Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bells Falling In Darkness

It's odd how often I forget that writing is writing. "Writing writing," wrote Douglas, quoting Stein, possibly the highlight of that particular correspondence.

I do exclude certain forms - email, political journalism come first to mind, at least this week - from writing, consider it somehow busywork, rote, that which separates me from the real work, so-called. And then there is also the back-and-forth with J. this week, which (at least on my end) is a matter of rough drafting, unusual for me in emails. I have been considering this - feeling it - as a failure of authenticity, of self-confidence even. Just do it! But then this morning I woke thinking no, this correspondence matters to me, that J. as a reader matters (and then why), and so the sentences matter, too. Naturally I am paying as much attention to them as possible.

I like falling asleep, which feels like a reprieve. But also waking, earlier than anyone, even the birds. A. writes to say that he is in a monastery and I am briefly jealous. Yet in the a.m., in my body and my work, being joined by the birds (the first distant treble, like bells falling in darkness) is a blessing, a confirmation of the monastic moment in my own life.

It is hard to be present to twenty sentences - even for the few minutes it takes to build and then string them together. Driving past Look Park yesterday I considered where I could end them. At 180 pieces? That's six months, roughly. That seems right. But then what next?

Pale gray skies today and a promise of rain. I resist rhyme but understand intimately the need for rhythm, also the peril that ought to be associated with any definition of "over."

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