I need to write. My computer crawled through updates before allowing me to begin. Goddamn technology and its plodding fallibility that I should be bound to wait on electrons and connections by a machine. I need to document the mood and inspiration when it besets me. I need immediate release when the chemical landscape in my brain is ready to be transcribed into language. I cannot put thoughts down fast enough on paper with a pen. I need a screen. And a keyboard. I fear now the mood might be lost. But I will try – I know the words are still there. I must breathe and allow the frustration to dissipate so I can transition from exasperation to contemplation.
You see, I watched “The Hours” this morning as I have watched it many times. This film resonates with me in the way a conversation with a kindred soul might. The burden of life, the dear escape of imagination and creation, I live these things too. Not all of the time, not every day – but I have held the black bird of suicide in my tired and thoughtful hands. It was not repugnant. It is only death. It is the final peace. When I am tired to my bones, those onyx feathers glint quietly in the corners of my thoughts.
My week, these past two weeks have been filled with new and exhausting work. What a price! To give up the precious seconds, the hours, the weeks of existence to wrestle with certain technicalities which drain me. So I soak up this Saturday, nestled in bed clothes, absorbed by the dearest thoughts I experience; those unimpeded by worries and concerns of the other beings in the world. I explore my own interior landscape carefully, as a scientist or a philosoph– gently moving, prodding, and observing, taking notes and simply absorbing, tasting. I can never predict what comes from these mindful meanderings. I am never mining for something of predetermined meaning or value. I only know it is the ultimate satisfaction to reflect and write undisturbed by obligations or worry. What comes from this work is less relevant than that the work occurs.
These moments of solitude are necessary and indeed are the nourishment my mind requires for peace, for sanity.
For all my complaints about the necessity of being engaged in other work to earn a living, I recognize the necessity for that as well. Left alone too often I stagnate and stink and rot into dependence and melancholy. Perhaps when I am truly ready to write for months at length, potentially for pay, I will thrive to be entirely left to my own devices all day. Who can know? That time is not now. But it is coming I think. Yes, it is coming.
I sense the arrival of this moment like the changes in the weather announcing an impending season. The form of my story I already know. It is a fish brushing past me, my bare feet and ankles aware in a muddy current. I know of its existence for its fin has scraped my skin and its sides have slid through my ankles, glancing off my medial malleolus, that bony protuberance. This slippery creature’s general shape is familiar. I have seen others. But you see, this fish is MINE. She has never been seen before. Not by anyone. Can you imagine the breathless delight I must feel to glance at the oil spill shimmer of her scales when she surfaces, exposing her shining spine to the air? Do you know the warmth and comfort of holding something beautiful and yet unuttered within you?
I live for many things, not least these moments in which the world calls me idle, when in fact, I am doing the most necessary and intimate work I can do. How else might one produce a mythical fish?