Monday, February 7, 2011

the recurrent CONFESSION:

I am a Brevity-addict. 

Because I lack it (brevity lowercase) so drastically and because it (Brevity uppercase) so often makes me laugh.  And think.  At the same time.  Without the whole milk/nose thing going on.

Because during January, this last month of breathing rather than blogging, of neither writing (as planned) nor actually much Writing (contra-plan), a month of deeper, more personal revising than I had originally charted out, I couldn't refrain from reading Brevity.  In particular its series of brief (of course) pieces on blogging vs. something . . . more  . . . worthwhile?

This from January 17th, "The Made-Up Self,"  will stand for all the rest.  And I will make an end.


I lied. And besides, I myself am not under any contract to practice brevity and so ~ this also from January 28th, from a description of sessions of the AWP conference going on this week in the wrong Washington (D.C. not PNW).

Of course, there is commentary to each of these posts - bloggers who protest they for one (they each say this) are interested in interiority, in real insight and reflection, they themselves are conscious of consciousness, they at least are doing more than just reciting the cake recipe of their daily doing, they are offering uniquely intimate glimpses, valuable reflective views worth the attention of others in the thinking public.

Oh, but aren't we?  All?

my own CONFESSION: This Brevity series tugs at my own dissatisfactions with what I'm doing here.  I am wearied (again, always) of the form my blog has taken, does take, always threatens to be taking.  My private focus (a word that means "hearth" - that most homey heart of the home) that keeps refusing to escape its own smallness.

What began as a way to say something unmuddied by the grasping fingers of time and change, a private writing room where those who would could read, a kind of oratory in the woods, a chamber like Dickinson's where the soul selects her own society, begins to seem to me a lobby. With glossy magazines laid out.  Plants that look plastic.  The always open invitation to indulge in what - when I write it - becomes the written equivalent of Muzak.

Caught by the pleasure of hearing responses from faraway friends and friendly strangers, I want that response more and more, that eye contact, that small applause.

But that wanting distracts, distorts. Everything I write becomes a self-justification, a bid for sympathy.  Time is limited: what I need more is a chambered space  - contained, restrained in the way the private journal cannot be - for what is being called variously consciousness - insight - reflection - but which is something more.  Which one hopes is something more than those tired, and let's admit it, overused and empty words.

Something.  Less solipsistic, more wide. More intimate, less confessional.  A way out by way of going in. A way of moving into the clearing.  A way of singing in the woods.

All of these terms are unsatisfactory.

I realize I have said all this many times before.  Have revised myself.  Or meant to.  Have been always dissatisfied with what is written here.  I realize freshly that I will be dissatisfied, without a doubt, until the day I get it right, the day I no longer need to write?

(Here?  Anywhere?)

You don't have to keep reading if the prospect of recurrent dissatisfaction dismays you.


Fresca said...

Actually, I like reading writers fretting about writing and recurrent dissatisfaction... I suppose because they sound just like me!

I didn't think of "blogging" as separate from "writing," when I first started, but I find I do wrestle with my relationship to readers, and that's a big difference between writing on paper and publishing a blog.

Mostly knowing readers exist helps me write, but sometimes I get tangled up in the desire for--yet also the resentment of--praise.

I should/could write a post about all this...
Here, I will just conclude with a thank you.
Thank you.

Melody said...

What Fresca said. .. delighted with the prospect of recurrent dissatisfaction.

Love your writing. Always nice to come visit again.

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