One morning I woke up and decided to change my life. A revolution has to begin somewhere so I began by changing my work space and rearranging the furniture and painted as much as possible the same color to give the idea of unity. And, even though it may seem strange, I moved my desk in front of the bed—being claustrophobic, for me it’s better to look at a bed’s open space than to look at a wall’s limits.
The change had a positive effect on me and made me wonder if the same approach could be used for the mind, too. So I continued rearranging.
Sometimes all it takes is a few modifications to create a new reality. Like a music arrangement, re-conceptualization can create a new identity. Just think of Joe Cocker’s version of the Beatle’s “With a Little Help from My Friends“ or Tina Turner’s version of Creedence Clearwater’s “Proud Mary”. The same song but with a different interpretation. Even the same artist can reinterpret himself. Like Robert Plant’s “Black Dog” before and AFTER. Or The Rolling Stone’s “No Expectations” before and AFTER. And that’s what I want to do—reinterpret myself and my daily life.
Recently I discovered Luz Corazzini, a woman much like myself. And with her help, I hope to live my life now like a song that’s changed its arrangement.
(excerpt from The Diary of Luz Corazzini)
Luz Corazzini sat at the kitchen table ripping out pages from her diary–she wasn’t living the life she’d promised herself. But, as an expert in the art of introspection, she wondered if her life was really that out of tune with her desires or if it was simply a problem of narration?
Maybe the change that needed to be made was not in what she was doing with her life but in how she was interpreting it. She thought of Raymond Queneau’s book “Exercises in Style” about a man who sees the same stranger twice in one day. The story is simple and boring but Queneau retells it in 99 different ways. Ah, thought Luz, maybe that’s my problem–I need some stylistic variation in my way of thinking. Luz then carefully began taping the ripped pages back into her diary. She sat there staring at them for awhile then began taking notes.
1.Original version: Rough night, my sheet was smothering me. Had a difficult time getting out of bed.
Revised version: When I woke up this morning, my sheet had become a sail. The window opened, a cool breeze came and took me away. Dazed, for the rest of the day I felt like I was floating.
- Original version: for lunch I made zucchini
Revised version: Our neighbor had given us four plump bright green zucchini from her garden. So, with Buffalo Springfield singing “Bluebird” in the background, I sliced then roasted them in the oven. From our front porch garden, I picked basil for a special vinaigrette. Ah, such an enticing aroma! I couldn’t resist nibbling on the zucchini before lunchtime!
- Original version: Went out to eat with Hugh last night and he kept looking at me with a blank face. So I turned towards the sea.
Revised version: Last night we went to eat at our favorite seaside taverna. The air was warm and heavy hugging my arms like a cashmere sweater. Mesmerized by the moon’s reflection, I couldn’t help but look constantly towards the sea despite Hugh’s intense gaze. But when our eyes finally met, I knew that he was the man of my life.
After several re-reads, Luz realized she was no Virginia Woolf and rewriting her diary would take a great deal of effort. However, she was going in the right direction. With a little practice, Luz would turn her life story into a bestseller.
… … …
Chaotic dreams woke Luz up. To shake them, she got on her feet, sang “Zippity Do Dah”, did 21 Tibetan Rite spins, then headed to the kitchen for some coffee.
Luz decided that before updating her diary with new entries, first she had to rewrite the old ones. A poorly interpreted past could have a negative influence on her. Why risk rereading her diary only to think “what a dreary life I’m leading”. Luz wanted to remember her past with pleasure and not with a sense of failure.
Memory is a form of imagination.
The best way to learn about writing is to read. So Luz, after much thinking, made a list of 5 books she’d read that could give her some inspiration…