Beg off distractions

How to find solace in the moment that is being denied you by your mind that is casting everything you want into a maze. But not just any maze but one devised with doors that don’t open. There you stand at their threshold wandering which way to go.

You want to be able to move forward with a story but you will not put yourself where you need to be which is simply sitting down and writing. You tried this morning and could sustain your focus to produce a paragraph. But you had no real destination, no real place to take this new being you have elected to call Adam.

Inside the unfurling of an expanding cloud mass seeps the fading light of the sun now at a slant being cast over the horizon, this light becomes the uppermost thing that attracts the boy’s eyes now riveted to this one light that seems to him so purely white. He thinks how can something be so white. Then his mind looks askance at the heavens and he finds no answer which returns his mind to the solitary nature of that one expanding cloud that is the back drop of even more clouds though these other clouds are imbued with their own shade of white now turning darker as the sun drops precipitously away far around the rim of the earth now spinning the boy into twilight.

A story should begin with a boy because boys become men if they live long enough. It could just as well be a girl, but with the name Adam we would expect she is becoming. She is there lurking in the shadows but first we must feel the boy’s longings.

Can a boy long for a girl? Sure he feels that tightening of the groin but what makes him want a girl? A story is about answering questions. A story is also about silencing your ego, that part of you that rather be elsewhere; the ego always wants something else. It begs for distractions. It coos after everything but settles for nothing. Be silent you fool and lets follow this boy. Lets see with his eyes. Yes, we must silence the voice that wants to tell the writer’s story but that is distorted because that is the nature of memory. Better to start in the garden with the idea that with this Adam all things can begin. Around it surround your mind, excluding all else save for this journey that begins with a boy gazing after the sunset.

And hear softly the tinkling of cow bells. And the barking of a distant dog. Feel the sting of a mosquito and hear the slap of the palm. Legs running, extending themselves into a gallop. Heart pounding.

Complexity

IMG_1923 That is a key note one needs to consider when one begins to undertake a writing adventure. To be simple is not enough when the task one sets for one’s ultimate achievement is to write a story. Not just any story, nor a personal story but a story that writes itself. In some way we could term it a story of self-discovery. What you are made of becomes you. Do we create or do we follow after our characters? My first real experience with creating and then following after characters started with Joe. His words spilled from the minute I named him and Sally as the two arsonist whom set fires to public buildings that built upon wild land. Since that time seemingly long ago, I have evolved as a writer, have become a writer but not a story teller. There is a difference. Granted I can turn a sentence this way and that and can loop inside and out side of my point of view but to really master the art of narrative, this goal has yet to be obtained.

Even now, as I choose my words, I still wonder at their purpose. Which word to begin a sentence, which word to finalize one’s point; these choices can prove difficult. That is the task of the writer.

We all begin with some idea of where we want to go; with me, writing stories has always seem to be the purpose of my writing. And for a spell, I wrote and spun out stories. And there was a time, under the influence of Duchamp, that I saw nothing wrong with taking outright full sentences, even paragraphs from other writers with the idea that I could re-purpose them. Now, I frown upon that practice. But that was earlier time, when it seemed imperative that I demonstrate my genius. That to steal was justified by the results, but the results are actually just fodder for future writing. We all have to begin where we are in that we have to take from the old adage fake it until you can make it.

But we also have to arrive at point removed from where we started with the idea we cannot step in the same river twice.

Blogging has become for me something of an indulgence. But each morning, I have to decide to sit down or to just let it go. I way prefer sitting down because something always seems to arise. And though my thoughts may come off as sophomoric and my writing begs distractions, I feel imposed upon by a need to communicate with the hopes that I can gain a peer group of other writers because I no longer believe in genius. I put my faith and trust in the collective.

 

Will you let me talk

I punched him in the face right after I said no. He lands up against the bed and took to wiping his nose on the sheet. This made me madder, so I punched him again; though, this time I stood over him with him being held up by the bed and beat him until the bubbles started foaming out of his mouth.

Walking away from him, I found her huddled up under the sheets. With one swift jerk, a portion of the sheet remained fixed inside her clutched fist though now her white flanks were exposed which had their usual pull on me.

Let us the reader step back and try to organize ourselves around what and how the writer has attempted to convey the ideas that begin this story. This writer has begun this type of story before; the issue is not the story but how to tell the story. The writer feels he lacks a certain edge, or that he means he is clueless as to how to really put forth his ideas. His is a structural problem. His world is also ruled over by other writers whom he reads, one such writer has brought home his failure; let this next paragraph work to remind the writer how better to tell the story; the writer is Peter Matthiesssen, the next quoted paragraph is from his 1965 novel At Play in the Fields of the Lord:

An arm appeared around the sheriff’s neck, and a wild hairy face over his shoulder; both disappeared from view. A woeful crash, a roar of animals, and the light on the ceiling spun; the end of the world has come at last, he thought, we have collided with the moon. And he sank away into oblivion. When he came to again, there was a kind of silence, the only sound a breathing and a scrape of feet; he sat up, hauling at the table leg, and stared at the scene before him.

