Are you still here?
Okay. I hope so. And I’m glad if you are.
When I first sat down to write this, I thought, I am going to write about how all of a sudden we are halfway through 2013 and I didn’t even realize it. And then I realized that I’d been writing “7” for the month for, like, oh, thirty-one days now. And then I mathed and realized that half of twelve is six, not seven, which means we are over halfway through 2013 and I didn’t even realize it.
Needless to say, I haven’t been blogging. Or, I guess, I’ve been trying to blog, but I haven’t been able to put much of my energy into a post. For a while I told myself, Self, you are totally experimenting. You’re just micro-blogging. You’re a revolution and that revolution is CUTTING EDGE. Then I remembered that I am not a revolution, nor am I particularly cutting-edge at anything, and that illusion lay shattered, like the shards in the Delicate Vase Aisle at Hobby Lobby after being visited by a mob of grammar school kids who have just eaten too many M&Ms.
Like I mentioned in my
revolutionary and cutting-edge micro-blogging entries, there have been Circumstances, and these were the kinds of Circumstances that require most-and-I-mean-most, if not all, of one’s energies. These were the kinds of Circumstances that require a re-routing of one’s life and how one lives it, the kinds of Circumstances that — very, very literally — stop one in one’s tracks and require one to Think. A lot. And then to Adjust.
That is all very vague, you are probably thinking. Why are we talking in such vague terms and using David Foster Wallace capital letters to try to make up for it, you are probably also thinking. Those are both perfectly legitimate things to be thinking, and I guess the thing is that I have, after Thinking and then a lot more Thinking and then Adjusting, come to the place where I am ready to say that there have been Circumstances but not to talk about what they were/are. I mean, I have been writing about Circumstances, sure, but in the Let’s Put This In Creative Nonfiction Form So I Can Go As Slowly And Carefully As I Need To And Then Use A Couple Of Metaphors About Christmas Lights To Help Me Out Kind Of Way, not the Very Public As In Immediately Very Public Blogging Kind Of Way.
And that’s the strange and spectacular thing about writing, I think, and, really, reading — there’s something terrifying about the blank page, and that’s the thing we tend to talk about. But there’s also something amazing and transformative and meditative about the blank page, and then about the way one puts words onto it. The blank page gives a person the space — and the safety — that they need to think things through. And I mean really think things through. When I write poetry, I’m often prisming off of my personal experience, but in very extreme and sometimes even absurd ways. I’m taking myself to the edges of language and seeing what’s there. I’m taking each situation to its extreme, and then every angle of each situation, to see how it looks. I’m turning it over and over again in my mind, and with each turn it becomes something new. I’m speaking about things in a way I can’t speak about them with everyday language, which also means that I’m speaking about things I can’t speak about in everyday language. That’s because everyday language belongs to everyday life, and there are things that I just can’t spend a lot of everyday time with. There are things that will shut you down, will stop you from moving inside of everyday life, where there are things that have to keep moving. There are groceries to buy and student papers to grade and cats to feed.
The everyday world keeps moving, and one must move with it. Everyday life must be lived. And so, in these Circumstances, I’ve been grateful for that blank page. I’ve been grateful for the moments of respite it provides, for the sacramental space it creates, for the place where I can take a break from moving and just be still for a while with my words and the realities they represent, so that I can keep moving, keep doing, keep living.