Saturday, October 30, 2010

there's more

it's strange how much, lately, i've been living merely through the words of others here, in this self-created virtual wordworld. i did it because--because i don't know. because this is how things go. as much as i still dislike the word 'blog' simply for its sound and the way it looks in writing, all clumsy and unwieldily rounded, a stately, plump word that in no way appears to assume the shape of its possible contents. but i divert. i started out writing, some four years ago, all that was me (or perhaps still is me), placing a spot in the world that is suspended between two places, between the flatness of my laptop screen and the depth of the multiverse depicted on it; suspended between the insides of my head and the outsides of this non-existent place embodied by ones and zeros. once i wrote differently than i do now; once, i guess, i thought differently than i do now. even though i am still the same person.

i have not been away. nor has the urge to pour myself out into these white letters on a (probably bothersome) black background diminished in any way. i pretend to think that i was preoccupied, that other things got in the way, but ask me to name some of those and i will not get very far. in fact, i was struck by a thought yesterday, while reading an essay by Jonathan Franzen; struck in a way made me almost literally sit up and see my face in the mirror of a page. the text does not even address this (or at least not directly), but one train of thought lead to another in my tired, late-night mind and i suddenly realized how goddamn valuable time really is, and how many ways i often find to waste it, waste it in the way that too many of us waste water, or trees, or oil, thinking that as long as there's more coming in the next moment, there will be no end to the stream and the present will be true for all subsequent moments too. it was then i saw myself in my last moments in life, thinking how much i would give for just one more day, one more hour, one more minute. a second. to do something meaningful with. and i am tired of waiting for that moment to realize how precious a single minute really is; i am tired of waiting an awful lot of minutes. this is not to say that procrastination is all i ever indulge in - far from it - but i allow myself too many moments of lethargy, of meaningless time--not even meaningful in the sense of deliberately doing nothing. and i want that to stop.

i made a promise to myself. that i would make better use of my time. and today, i tried to do so. like everything, it is hard to succeed from the first time. but i know i gained a very large bag of minutes today, a bag i would have missed out on on many other days. i also know that this will not always be so easy -- after all, how cripple is the mind when the body is defunct. but not trying would be worse, and i am happy even with the attempt alone, and the actuality of mindset it brings with it.

all this to say that, however useless this post might be to you, whoever might be reading this, it is meaningful to me. because i took my minutes, looked them over, and turned them into moments--real moments. because i meant them. that my intent translated itself into a blog post is just one way of manifesting things, and i am happy to have done so. in the same sense that i am happy just to have this public refuge, have it even when i just write quote after quote from the various things i read and which strike me as having value; i am happy to come here every now and then - truly come here - and wallow for just another moment in the warmth of the dirty water.


"Expecting a novel to bear the weight of our whole disturbed society--to help solve our contemporary problems--seems to me a peculiarly American delusion. To write sentences of such authenticity that refuge can be taken in them: Isn't this enough? Isn't it a lot?"

- Jonathan Franzen, "Why Bother", in How to Be Alone