A LIFE LESS WRITTEN
There is almost nothing in life that reveals more clearly that one is not doing it, than writing does. Not just writing, but also editing of the writing. It doesn’t matter how much a wish to write is had, if the body has no inclination to writing, it just simply:
Does not happen.
It is the same with editing, which has been rather frustrating this week, because The Corridor was submitted for Copyright … which is something that happened quite out of the blue. Actually a few things happened out of the blue. An email came in from the Willamette Writer’s group about a contest for short story and I found myself submitting:
Big Top Circus
As an entry. However I read in the instructions that it is wise or recommended to copyright the piece before sending it … when looking into copyright it said that if it is a compilation you will want to submit it that way and not each one separately, even though Big Top Circus was being submitted to the contest as a stand alone short story … that is not how it actually is, it is part of the collection. So then I went through The Corridor and realized that it never was edited … slightly but really not much at all and there were typos and then the “tense” was all wrong and certain consistencies were missing. I got as much as I could done that night before submitting … I actually wanted to wait a day but inside was saying:
“No, no, no another day will not come … you must do this now.”
And when there is that type of inner talk that is riding on the energy to do it … one sort of just sits back and watches it all unfold. However … it was right … as it usually is because that energy has not come back again. The Corridor was submitted for copyright approval and Big Top Circus was entered into the contest but there has been absolutely no ability to continue since. I have 23 more stories to edit and there is a push to have it done before Christmas, but I can’t get the body to do it. I try. I sit down and start editing and get a paragraph in and the eyes blur … or the mind will wander in such a way that I cannot get it back. It just makes one see that you cannot do anything … you have no control. You can think all you want to, that you do, but you absolutely do not. Plus if I push it, it makes me hate the writing. Sometimes I will love the stories that are written but if I am trying to force myself to read or edit when the energy to do so is not around, I end up hating the story. I hate the writing that comes through. It looks and sounds horrible. It is such a strange thing. I am struggling to get through:
And have been attempting to rework it for over a week and just can’t get it done.
Funny and interesting, writing the above seemed to have sparked some energy (mebe) to get the editing done, because “Teacher” is now finished and it was interesting to read and good … where all week it seems horrible and poorly written and not interesting at all. Very strange. Very strange indeed.
F - G
S - G
S - till 3 - G / 3-9 - B / 10+ G
Anne Sexton writes:
“Writers are such phonies; they sometimes have wise insights but they don’t live by them at all. That’s what writers are like. When you read what they write, whether its their poems or their letters, you think they know something, but usually they are just messes.” (pg. 160, Autobiography)
Look up Bellow’s Henderson the Rain King (Sexton Fav) (pg. 161)
Both the angst and beauty of the Holiday Season is upon me. It is as if one’s chest begins to be pulled in two completely different directions:
One in Joy; the other in Sadness/melancholy.
It is the strangest of sensations and only seems to come about this time of year. It’s not depression. It is much different. There are triggers, scents of nostalgia and longing for something that has never happened. It is the same longing that comes every time of year at this time.
Not sure what is going on, but my person has turned very sour.:o(
Look up Steinbeck’s Dissonant Symphony.
“You know the big pine tree beside this house? I planted it when it and I were very little; I’ve watched it grow. It has always been known as “John’s tree.” Years ago, in mental playfulness I used to think of it as my brother and then later, still playfully, I thought of it as something rather closer, a kind of repository of my destiny. This was all an amusing fancy, mind you. Now the lower limbs should be cut off because they endure the house. I must cut them soon, and I have a very powerful reluctance to do it, such a reluctance as I would have toward cutting live flesh. Furthermore, if the tree should die, I am pretty sure I should be ill. This feeling I have planted in myself and quite deliberately I guess, but it is nonetheless strong for all that.” (Pg. 31, Life in Letters)
It is strange that some writers … especially in this instance, notice their great and deep relationship with Trees and yet still print. I get it because I have printed and still use paper, as little as possible, but still do. But we are so connected to Trees in ways that even I don’t currently understand, I just know. When Steinbeck writes that it would be like cutting into live flesh … I know it on that level and yet he and I have chopped down trees. Is it just the “killer” in everyone … there is a killer in me. I know this. I watch it. I have the capacity to kill.
