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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Flash

And then, for one glorious, supreme moment, came "the flash". Emily called it that, although she felt that the name didn't exactly describe it. It couldn't be described -- not even to Father, who always seemed a little puzzled by it. Emily never spoke of it to anyone else.

 It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside -- but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond -- only a glimpse -- and heard a note of unearthly music.

This moment came rarely -- went swiftly, leaving her breathless with the inexpressible delight of it. She could never recall it -- never summon it -- never pretend it; but the wonder of it stayed with her for days. It never came twice with the same thing. To-night the dark boughs against that far-off sky had given it. It had come with a high, wild note of wind in the night, with a shadow wave over a ripe field, with a greybird lighting on her window-sill in a storm, with the singing of "Holy, holy, holy" in church, with a glimpse of the kitchen fire when she had come home on a dark autumn night, with the spirit-like blue of ice palms on a twilight pane, with a felicitous new word when she writing down a 'description' of something. And always when the flash came to her Emily felt that life was a wonderful, mysterious thing of persistent beauty.
I have always felt the flash. I never gave it a name, I never described it to anyone--but the flash was a huge part of my life. It was, I think, what inspired and shaped my insatiable itch for writing.

I have written stories for as long as I can remember. Ever since I could read stories, I began writing them. Even as a young child I remember having the flash--pretty much the only things I can remember of those earlier years. L. M. Montgomery gave my flash a name and a description. As soon as I read about it, I knew that that was what I kept experiencing.  

This describes the flash exactly, almost word for word as I have always unconsciously thought of it. Emily seems exactly like me--it is unnerving at times.
It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside -- but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond -- only a glimpse -- and heard a note of unearthly music.
The flash must sound stupid to those of you who haven't experienced it. It cannot be described exactly--I could write and write for a million years, and I would never be able to transcribe it into mere words.

I never get the flash for the same thing. One night a full moon causes me to have it. I go weak-kneed and breathless. My heart rate doesn't go back to normal for several minutes. The next day, I get it because of the frosty pane of my window, like angel's breath across the blotched glass. The next day, I get it because of the mist and fog in the morning, or because of the rising sun. In the middle of a writing class I got it, when I read the word "elude." The weirdest flash I ever had was in a science class when I was looking at a hydra through the microscope.

Directly after the flash has left, I feel so lonely, but then the feeling passes and I positively long for a pen and paper in which to write about it. It's like...I have to write. I don't have a choice. My whole being just...agh. Whatever I write that attempts to describe the flash will sound stupid. The thing is, I can't describe it. But it's then, directly after the flash, that I know that I was meant to be a writer.

But that's the weird thing--in all of my old diaries, I found no mention of the flash. It was like it was too sacred to write about.

Odd, isn't it?

The flash is my inspiration, my motivation. It is God-given.

If I had one wish, it would be that I could bring the "gods' random word" that I overhear during the flash, that I could bring that into writing and into the ordinary world.

Oh, I live for the flash.

8 replies:

Hannah said...

Oh, we SERIOUSLY must've been twins seperated at birth...and nevermind the age difference. :)

I LOVE the flash--it fills me with an energy, and passion, a power, a surge, and I HAVE to create--I HAVE to. There's no not. If I don't I'll explode. I feel myself consumed by it--filled with it--covered in it--engulfed in it--dancing in it's dizzying rays--singing in it's splendor--living in that irrepressible beauty and splendor.

Oh, I love the flash. :)

Love you,
Hannah

Gwyn said...

So THAT'S what I keep feeling! So the flash is the culprit of my million and one stories begging to be written down.... I'm glad:) I just wish there were more hours in the day so that I could write them on paper before they flitted away like so many frightened butterflies... *sighs some-what happily*
Great post -- great writing! ~Gwyn

Kailyn said...

(posted by Hannah) "Oh, we SERIOUSLY must've been twins seperated at birth...and nevermind the age difference. :)

I LOVE the flash--it fills me with an energy, and passion, a power, a surge, and I HAVE to create--I HAVE to. There's no not. If I don't I'll explode. I feel myself consumed by it--filled with it--covered in it--engulfed in it--dancing in it's dizzying rays--singing in it's splendor--living in that irrepressible beauty and splendor.

Oh, I love the flash. :)"

Hannah, you express my feelings exactly! You're like a twin as well!!

My hands are seriously shaking with excitement right now. The Emily of New Moon series is one of my favorite series of all time, and L.M. Montgomery is perhaps the most beautifully gifted writer ever to live.

These things have been recorded in my diary -- wonderfully mystical, breathy things such as the flash or the wind woman. I experience the flash all the time... it's so incredible, powerful, fills me with a sudden surge -- a rush of pure awe and a burning, insatiable urge to express myself through any kind of art -- be it writing, music, drawing, painting, photography, anything... It's my addictive high.

I don't know how God could have created a person so similar to myself. It's driving me crazy. When I read the title of your post, I nearly shrieked. It's driving me quite breathless right now, and I don't quite know what to say.

I will never be able to thank God enough for instilling humans with such a vast, passionate love for the flash, whether we have a name for it or not. I feel it all the time, and it drives me mad with the thirst for creation. We are such beautiful images of our Creator!!

I could just die from my breathless, yearning, indescribable love for the flash.

Izori said...

Oh my goodness! I get that too; you described it perfectly! Sometimes for me it's almost like a feeling of falling a long distance, or being on a roller coaster.

Jessica Faith said...

I love the Flash - but i never thought of calling it that!!! lol
bekah, you've just inspired me to get the emily of new moon series... although my all time favorites of L.M. Montgomery is the anne series... :)

Evergreena said...

This is sooooo true. I never really thought about it before. Now that I have, I must agree that I've experienced "the flash." It usually happens to me when it is blustery, specifically a spring or autumn kind of wind that whips around and makes me feel as though I could jump off the edge of the world.

I have never read the Emily books. Now I think I shall. I LOVED the excerpt.

Cheerio,
Evergreena

MoonShaw said...

wow...
you know when you've read something and really liked it but you couldn't exactly express the way that you liked it? that's two of us right now, then.

Liz said...

You certainly have an incredible way with words. I live for the Flash too, and it is so exciting to finally have a word to describe it.
I think the flashes we get are glimpses of what heaven will be like. They are the only moments when we feel truly content.
I can't wait to read more of your blog! It is beautiful and profound! Please keep writing!

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