It’s November and that means NaNoWriMo. This happens every year. For the next few weeks, my spiritual world will be consumed by the novel I am writing. The lines will get blurry between “fantasy” and “reality”. I know the difference, but my emotions don’t. As it should be.
Right now, I’m working on my 2020 novel, and I’m trying to get to the part of the story where a monastery gets invaded by this corrupt priest-king who murdered the actual king under a trumped-up charge of blasphemy. It should probably get invaded or something because it’s sheltering the daughter of the queen, the heir-presumptive.
Cue dramatic music.
Trouble is, I hate drama. I’ve seen too much in the real world. I keep wanting to write the scene where this suddenly becomes a Carebear episode. Everyone gets hugged back into loving each other.
I’m a terrible writer. I hate you text. I hate you English language! Shrivel up into a tiny sentence fragment and die. Nah, I love the English language, and it knows that. Don’t you, English language?
Meanwhile, an important side character is having this crisis of conscience. Spoiler alert: these are the kinds of monks and nuns who train in combat. Also, yes this is a co-ed monastery. About that….
In my internal universe, I don’t understand why we separate devout religious people out by gender. Seriously, this bothers me deeply. Why do monks live in one place and nuns live in another place? What about non-binary or intersex people? Where do they go?
I mean, if you’re gay, bi, pan, or ace (like me) it’s not like the same-gender of the other person is going to magically protect you from sexually impure thoughts. That’s why we have this little thing called self control.
I may see a sandwich and I may want to eat the sandwich, but I don’t pause to picture punching my brother or sister in the face to get it. Often.
Also, impure thoughts about how you want to punch your brother or sister in the face are still impure thoughts. I know “how things have always been done” but people have been killing each other over stuff like shoes and pudding for thousands of years. Figure it out, people.
Anyway, back to the made-up story. The head of the monastery is praying for the grace to defeat their enemies but to not enjoy the violence too much. As her author, I’m like – whose side are you on anyway?
Meanwhile, back in the real world (if Quora counts as the real world), I find questions like would Jesus have approved of the Crusades? Yeah only on Quora do people ask that kind of question in that kind of way. Quora actually pays you actual money to troll people sometimes. I am not kidding.
Not all good people are pacifists. Not all soldiers are good – or bad. Not all pacifists are good – or bad. Not all mystics live in monasteries. The mystics who do live in monasteries know better than any of us, better than me I’m sure, that there is no escape from this world to be found, no matter how far you climb up the mountain.
We are all in this together. Stand or fall, we are all in this together.
I need to write the siege of the monastery.
I’d rather get a root canal without anesthesia.
Once I start, I will probably love it. Not a root canal without anesthesia. That would be horrible.
Writing this imaginary scene of violence where no actual people will die in the writing of a scene.
There will probably be tears, final words, et cetera. But only if I write this really well.