Sure, I can write but so can a four year old.
I push against the walls that holds me back but what I lack is to be gifted because there are those gifted few whom write their ass off, performing feats seemingly impossible. If you are a writer, then more than likely you are a reader. Reading came first for me and by extension the act itself fomented a seedling thought that I too could tell my story. How often in my drunking youth did I hear rambunctious people say man I could write a novel about my life? (nurse one more round) if only I could write; hey you are a writer you write it for me (next round is on me).
There are many ways to approach writing. One must begin with intent. Of late, I have two occasions to report via writing that were related to simply stating the facts and letting the facts speak for themselves. And I was pleased with the results because both pieces were fueled by a desire to explain my position. By there nature they were serious because both could cause grave consequences and in the end both prove to leap me forward, set me ahead by their ability to express my facts, to report things as I had seen it. To do so has taken years diddling with pen and paper much like in my youth it was enough to stick my dick in a woman now their are advantages learned by viewing love making as reciprocal. Writing is an exchange. Where we meet our muse.
Much the same way as in lovemaking with writing we evolve a style. Much like that latter sentence that might have raised an eyebrow or two, I try not censor what pops into my writing sphere. Not to say that I simply free flow, though there’s that aspect but also there has evolved this editor that self-corrects, keeps tabs on how far afield a sentence may lead and if too far, then that sentence is cut.
We bloggers, those millions whom would like to write but really lack any true talent, have found a place to write within a community. Now there are those who blog whom don’t give a flip about writing. For them, they can show their photos or if they do write they can blog about what they are passionate about. Now some bloggers are just better than others which I have no way of accounting for other than when I look at what numbers they gather to their blogs and I think damn I’did something wrong with how I pushed publish because it seems there would be more variety of humans tapping into my world. But ultimately the fault lies with me. I lack insight. Or maybe writing is a lot like achieving zen. You can not arrive there intellectually. Its by grace.
It’s by forgetting that you want to write. Makes me think of the idea of painting bamboo, first you spend years studying bamboo, then you forget bamboo, then you paint bamboo.
Ultimately blogging for me is about writing about nothing much like Seinfeld was a show about nothing. But writing has to be directional, there has to be a bent. It has to be of a piece; it can be otherwise but only if otherwise is of a piece.
Let’s turn now to my new Peter Matthiessen’s book Far Tortuga. For me, he is a writer’s writer. His craft makes writing accessible for people whom love writing for writing sake. But maybe more than that is that his primary focus is nature, things of the plant world and the animal kingdom and the shape and flow of the landscape, these things he tunes us into which I like because that’s where I want to find more strength as a writer. What better subject than nature? It’s really foundational to any good story. The setting, the context our characters move through. You have to decide are you an urban writer? Is knowing the streets important to your story. Or would you rather have your fictitious people walking through a glade of grass. But absent your people, how does it feel when you walk through a glade of grass, what are your impressions, what do you see?
See, I want to make a leap wherein I truly am for a moment an eagle soaring against a blazing sun and my silhouette for a moment is whited out as it passes across the sun. Today, while sitting zazen I will be transported on the wings of an eagle.
The quai at Georgetown.
Shade trees, a small waterfront of green and pink pastels. Soft air of sunrise.
Three walking figures and a dog.
Each sentence that follows after the quai at Georgetown moves us into this Matthiessen world. It makes me think of writing exercise that says begin with one brick, let your description begin there by describing it and by degrees move outwards so that in the end we see the building. I always fail miserably at such exercise because to write is to believe that you have something say. You can’t practice. But maybe you can. I do like that drawing exercise that has you not taking your eye off of what you are drawing, say a tree and to let your hand move across the paper without having recourse to seeing where your drawing is going. This exercise teaches you to draw what you see, not what you think a tree should look like.
Damn it all to hell. I don’t like it that I have to struggle. I feel like I have spent enough years apprenticing myself. Damn it boy I want to write. Damn it Jim, I am just a doctor. Nurse another round for the house and I think I love you…