really all I have to say is I keep going no matter how impossible it is, and even if I should, I don’t do what I have to do to support myself ~ someone else can. Am I proud of it? I don’t know
I haven’t forgotten my haters, but is my rehearsal of that interesting to you?
Maybe I’m just proof I badly need an editor. I do admire my effort and volume of work, maybe not the result…maybe when I leave the computer later and go for a walk, I will chew away on all this and a fairer worldview and self-esteem will emerge. Is it true that I completely replaced my language today? I sure did write all day, 8am until 4pm, no break — in fact I was wiping my mouth all through lunch, running over to the phone three times to send something that had come to mind. Is obsession proof of anything? I really wonder who will read this — is it true that if I plunge into my aloneness and forget the world, the world actually comes closer? Don’t I remember now I’ve been writing sentences about reality and truth all day for several years now, however unprofitable and unsuccessful the enterprise?
I do what I want no matter whether I can afford it. I also ask you and others to help me afford it. It isn’t ridiculous; I’m here to be a living metaphor, a site where we both ask (and live in) the question of what we should do with our days. Surely it isn’t figured out: surely work email and social media are not the places (though this is social media, which has become a sort of work email).
Is it true there aren’t many ideas in my work? Is it true so much slough needs to be cleared? I’ve been thinking about editing all day, not doing much of course, just generating new stuff, perhaps leaning all the way into this:
artists swim daily, hourly in the big questions and emotions: doom, ecstasy, tragedy…all the practicals of life are swirled about the gemstones and vortexes of the things we stay alive for: music, poetry, dance, song, sex, flesh, strength, competition, honor, gratitude…to be lost in the world of spreadsheets, deadlines, debts, amounts of money, someone’s hourly rate…hogwash, all of it. A distraction! Because philosophy and poetry are harder; because silence and solitude are the hardest jobs in the world, and wringing them out for all the gold in those hills.
Perhaps I just create a lot of first draft material. It’s the feeling that it could be something that’s the thing worth capturing; these words you see are just analogs of my hope. This is the only way to communicate from the silent inner world to the visible world. There’s a landscape inside me that’s always loud.
I wonder how long I can ask you to stare at the fact that I’m an artist. Am I butchering the word?
I forgot what I wrote today but don’t I still think that’s the way? Write so much you don’t recognize yourself…don’t I still believe it? Write so much you can’t remember three days ago? Who wants to look at my obsession? Maybe nobody…
not giving up, or waiting out all the excuses
“The perfect life, the perfect lie, I realised after Christmas, is one which prevents you from doing that which you would ideally have done (painted, say, or written unpublishable poetry) but which, in fact, you have no wish to do. People need to feel that they have been thwarted by circumstances from pursuing the life which, had they led it, they would not have wanted; whereas the life they really want is precisely a compound of all those thwarting circumstances.”
― Geoff Dyer
I write about doing what you want, against corporate, against anything that would be allowed or “fit in” — what did I read recently?
Oh, I talk to myself and hope you’re interested. That’s what I do all day — for “a living”? Oh it doesn’t generate money yet but it could; I am extinguishing myself, apprenticing myself, chaplaining (which I’ve heard used as a verb) myself to the problem, the possibility, the ecstasy ~ and I don’t do it to be a creative man; I do it because I am one and there is nowhere else to go but into form, to maybe become perceptible…maybe this 34th year of mine will have been the turning point, the point crossed that could not be crossed back over to. So be it.
The thrill of the work is more exciting than “preserving” life, and of course there are no guarantees. Sadly, all I can write about is my ambition and my stuckness, but this fury with the barrier in front of me is the bravest thing one could write or read — maybe that’s true; I’m already a year ahead of what I’m writing right now, I’m further ahead of the writing which happens sometimes (sometimes the writing is ahead of me, pulling me to catch up with it, but now, no, I think I’m pulling up the rear)
This may all just be ridiculous journal that’s unreadable. Maybe it is. But I would not want to do other work, or have some other canned answer for “what have I been up to?” when asked by someone I went to high school with at the outset of our aging. Maybe I’m just very good at writing first draft that eventually, with the help of an editor, becomes me. It is not a shame to want it; it is bold to put your dreams into the world and live on as nobody cares. It’s good to realize how nothing you are; surely literature is an ode to nothing…the older I get though, the more I am transfixed by the appalling strangeness of God’s love for all of us. And I don’t write a sentence like that very often. And today I’ve been in a white fever, a whitewater rapid and cataract of productivity, an explosion and proliferation of email drafts and text strings and outburts and composed messages I couldn’t send, and piling taller and taller this Drafts folder that only a mother could defend.
I’m remembering everything, I’m in a tizzy, somehow this has to be rendered into literature — I wonder what would happen with a professional iron run over it? Maybe I need to think it very hard, publish it here, hiding it under a new heading and putting today’s date on it, pushing everything else downward, yielding to the ecstasy of progress and real life, leaving such a strange fragment in what I’ve published making it impossible to deny: I am one who would spend all day thinking about this stuff. And of course I won’t be a celebrity, who could care about all this mush and bile and vomit I churn up every day about death, love, art, money, passion, honesty? Who could care? I’m sick of me all the time yet I can’t stop, this snake is eating me up and I have this fanatical belief in the creative process that if I yield and keep letting what wants to be written get written (as the music crescendos in my head) it will find who it’s/I’m meant for and my soul’s mission will be complete, and the money will appear and I can live another day. But it’s never easy or guaranteed; I wonder if it ever was?