Wednesday, December 31, 2008

If I don't write for two days in a row I start snarling

& respond to the world like a wild dog.
I used to be depressed a lot when I was drinking,
& that is no more for now, & I have
my share of happiness almost every day, &
there is always a sadness at the side of my happiness.
I suppose they could grow fonder of one another.
I lean toward sadness more these days than the rage
just because I couldn't stand myself that way any more
& nobody else could either.
The world is not to me a happy place with sadness in it.
It is a sad place with happiness in it.
One of the top happinesses is writing,
which is for me the exploration of my & others'
search for happiness, which sometimes is tragic
& once in a while terribly funny.

I discover everything about the story
in the writing itself. Intuition is king,
like a child in the woods. Rarely for a metaphor
or simile I'll linger almost mathematically.
Mostly figuring out solutions to gaps & problems
& puzzles it's like feeling around in a dark room,
knowing what I'm looking for is there but I'm not sure
where till I find it. There's a play called Black Comedy
where the characters are (supposed to be) in a house
with the power and the lights out but the audience sees
what's going on. Of course the actors see too
but they act like they cannot.
Writing is like that for me--reaching around in a lighted room
as if I were in the dark, knowing
there is much there beyond what I can see.

I never think of symbols when I read or write.
I don't need to know the castle is a symbol in Kafka.
I think of the physical world that I inhabit. All it is
is symbols. This room I'm in right now. Calendar with a baby
wolf. Umbrella with a small pool of rain at the tip tilted jauntily
in the corner by the door. Painting of a sideyard which itself is full of symbols--wheelbarrow, clothesline, fence, wall, shadows, sunlight.

"A writer's work is nothing but this slow trek
to rediscover, through the detours of art,
those two or three great and simple images
in whose presence the heart first opened." ~Camus

Oh. Happy New Year!

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