Tuesday, April 8, 2008

All You Want To Write Are Vague Warnings

In an email exchange with D. yesterday I said X, and then when he responded thoughtfully to X, I said, No, no. I didn't say X, I said Y. Shifting the ground on which the conversation stood, or would have. Reviewing our emails after, the trail of them in my inbox, I felt sad about this, yet saw it as being a fairly predictable, historically consistent method of relating for me. At a moment of emotional honesty, vulnerability, you slam the door. Oh no no no no no, I say. You were supposed to go through this door. And then slyly open another.

Repeat until you can't keep your stories straight, or think of one person - except I can think of one person, maybe even two - who isn't scratching their head, thinking, man, that guy is either a) supremely confused or b) severely hypocritical.

I vote for A. Of which B is merely a psychological consequence.

D. - another D. now - writes of the story I sent her, "there are a lot of crazy characters," and my heart leaps thinking, Yes, yes! There are, aren't there! Then I read the next sentence in which she asks can I resend the story in another format as she thinks the "crazy characters" are supposed to be quotation marks.

The mind moves fast over what it scares it. Moving fast means missing terrain, no time to glean necessary information, or mine in anyway for data. The absence of which means any subsequent cartography is going to lack a lot of detail, a lot of needed detail. A few lines here, a few lines there. Probably lots of white space in which all you can write is "here there be dragons." Which was - is - useless advice, because it kept explorers from trekking the same territory, and mapping it out for real.

Ask yourself where are there gaps in your text, white space in which all you want to write are vague warnings (psychological bullshit like at a moment of emotional honesty, vulnerability, you slam the door). Then go back to those places, go over them slowly, under them even, one word at a time.

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