Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Something in Me Uses the Art

Late afternoon and the house uncharacteristically empty and so I write and go on writing and the writing is oddly unsatisfactory. I want something from it that I struggle to allow it to give me, and cannot yet allow it.

Afternoon: this afternoon.

The house is quite like a monastery yet the neighbor can be heard running a tractor, somebody shouting at kids to step back followed by thumping of hay bales being tossed to the frozen ground. What do I want to say or is it a question of what do I want to hear?

I turn a light on to see better and wonder if I am being reckless by writing and not preparing dinner - sweet and sour chicken with rice, spinach salad, toasted baguette with garlic. If I bring my attention to the writing in any other way than slant, the writing begins to perform for me, it begins to seduce me.

Something in me uses the art to distract me from what the art wants to say.

I go askew.

The bit of sky visible from where I sit to write is clouded but still full of light - we are slipping towards Spring notwithstanding the coming storm. I give myself to you. Before you I fall before you helpless.

Finnie and Chrisoula are at the town hall collecting paperwork from C's office or else visiting neighbors along the way. Jeremiah is in the hay loft playing guitar.

Sophia is in her bedroom writing, Sia playing low enough I can't say which album.

You fall with me, you go with me into my helplessness. In my weakness, you are weak, and in our shared weakness we become not strong but rather no longer weak.

Stars fill the sky: a song eclipses my lips and tongue.

When writing, it is important to study carefully your relationship with pronouns, to notice their effect on the writing, and what readerly presence they tend to evoke. All writing is invitation: all invites are unto the Lord. The quiet becomes a kind of emptiness in which not even writing can bring you forth as a solace.

In your absence, even absence becomes holy for it reminds me of you.

When writing, it is important to locate oneself in the specific mythology in which one is brought forth as a living creature. Nothing else satisfies. I cannot be fulfilled but with you.

Earlier, driving back from Holyoke, I found myself reflecting on the psalms and wishing I could read them in Greek. Or listen to James muttering as he worked and reworked the fluid prose. When my thirst becomes acute, you pour yourself into my throat, and when my hunger twists me into dross on the threshing floor, you soothe me with dreams of salt and buttered bread.

Listen: He comes out of the sky to profess His love for all appearances in the singular light of being, and I am lifted with Him above the pasture and carried forward to the starlit river.

My tongue shall be your tongue and you shall sip the river from the well of my cupped hands.

For this body shall pass away.

And this storyteller shall pass away.

And this story shall pass away.

But you will not pass away.

Passing away will not pass away.

Grateful in the low station you made for me I enter the kitchen. In the silence, I wait for the sounds of you who are my life.

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