction. It is sandwiched in between the certainties of mediation and memoir. Souls wash against my soul, arriving out of some vast universe, still unglimpsed, but with fresh and certain presence.
Janet Burrows writes of writing, ” non-fiction works largely by means of logic and reasoning. Fiction tries to reproduce the emotional impact of experience.” I read these words with the excitement only a Rose Parade or American Idol can produce.
I leaned against the friction of fiction to feel the call of its siren even as I continued to produce more non-fiction. Dribble I had found not wanting, even pleasing. I waited for characters to be born out of the slop and then, because of me, walk this earth before I depart.
If and when they do, it will be my most climatic watershed to date. Once and for all, I will be free to breathe in and out. Watershed moment.