Friday, December 10, 2010

The Warpath of the Great Completer

A few years back I wrote this play called 'Alice Eat the Night Violet' and I actually completed the script properly and arranged to do a play reading in the wonderful, ancient cellar of the Récollets with all its ghosts and stonework and I asked seventeen of my favourite actors to read all the different parts and they agreed with gusto and we ate a big steaming pot of dhal which The Love and I made and it tasted wonderful and then we went down to the Cave and sat on tables with candles and fairy-lights and did the reading for thirty or so friends and the actors performed the text with all sorts of passion and madness and then the friends asked questions and made observations and we ate chips and cheese and got drunk on wine.  

It was one of the most wonderful nights of my life. 

The line on today's Artwork du Jour, which I painted on to a collage, was from that play.  It was said by a character called John, who was a taxi driver.  He passed a bowl to Alice around a bonfire and said:

Eat child, it's mild.

In times like these
When meat is rare
Even my true love will rejoice
In a good, fatty rabbit.

So she ate some of the rabbit.

The reason I bring up that play is that it was the first work I really, truly finished.  I did draft after draft and at one stage sat on the clic-clac with my face in my hands as The Love spread all the scenes out on the floor so we could see where the gaps were.

"I can't DO it!" I wailed.  "I just can't!  I don't have it in me to Complete!  I'm not a Completer!"

The Love shook his head.  "But of course you are!  Look, there are just two big gaps there.  You just need to fill them in.  And take this bit out."

"The bit about the Pissants?"

"Yes, it has no relevance to the narrative."

"But I love the Pissants."

"The Pissants need to go."

And just like they just did right now above, the Pissants, which had no relevance whatsoever to the unfolding of the narrative, were eliminated, two new scenes constructed, and over big round glasses of Affligem at Chez Prune The Love and I finally concluded that the play was, in fact, concluded.  

So I was a Completer after all.

Not to say that Alice Eat the Night Violet has gone on to be performed or published or anything - that's another step in the journey to become A Great Completer.

You see I've always been an excellent Starter.  That's my forte.  I can start and start and start, ask me anything, I can churn out ideas like a spewing cat, riaow, riaow, idea, idea.  But anyone can do that.  No, what counts is what you Complete.  That's the hard part.  Look at Woody.  Every year a film.  He doesn't care if his ideas work or not.  He says he's happy if 5% of his original idea is there by the end, once the machinations of collaboration have macerated his baby.  Woody completes, completes, completes.  Maybe not all his films are great.  But that doesn't matter.  They're Complete.  They exist.  They're not just drafts, not just an idea in his head that he tells to people at parties.  He's one of the world's Greatest Completers.

I spew this all up like a strung-out pukey cat because today I decided to take a little holiday from the Blog.  It's been such a wondrous thing to do up until now, and I can't wait to continue it next year, but for the remainder of this year I have decided to dedicate my entire bunny-self to the Completion of the Mammoth Task.  Now that I've Completed Alice and I've proven to myself I can Complete Smaller Daily Tasks such as the writing of a Blog (not that I consider that a Completed Task at all - I've only just begun), I feel that in this current state of house-boundedness, child-free-ness, and horizontalness, it is time to take on The Mammoth.  She has been waiting very patiently for this moment, years and years, and she is ready to be Born.  So I, still, constipated with the stubborn brick of her, will never forgive myself if I don't at least strap on the armor and take her on.  She's rough, she's twice my size and she requires complete focus.  So I'm going to surrender the joy of my daily mammalian musings to her Sigourney Weaver-like grip.  I hope you understand. 

Pray for me.

Thank you for reading.   

See you back here very soon.



ps - oh and guess what - I just completed something else as a warm-up to the Mammoth - a book of every blog and artwork from the beginning of The Bunny until this post.  I will put it on the site so you can buy it from Blurb if you want to.  I Completed it today.  I'm very pleased with it.  Like a good, fatty rabbit.    

1 comment:

  1. I SO relate to this. Sigh. But I wave my wand of support in your direction as you face the mammoth and good for you that you got a blurb book done. Yay!

    And by the way, that magical night, when I played two characters in your play, was one of the most favorite nights of my life here in Paris. Thanks so much for including me.