Kage Baker could sometimes recognize and submit to superior forces. Not often, not much, not willingly – she wasn’t big on compromises. When she wanted something, she wanted That. Specific. Thing. And she had rather do without it than accept substitutes. For Kage, there was no such thing as just as good as.
Despite that stubbornness, she was patient. She could wait years to get something she wanted – there were things she first saw in childhood that she didn’t manage to get until her 40’s and 50’s; things she worked and waited decades to acquire. I don’t think she ever quite changed her mind, or gave up on anything.
And Kage was faithful. She knew her own mind and heart, and was true to what she loved. She could fall in love with someone or thing immediately; and once she loved, she stayed that way. It might take her 30 years to finally embrace something she desired – she loved it just as much when she finally got it as she had the first time she saw it. There were objects and places she loved and would go visit, for years, until the day she got to take them home or live there. That’s the way it was with Beistle cutouts, 16th century coins, the Chapel Room in the Seven Gables Inn in Monterey. Hauling on the rigging of a mainsail. Pismo Beach.
The adventures and wonders that filled her life were mostly due to that combination of stubbornness and passion. It certainly fueled and fed her writing.
Me, I am not as determined. I am just as rock-stubborn (I think it’s genetic) but I have been know to fall in and out of love with things. I sometimes give up. I am a negotiator. I’m trying to channel Kage’s peculiar style of perseveration into the continuance into her stories – and so far, I’m succeeding – but the house of my life is still framed in green willow, flexible to the point of collapse. Kage’s was framed in oak.
All this roundabout meditation is because the hour I have spent working on this is only the second of the two hours I have spent awake in the last twelve. My heart, it appears, is tired. I’ve got perhaps a half ounce of platinum in my chest (but no Iron Man glow, alas); I take far too many damned pills to make it beat stronger, slower, steadier: and everything works, but when it gets tired, I helplessly fall sleep. I’m told it’s how my heart resets itself … The cat loves it; I am almost as dependable as the coverlets on my bed, in that I am usually just lying there for kitties to snuggle …
It’s a drag. But I guess it means that every moment I am awake, I need to dedicate to work. No time to waste! Kage refused to give up, and wouldn’t sleep even through the last few days of her life. I’m going to stay awake at least until the sun sets.