Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Loose threads of the day:

I reflect on my college friends, the work they started back then.  One worked for the newspaper, became an important editor at a famous magazine.  One started, and became, an actor.  One met a girl and became a family man.

And I too started my work.  I just didn't know it.

The first book I wrote was an effort at the mainstream, to write somewhat like Hemingway, a set of vignettes, tied together.  But even then it was a different creature.  Each chapter represented some attempt at a spiritual awakening, a lesson, a kind of utterance from a deeper world of reality than the immediately present one.

Then what comes after that, after the self-publishing...

Then you start to write in a way that's truer to who you are and what you have to say.  A Dostoevsky listening to his inner Dostoevsky...  Disconcerting perhaps...

And oddly the new style adds up.  What was it, a series of experts from A Barman's Notes on The Gospels, or, Spiritual Utterances, in General, caught by the microphone of a man who had to do a good amount of listening on his job.

Was it the writing of MFA programs?  Was it an awkward form of some kind of scholarly attempt?

I thought of the opening of Don Quixote, depicting the man who's read too much of chivalry, so much that  it's softened his mind, leaving him with the great conceit, that he is formed by what he reads into being who he truly is.  What can he do but write in that space of time he has between rising and rousing himself--as heart rate, dreams and other things allow--and then going off to work?

He makes his tea by listening to the water until it sounds like wind in pines.  He cooks sausages by listening to them as well, in the iron skillet, first over the burner, then under the broiler, and finishing in the oven.  What's the weather like?  Jury duty tomorrow.

But between waking and then finally rousing himself, he reads these little pieces, and to him they seem to add up to something, excerpts from a particular sort of work, adding up like sediment in water, but then, who knows, maybe rock one day.

Connecting, the clinical psychologist talks about.   Connect with others, with your values, put that into some form of activity...  But there is, it seems, the main connection to make, the real work, of connecting with your self, maybe your inner self, the shy secretive creature...  Francis getting in touch with himself allows the Franciscan Order to come about.  Connect to a self in such a way that what use to be seen as mistakes and errors are not so much plainly such things anymore, but growth pains of a sort.

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