Sometimes it seems everything that is done is in exact opposite of nature.
And yet nature is a killing machine. Maybe it is just my backwards thoughts or maybe it is just thought (period). Maybe if one just stopped being concerned about anything and everything then it would all just be what it is … which it is anyway.
Help me not to be so opinionated and to write without such criticism. To write things worth writing. This has been a request for years. Please help.
Steinbeck also writes so sweetly about his wife, finally an answer to a Prayer. I really have wanted to read a man that is in love with his wife and finally I have; am. You can hear it so clearly the love his words ride on:
“Carol’s business is growing nicely. She gets prettier all the time. I’m more in love with her than I ever was. Sometimes I waken in the night with the horrible feeling that she is gone. I shouldn’t want to live is she were.” (pg. 37, Life in Letters)
As the above was being typed, Mark came to mind, as if he were momentarily here and saying:
“This is how I love you."
My heart still breaks. My heart still breaks.
Do you know love is True when your heart still breaks after 15 years of separation? When you still feel that one as close as if they have their mouth gently breathing on the back of your neck and you like it? There is no time in love. Maybe it is why you can say:
“I will love you forever.”
And it is True because the moment you are in when it is said, is forever. I would have never known … would I have ever known … how deep love is without Mark? No, probably not. You don’t know what you are in when you are in it. If you could only see what you are in things might be so different, each moment so much more precious.
Someone recently read a piece I’d written on Academia for an Art class at SOU, it was about failure or something like that or maybe it was perfection, but what was written about was on being as mother. It was a decent enough piece, but I didn’t hear it. I didn’t hear a word of the words that came out of these fingertips for if I had I would have done something! I knew and yet I still just kept on walking past. It is if one’s own (not really) words come back and haunt them. But it probably is better to see, even if there is nothing you can do … it is still best to see.
I feel this with Tyler. I want so badly to be in his life but not as a hinderance, and I am. I don’t bring “joy” into his life … how strange that you would name someone something they are so completely far from. I almost taste how completely joyful our life could be together if I could just be someone else. Tyler and I have so much in common … so very much that we are nearly the same person and yet I don’t have any relationship with him at all.
It is not that I would wish this upon Steinbeck or anyone, but so very much appreciate that he does:
“You see the haunting thought comes that perhaps I have been kidding myself all these years, myself and other people—that I have nothing to say or no art in saying nothing.” (pg. 39, Letters)
Lately, suicide has been rearing its head again, the mind is looking for an out. There wouldn’t be a care in the world if one just didn’t wake up into this world again. It’s the main draw or pull towards alcohol … that momentary break from who one thinks they are … nothing does it like alcohol but with such high penalties. All through “Grant,” they talk about it, which, by the way, is an amazingly written book. Thank you, thank you Ron Chernow who is one of, if not my favorite living writer, him, Richard Bach and Neal Donald Walsh are my favorite living ones. Neal because he wrote and published what I was actually going through at the time with Conversations with God, so he is still ranked very highly in my book for doing so … it takes balls to share things, intimate things that can make you look bonkers. And Richard Bach because he is able to word something in a way that I still struggle so much with … and he words it so simply and beautifully and in such great stories that the masses can hear it, maybe not completely, but they get a taste of something that is very hard to word.
Interesting that after writing the above about alcohol, which seems to be something that many writers struggle with, Steinbeck writes:
“Last night we went berserk and bought a quarter of a pound of wonderful jasmine tea. It is the grandest stuff I have ever tasted, and I have fully made up my mind to give up liquor in all forms in its favor.” (p.40, Letters)
The only reason alcohol is so hard to let go of in my person is that it is so easy to get. Pot on the other hand is easy to get but it just isn’t like alcohol, it puts me to sleep like it most times but not until after it rocks my whole world and I don’t always want to have my world rocked. Pot has one take responsibility (at least the kind I smoke) where alcohol eliminates it.
