It’s such a small goal I’ve set for myself, just four articles in four weeks.
When I was fifteen, I stopped doing anything in school which didn’t resonate with my instinct. This included many homework assignments. I am an extreme case of total loyalty to instinct. I’ve finally given myself some homework here. There’s a deadline approaching.
As far as the quality of the articles, I decided that the most important thing was to have my heart in the right place. That means “due diligence” to the process even if the results suck!
I feel it might be necessary to shoe-horn the arbitrary stuff of my week into this article. There are only two ways to work on something, spontaneously and scheduled. I think I’m too old to continue relying entirely on spontaneity. My nickname on this blog is salamander, the alchemical toad immune to fire – a perfect image for what I’m trying to achieve, predictability in the face of intense pressure, so long as you are willing to grant the existence of psychic pressure, for in terms of external pressures I have none, except the gloomy uncertainty of my financial future.
My life has been entirely dedicated to the preservation of my genuineness. Yet there have been no instances in which such preservation has coincided with “making a living”. Thus the current situation. Like many people, I continue to have no correlation between “who I really am” and what I do to survive. I don’t have a way of pushing it out of my mind. Any islands of escapism I might flee to are either too small, or too close to the mainland to effectively provide escape. Hence this forced effort, the only real jusitification I currently have for my existence.
Not that I advocate justifying my existence. I have enough trouble justifying it to myself let alone to anyone else.
Each topic I might choose for the subject of this article instantly suggests ten ways to start talking about it, each way also suggesting ten ways. I only have two ways to manage this difficulty. The first is to pick a topic and say the first thing which comes to mind and continue until I have enough sentences to satisfy my idea of how long the article should be. The advantage of this method is that I say what’s on my mind, but the downside is that I can’t predict the direction it will go.
The other way, and the way for this article, is to choose for my topic the process of writing the article itself. I describe then with each sentence the situation I find myself in. This requires only believing that writing about writing is a worthwhile subject. Each new sentence adjusts my condition, creating the basis for the next sentence.
The main leap of faith is believing that the reader will want to read it. It’s better to be consistent than interesting. That’s basically what I’ve been wrestling with over the past week. For me it’s a huge temptation to try to make the parts of me that are interesting, “just a little bit more” interesting. But I’d rather learn to do everything I need to do, like a beast of burden, owning all of myself and hoping that my good side will be apparent of its own accord.
I think we all have to do this.
What I’ve written seems strangely incomplete. What constitutes “enough” in a situation like this?
I can say that I’ve found an awkwardness in arbitrarily picking seven-day intervals between posts. For the first three days I was excited and then I hit a lull. For Wednesday and Thursday I faced a deep emptiness. Whether the demons which appeared then are related to the seven-day wait itself or to my past associations with things like homework assignments and schedules remains uncertain. Still, the solution is to believe in being boring, believe in being consistent. That way I live up to my promise to myself while still not pretending to dodge the existential issues. The one in question here is “scheduled time” versus “subjectively experienced time”. Time is something we all feel to exist, yet modern clockwork technology divides time into sections far too small for our native understanding. Therefore 8 pm on Wednesday is not just “around” a certain time in the evening a few days from now, but a precise moment far shorter in duration than the time it takes me to wink.
Scheduled time destroys the serendipity of the moment, but such lucky moments are what I’m trying to abandon, because I haven’t had enough of them to sustain me yet. This is only a four-week experiment. In order to maintain my connection with my authentic self, I’m easing myself into the clockwork.
Nor have I any real skill at editing what I do. Hence the clunkiness. The whole thing is a tribute, a humiliation of my instincts in deference to the God of Time. But I need to pick up this skill. It’s more of an attempt to form a relationship than a total prostration. But to form the relationship I have to pay these dues.
Firday at 4:47 pm seems as good a time as any!