Sunday, August 16, 2009

Writing Calls

I want to offer an apology for last night's blog. When I sat down and started typing, I completely lost my train of thought. So many different hurts and discoveries were bubbling to the surface, and while I don't mind exposing myself to some degree, it was too much and too fast to be able to process and decide what was worth sharing. The result seemed to me to be like the pointless rambling of an annoying drunk.

For several weeks, I have been so occupied in clawing my way through each day (yes, at times it really has felt that way, like scaling a bald rock face) that I have neglected writing, which is counterproductive. It bottles up in me until it hurts more than anything else, and I ask myself, why do I DO this? I should know better by now.

Then I sit down, as I did Friday at lunch, with my notebook and a pen, and start to scratch the surface. What results is something like being responsible for a toddler, and realizing suddenly that the child should have been fed a couple of hours ago, so now he's hungry, tired, and miserable, and it is necessary to work on each of those things separately but at once.

Poems are coming at me from every direction, and story ideas, and impressions that I need to get down, because they will have a purpose in something, some time. Meanwhile, I still need to clean enough that there's a clear path for the fridge to be delivered today, and I am taking the kids to swim with my mom this afternoon - things I'd rather forget, and go hole up somewhere with my notebook. Damn! Real life & writing, at odds again. Who said that "Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia" -? I'll have to look it up and report back. [note: I checked. It was E.L. Doctorow]

Give me a pen, that I may become somebody in the future.
-- Sudanese song, quoted in "The Sudan," Vanity Fair
magazine, July 1993

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