Will have to try some Jasmine tea … haven’t had much luck with teas … don’t like them very much. Am down to hot lemon water as of late.
I am going blind. It is very strange to watch happen. Each day the vision gets worse not better. Even in nature now, things have lost their sharp edges and people are blurs whizzing by in the streets … rarely can I see a face clearly anymore and its strange how little I care. I should care that I am going blind and I actually don’t … it’s just surprising and interesting to watch.
I have only two long sleeve wearable shirts left that I rotate by washing as soon as they come off. One of them is now see-thru from washing it so much. They are both still very comfortable, cotton and long sleeve … I rarely can find a shirt that I like, that fits well and that is comfortable … those three things are hard to come by and is why I have been wearing the same two shirts for three or more years now. No one ever sees me so it doesn’t matter. I do have other shirts, I just don’t like them very much. I don’t even know why I keep the other shirts around.
Word of the Day: Doleful
THE DOLEFUL DAZE
He picks up the magazine flipping through a few pages, his eyes fall upon a story about a building that has burnt to the ground with twenty-five people trapped inside. He momentarily ponders why the tragedy of others somehow appeases a restlessness in his person. Is it that things could always be worse or that there actually is an end insight? He doesn’t ponder it long, but he doesn’t get an answer either.
He is in the waiting room ten minutes too early to see his therapist. He doesn’t know why he keeps going; he doesn’t even like her. She’s fat, which annoys him and over-the-top with cosmetics, so much so that she nearly looks fake, but it’s also part of the draw, because reality is flimsy and he loves what he hates. Seeing her makes him want to rip her face off and he is just relived that finally there is someone else’s face, besides his own that he would want to do that to. The best part of his therapy he has discovered; is hating his therapist.
Normally, he doesn’t hate people, at least not in general, but he does’t often like them either. He used to have hope for humanity; but it died early on in life. Life progressively confirmed his worst fears about humans years ago, that they are shallow, selfish, vindictive (at the very best), creatures that are to be avoided at all costs.
However, there are a select few he does not feel this way about, yet so few; that all hope in humanity has been lost.
He masters conformity and uses it as a skill for avoidance.
His doleful face. He wore dolefulness on his face like a shroud. His daze were doleful. There is an air of dolefulness about his person. The many happy faces only confirmed his doleful state.
It is such a pain, but for whatever reason my person often writes fiction in past tense so then after it is done one has to go back through the entire thing and change the tense. It happened with The Corridor and was/is maddening.
It is so strange and yet warming to read things by great writers such as Steinbeck that you have written yourself. He says in a letter:
“Where then are the masterpieces?” (p. 51, Letters)
This came out in a poem recently … sometime this year. It’s not that they are my words … that is especially obvious in Poetry, but that the same words come through the Writer … whoever the writer is and that they came through Steinbeck as well is warming.
Is up on Scribd and the website:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JORGE!
It didn’t last long, but it was a much needed treat as the whole body has been in an agitated slumbering state … not sure what it is about the first snow that gets the spirits so high, but once out in it, everything shifts and the body had so much energy and was bouncing all around.
THE MOUNTAIN TOP
Made it to the top of the Mountain … had left with the sun shining and thoughts of not bringing a scarf or even a coat it seemed so warm, but something inside sort of yelled:
So the scarf and coat were left on and thank god because about half way up the sky started to cover over with dark clouds and then it started raining and the trees were all blowing around like crazy. It was quite a spectacular thing! Got to the top completely fatigued, the body has had very little sleep lately, it’s starting to get scary and things aren’t functioning quite right but, insomnia, it is what it is. At the top it was raining but sat down between two very large trees and was leaning the back up against one and was surprised to find how much flexibility is in a tree of that size and stature. It felt so good, like a child being rocked back and forth. The wind was really whipping it all about and the rain was not coming down too hard and it was cold but not freezing.
Had thought the first snow might come then.
Waited for it … but finally gave up and headed back down. The whole thing was a bit of an adventure and there has been very little adventure around these parts lately, so it was an extra special treat. Am surprised the legs have anything left in them today, but from all the bouncing around they just did in the snow, it seems they do.