Shabbat (the Sabbath) was fine, same as usual. I went to shul (synagogue) for the first time since the second lockdown ended. It still feels very subdued there, and we were reminded not to sing. We did go outdoors for a few minutes so we could sing Lecha Dodi, which was good, but colder than when we were doing it a month ago.

I had a dream last night that I won’t describe, as I don’t remember enough of it, and what I do remember I don’t want to share, but it made me worry that my unconscious was thinking of my time being single (which is most of my life), but primarily the loneliness of being single, and the stress and guilt of not coping well with it and having dysfunctional coping strategies at the time.

I argued a bit with PIMOJ tonight after Shabbat, via text. We clashed over my novel. I think there were some communication difficulties too, some language difficulties and some outlook difficulties. I felt my novel was about as religious as a mainstream novel can be and am already worried it will be accused of being too pious or frum (religious) and too simplistic in showing that hurt people can find solace in God. PIMOJ feels that it needs to show more of God’s goodness. I can’t explain her position in detail, because I don’t understand it all (like I said, there are some communication difficulties here, perhaps some language issues) and I’m not going to re-read her email and texts at the moment. I felt the novel was reflecting my experience and the experience of people I’ve encountered online and in person, and it would be wrong to change that or to provide easy answers to difficult questions. I think it’s a book about resilience rather than simple piety.

We calmed down in the end, shelved the novel question for now and said that we both value our connection to each other more than what we feel about the novel. I guess I find arguments scary because in both my previous relationships, the arguments came as we were moving towards breaking up and were a sign of deep-seated issues, so it’s hard not to see it as an ominous sign, even though I know healthy couples can argue a lot (too many examples to mention from my family!).

I had planned to re-watch Blade Runner 2049 this evening, but after the argument, I felt it was too long and downbeat. I started to watch the Doctor Who story City of Death, which is the Doctor Who fan equivalent of eating a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream when depressed. It was written, pseudonymously, by Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams, and has a reputation for being the funniest and most elegantly-structured of his three sets of scripts for Doctor Who. I’m not sure if I will watch all of it tonight. I’m currently halfway through, with another fifty minutes to go. It’s getting late, but I have a bit of a headache, which I think will stop me sleeping, and I don’t feel sleepy. I probably still feel energised from arguing, as well as from sleeping too much over Shabbat.

EDIT: I complained recently about someone reblogging a post of mine without asking permission or even telling me. I just had a look in my spam folder and found a comment in there saying that they were reblogging it, so apologies there, although I still don’t know why they particularly wanted to reblog that post.

12 thoughts on “Argument

  1. Sorry to hear you had a disagreement. Maybe the best tactic would be to thank her very much for her feedback on the novel, say you will think about what she has said, but perhaps not involve her too much in it in future. Maybe sharing with her your weekly Torah thoughts might be a better way of sharing what you write and think (though maybe you do this anyway?). It could just be that while you connect well in many ways, she just won’t get your writing. This doesn’t mean you are not compatible. And it certainly doesn’t mean your writing isn’t good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do share my Torah thoughts with her and have been for a while. Yes, I think I should not share so much with her at the moment (although I’m not convinced she’ll want to see more after this). I think you are probably right about her not getting my writing, at least not this book.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m 100% in agreement with Chaconia. We don’t have to involve others in every aspect of our lives. There’s plenty that the two of you can share and enjoy without arguments about the novel. A relationship without any disagreements or differences of opinion is lacking some spice, in my opinion. 🙂 My late husband and I could discuss many topics although we were of differing politic stances, but we soon learned that we needed to stay away from any conversations about the death penalty.

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  3. PIMOJ’s position sounds a bit naïve. I don’t mean that to criticize her at all, but her positive outlook wouldn’t necessarily translate very well into the direction a work of fiction should take.

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  4. PIMOJI should feel free to write a novel herself on God’s goodness. (I don’t mean that meanly or sarcastically). I really think that when we let someone in they should interact with what we put forth and not what they think it should be unless of course you’ve asked her how to make it better and she’s telling you what she thinks. I’m not asking people that personally. I understand for sure her wanting to bring people hope but you can’t pass on the hope she has. Only she can. God is good. But some of us mostly deal with people who are not good even when they think they are. And I think really good fiction helps people lose their illusions about themselves. Some people really do spend their life mostly in the sun. Others have known little daylight. The story I was sharing on my blog called The Romance of Photogen and Nycteris was about this. Apparently George MacDonald thought two people like you and PIMOJI could love each other. But he shows through that story that you have to work to understand each other. I am forever parting ways with Sunny people because they refuse to acknowledge the night and won’t brave the darkness. I know for me the good people really stand out or the little good things because they are against a back drop of such darkness. I’m not going to want to read something about 100% pony rides and May sunshine. But I also don’t want to read despair cause it’s not the whole truth. There is a moon shining in my night. Unfortunately based on what I read on WordPress in terms of fiction writers it seems that either positive fluff or depressing morbidity is what sells. I think it’s better not to think about what sells and just communicate the truth that you have been given to steward.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think PIMOJ is supportive of my personal darkness, when I’m having a bad day, which is the important thing. I think my novel is just a worldview that she wasn’t ready for. I hope we can love each other; I admit I don’t always read your GMD posts, but maybe I’ll go back and check out that story.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 🙂 I’m pretty sure only one person is reading my GMD posts and that person generally misses the point and thinks the stories are cute and entertaining. I’ll keep posting the rest of that story and then I won’t feel guilty for stopping 🙂 The darkness won’t be your personal darkness anymore if you get married and that’s the thing that is challenging.

        Liked by 2 people

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