2019-07-29

It’s a long game we are playing, showing up, retreating, nursing our disappointments. Returning. 

I’m collecting lines and sentences for something that may never take shape. At times I envision piles of sentences righting (writing) themselves into position. Without my intervention, but to my great delight. 

There is so little time left. 

What I mean to say is there is a fast train and I am on it. 

All this generative time is great, but when does it come together? Into something more cohesive? 

There are deadlines I’ve missed. Time passes. There are lists I’ve made and discarded. There are moments when I’m overcome by dread. Isn’t this the life I’ve chosen. 

Panic panic panic panic panic

I’ve learned to compartmentalize. Time block. I remember Anne Carson’s multiple desks. On each one, a different project, so she can move from one to another. I’ve made half-hearted attempts at this, but nothing sticks. I sit at one table folding paper. At another clicking on this keyboard. Does this amass to something greater? 

We missed all the performances. The festival, the opening party, the closing one. The VIP receptions and the after parties. The moon room, the bouncy castle. The family fun day. I don’t know how to make it all fit. 

News of another shooting on the far coast. 

Again. Again. 

It is the experience that’s chaotic. 

After each devastation, we return. Some, not all. 

DREAM FRAGMENT: I am running from a stand of trees into an open field. The grasses get taller until I cannot see. 

DREAM FRAGMENT: I am lost in a deep valley of red rock. I call out but don’t make a sound. 

DREAM FRAGMENT: I am at the same party again. I see you in the doorway but you are not looking in my direction. It is time to decide: Do I approach? 

Panic panic panic

Over time, the question has shifted from is this good enough to can I finish it.

There isn’t enough time. 

Drawing two points on a line is not the same as drawing the line between two points. This is something I’ve written down. 

Brandon Shimoda: “Are ghosts anomalous to the rule of life? They remind us that life is a compositional process, with seams and fissures between moments. The seams and fissures allow for ghosts to emerge — through the rage, regret, foreclosure, the infinite spoils of the soul of the living.” 

Rage, regret, foreclosure: A life’s holy trinity. 

The preoccupation becomes not the thing itself, but the abandonment of the thing. Is it the right time, is it the right thing to do. Who am I asking, to what authority am I calling out? The valley is so deep. 

I’ve developed small habits, made small changes. A shift in orientation that lets in a little more light. Change is slow, incremental.

(One no longer is inclined to use the term glacial.)

The point is, I think, steady work. To believe that the accumulation will, in time, mean something more than itself, more than its simple inventory. What is the alternative? 

DREAM FRAGMENT: The narrow elevator in the round tower. The doors keep opening and closing. The elevator does not rise or fall. Only prepares itself continuously for an action it never takes, for a destination at which it never arrives.