What is effective in this description is the point of view, an odd admixture of the narrator narrating and the protagonist being acted upon and his thoughts. It is impressionistic, seemingly fragmented but expressing the totality of the scene.

That is the genius of Matthiesssen, his ability to both narrate and to act within the confines of successive sentences. I am presently trying to haul myself up so as to writer from her view point but not solely hers but also to provide guidelines to move the reader through the scene.

He entered the room, shock and dismay was splashed into her groin, she had to push the other fellow off from inside her, his flaccid wand, moistened at its tip, with her hand to her mouth she watched as her husband pounced onto the bed. (See here where there has to be inserted impressionistic fragments, the sights and sounds, even the smells.)

 

Story Set Up

www.woodfordmemorial.com 2013-9-13 9 28 59Shut the fuck up. There is no story but only the idea of a story. Stories are not lived, they are told. Go against the grain and you get splinters which will make you more circumspect, maybe even reflective. What does fucking mean to you? We spend a lot of time with this subject, no? I could just as well speak about the evacuation of our stool, but that is not my subject. I could speak about a lot of things.

One more thing in particular would be writing, not writing in itself, but the creative output called a story.

A story involves people caught up in living. We whom desire to create a story try telling something about such people. We are aspirants. We want to achieve something, no? Is that a wrong reason to write, to paint? There are people whom are creative, then there are people whom have talent. I tend to be more creative and  my talent has been to be creative but what I lack is a talent to tell stories. That truly is a gift for some. Now over time I have evolved a manner of writing that doesn’t completely displease me because writing for me is a way to look, to see into a matter close at hand.

Incidentally, in the aftermath of having made love she supine with me on my back with my hand just touching hers this morning in summary I began a story in my head and wrote the introductory first paragraph. And as such moments are we went in and out of some level of dreaming. But in between this writing, the format also suggested itself whereby I would lead the reader in one direction until the end of the story whereupon the story would not be as the protagonist presented it, but the animus that drove him would still seek its ending. What? Well, I don’t want to tell too much; which is not true, I have forgotten mostly all of what those grandiose thoughts were. Left with only the barest outline, I am working to re-imagine their content.

Rough outline: man and woman fall in love; man discovers woman has  been loose with her end of the bargain; their relationship continues with him thinking bad things about her; which affects how they perform in bed; which stems from his thoughts of her and how she has conducted herself over the years; which will by story’s end to have been unfounded but there remains what resulted from those thoughts.

The story is pretty straight forward, but the art would be to show it without right out saying what is happening but to have them act their roles, speak their parts. Why waste time on such an endeavor you ask; why not just dig a hole and bury the hatchet? Because I write to look inside a thing; because there may be a story within the story; some hidden aspect needing to find the surface. It may never come to pass. I have all but given up on being a story teller only because I have yet to demonstrate true talent though I have this nagging thought that there still might be room for me to grow as a story teller. My talent as a writer seems more towards introspection.

Aside from all that has passed in the writing of this post, let me add that we are also born with handicaps that may forestall our progress. And with that said, I will continue to pursue this eternal quest to write; it being my holy grail.

when we get to a place where we are lost, uncertain

Pick a thread, any idea, some new concern, or an outlook.

For me, I have elected to embark once again upon a curio journey to unlock my mind via pushing myself to devolve what is hidden.

We all have arrival points, places where we touch down once again in the known. I know this place because it is a shallow grave.

I have study a far range of subjects, but have stayed closer to a few. Let’s take for example Feng shui, such a cliche ridden word, to even speak it makes one false. But it is there to taunt us and we learn the basics but beyond that we fall short of being true to its core values which are lost to us because we gave up on learning from these books that seem all to be saying the same thing, but we took from those books ideas that we have quasi-applied and letting them overlap into other ideas. In the end, we are left with a singular definition that sums it up without saying anything because we never really learned just what it means; even now we are thinking we should maybe begin anew in earnest trying once again to get a grasp of this concept, but for now we will let it slip back into obscurity while we pursue this new concept that appeals to us more so because it heightens and build upon what we intrinsically all ready feel to be true.

I can get lost while writing, so very lost that I loose my way.

