Monday, January 08, 2007

You Are Here

I was talking to our friend from Germany the other day and he said that he had considered starting a blog, but decided that he didn't have enough going on to write about. Which made me think: What the hell do I write about? It's one of those questions that annoys me because any answer I could give would either be reductive or absurdly vague. I write about light bulbs. I write about life. How's that? Answers aren't so satisfying, are they?

My cousin seems to know what I write about. She's a writer, after all. We were both poets together before I took the big dive and came out a mom and a blogger (sounds so unsatisfying-- blogger-- almost a derogatory term). She will say things to me like "Oh-- that was a very you piece". It seems to me that not only do I have this thing, this way about me and my work, but that these little pieces of me are circling about in the atmosphere, landing like dust in the most innocuous places until I come to sweep them up.

(Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a freak for order, but can be for cleaning. My favorite cleaning tool in the world is the Q-tip. I don't mind avalanches of books but I despise and cannot overlook the gook in the emergency overflow hole in sinks).

This scattering about and my utter glee for detail sends me scampering off into the woods-- sometimes not coming back for a long while. In a sense, all of my life is like my art. Which is in many ways highly inconvenient.

Take for example now. Now my son is asleep, it's a beautiful cold and sunny day and my husband has taken off to paint our bedroom a deep eggplant color. Inspired by his success in transforming the bathroom, he's onto bigger and better things. I can barely clean up the kitchen after a meal. All I want to do is think.

My babysitter came back into town last week and I had her on Thursday afternoon and I went to the bookstore. The BOOKSTORE! I was returning the book "Running with Scissors" which I had thought my husband had liked (and, in search of a new good book, I had bought) but it turns out he thought was pretty f**cked up. I'm not necessarily against f**cked up, but it has to be a certain transformative kind of f**cked-upedness for me to be able to stand it.

Anyhow, so I went to the bookstore and ranged around. I read titles, remembered things about authors, zig-zagged, layed books where they don't belong (and didn't pick them up again! The horror) and generally went into the flow-zone until my phone rang. It was my husband, asking me if we needed anything from the store on his way home. What time was it? Three hours later than when I arrived. I could have been there for six more hours, easily. And then gone back the next day.

Getting shit done, yeah, not so much my strong suit. Being? Yes. Definitely being. Its correlative? Nothingness. Which is to say if I am not in the form of being, I am lost. Perhaps that is what drug addicts feel like: they need this perfect spell to make themselves more real than real.

That is not to say that I can't get shit done, it's as I said before, not necessarily my strong suit. I was out with some girlfriends last night and we were talking about how we will know it's time to send our kids to preschool. I said I know my son is ready not only because he's ready, but because I'm ready. Finally I've come to a point where he's old enough that I can take back that one little dogeared corner of my self for myself. He's going. Oh yeah.

If I don't have time to be, I don't seem to have anything left over to muster to be able to do. I sometimes feel the world dancing around me, teasing me with its motion like a fly might tease the nose of a sleeping bear. There's an elixir, a deliciousness to being off thinking, somewhere far away in the head which is somehow only more heightened by its compactness and its limitations. Even the annoyance of getting interrupted can make it more delicious if you can return to it again and again.

Like everything, life doesn't necessarily lend itself to the fine orchestration or calibration of time and ebb. Perhaps writing is, for me, the way to do that: to suspend time, a thought, rotate it through space, stare up through its structure, admire its lines, fill it and empty it over and over again.

Greetings from the big woods. Wish I am here.

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