Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Say Capture

It is true and I hope good - tell me it is good - that my window for writing is somewhat narrower than it was 5, 10, 20 years ago. True, because I know it having experienced what need only be true to my experience; good, I hope, because the less one writes as one gets older, the better, I suspect.

To clarify, I do not look out of a window when I write, God forbid. This opening is flexible, fugitive. It is not a thing to see through, or use, or master. I cannot plan on it or prepare for it - let's say by getting up early, or avoiding distraction. It is a terribly flexible window that twists and turns. It is latex to my steel intent, which lingers, farcical, for such an opening to itself.

To write, I must feel I am at the edge of my understanding, which must be at some remove from my common understanding of my daily life; that what I write cannot otherwise be captured or remembered. Check that: that the writing is the understanding, though the "act" in itself is nothing unless one or another meaning has been provoked or relayed. That I will not capture or understand unless I write, and write well, and write thoroughly.

At 51 I am chock-full of all sorts of understanding. These do not have to be communicated through writing. Writing requires that the act is all that is left to me in order to capture or understand.

Writing suggests itself as the only possible activity at those times when no other activity will suffice.

And so I am at the edge of my understanding and therefore removed from myself in coherent ways. The window lasts for a time - not for days and days as it once did. I would like very much to somehow maintain this remove - but really, in my daily life I am already at constant risk for putting everything to the side but love and languor. And my daily life is good with family and work and a prompt, earnest ethic. I can describe all that, for all the good it would do me or you.

Writing (and drawing/painting) is the only means I have to capture what I love that lies outside of my reach. It is all I know that is peculiar to myself, call me what you will.

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