06 August 2007

This not why

I’ve only ever written two, maybe three good pieces of writing. I know this because they share an important few things in common:

1. They were written without any conscious or subconscious desire to solicit answers. Implicit in this is the inherent mistrust I had in what I was trying to say. Which leads me to the second most important characteristic of what I consider better writing (on a personal level - you might have a different gauge):

2. I believed every word of it when I read it back to myself. It just rung true.

That’s not to say that every good piece of writing is true. But it’s better to take sure aim at something and not miss than to send your arrow into the neighbour’s open window and then turn to your friend and say, “That was okay, wasn’t it?” (And I still can’t seem to abandon my shitty analogies.)

I don’t know why these two elements so often escape me. I wish I were the sort of person who never put something down until I was sure it was just the thing. But I prefer subjecting raw memory to my own inexpert brilliant cut, even if the quality of light it refracts suggests a poverty in the attempt.

This is something I was thinking about while trying to go back to sleep this morning. I’ve been pretty hung over all day, having walked a fine line between pleasantly buzzed and uncomfortably drunk and then having stumbled merrily on the wrong side of it anyway (bruising a knee). I kissed Jennifer on the cheek, which I never do (kiss Jennifer, that is, but friends in general too), and embarrassed myself doing Justin Timberlake at karaoke.

I walked all day in tall shoes that hurt without a shred of fear or anxiety about my place in things, and things were better for it. Things burn at a constant rate if they’re tended - not so much if you blow them out.

It just gets more and more difficult to report back on these things because I’m running out of words for real experiences that take place somewhere between thought and the physics of activity. Or something like that anyway I don’t know.

I’m in love and I’m wasting time. I’ve wasted enough time, I mean. There are things I want to stop thinking about so much (like ‘why’) and things I want to think more about (like ‘this’). And just. I don’t know. Some of what I’m saying feels true.

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