But this new thread concerns wabi sabi, more a sensibility than a science, more a way of living that cultivates living with less; much like zen when they say when you can no longer remove something from something larger that something now becomes zen.

brookegiannetti.typepad.com 2014-8-15 14 49 35Having encountered the concept before, was impressed but could not link it with my current mode, that is until I read a quote from Axel Vervoordt, an antiques dealer and interior designer, that said The Emperor of Japan has a wabi garden. Wabi is for people who already have a lot.

That struck a familiar key that sounds throughout my being, this idea of getting by with less, but not just to scrounge but to have space that captivates the soul. Clutter has always disturbed me, especially stuff that has no real bearing, nor distinction other than something we have acquired. We live in rooms occupied by conventional notions that dictate our collective lives. What if we were to remove from our immediate environs anything not related to beauty. It makes me think of Custer’s last stand, instead of Indians attacking us we are attacked by objects that have accrued, that lack any true value but are kept out of some societal obligation, some ill-signed contract that we will conform to the whims of everyone else even though this conformity cost us our soul now forced into some ill-gotten purgatory.

I will elect to transform my office space that serves our home also as a storage space slash laundry room. Where we have this large book case that I have greatly worked to reduce but still stands as testament to my inability to live my life as a truly enlighten being. My light is clouded and smudged and dusted over with so many things that are not mine, but things that pertain to having a family.

At this point, my life load seems to have increased now that I have added a taxing complexity this further idea to remove things that are not mine. My life has become one of constant evaluation. For example, I pick up and object say a hair pin and I place it somewhere I feel is innocuous, only to find it again weeks later surfacing somewhere along my beaten path. My rule at this point is to simply throw it away.

As I write I realize what it is that keeps me from writing is the fact that I am often not afforded space enough to write; left to my own devise I would write endlessly about nothing, but that nothing is my focus, that thing which I place in front of me to discover via the written word. There was a time, I wanted to impress people with my inherent genius by taking liberty with what other people had written and repurposing it into my writing, but to date no one has gained from my writing any insight, so I have now elected to write only what I know. Too much of what I read on-line is what other people repeat from what they have read. Which I too do the same thing but I leave in what they edited out because I want to hold myself accountable as to what I know.

Everything begins where it ends

This constant knowing that what was is not no more, never to return finito is gnawing at you. You whom thought the world was yours to travel. But now you are confined to a zero range of movement more akin to house arrest than a dog tied to a short leash. You bark at the moon, at the people passing you by only to lay moaning and whimpering. You end up looking askance at what has become you. You cannot break this shell that surrounds you. Living at one point meant leaving; now you have forgotten what it use to mean to leave. You use to be fond of saying I like saying goodby just as much as saying hello. Always moving towards something else; always knowing that something awaited you: that something has evaporated. There is not a cloud in the sky. You wander alone and you thirst after eternal life like some mad Jesus seeking John the Baptist to anoint you. In the name of the father and the holy ghost you are once again invested with life. Little do you know what awaits you.

What came first?

The set up or the story itself?

I think I have spent too much time concerned with setting up the story. Time would be better spent telling a story, no? Or can one combine the two, or start as one and end as the other? I am glad to be back believing that a story is even possible. Also, this need to sit down is comforting. But it’s more about not being fatigues or haggard by life. To write we must have a room of our own, a place apart from trifling concerns. I am on a roll, I feel the tumultuous seas boiling over. I am setting sail. Leaving behind dry land. But even as I begin this new story, I feel what is wrong and this prompts me to stop and to write commentary. I want more of that easing up of restraint, that feeling that self-creates itself.

Touching down on today with the morning spent surfing, I have expended my creative urge; it’s hard for me to write after a certain point when the day is so full of latent possibilities. It’s hard for me to turn my back on chores and things left undone.

Though I will sit for a moment, spinning my wheels.

I watched Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah last night and felt the story was as good as stories can go that are from the bible. It felt real, Noah’s dilemma and the physiological drama that follows. And the absorption of the family, themselves not the needle point pointing north but with the concerns of man; whereas, Noah felt owing only to God. What made the movie beautiful was the absence of any real direct communication between God and Noah as to how to resolve this; that Noah’s decision rested solely on Noah’s shoulders.

You will have to watch the film and see where it takes you. I like the idea that God allowed Noah to decide if their was anything redeemable in mankind. Much the same way, we have to decide where we stand. Then we must reside in faith that our choice will carry us through each moment, without the certainty of God actually standing before us telling us what to do. In man there is the potential to do good or to do bad accorded to each is the intent. I think Camus termed it bad faith, where we can believe something that may not be in our best interest.