If you’re reading this, I sincerely apologize, and urge you to stop reading it now.
I ask you to do this because I’m aware, as I write it, that it’s just not going to be all that good.
I’ve written this before, but it’s worth writing now (and I will probably write it many more times): though I do what I can to write for others, there are times where my writing is almost entirely for myself. This is one of those times.
I need to write. I just do. And there are times where, when I write, my writing is mechanical, and devoid of much style and emotion.
In fact, it’s devoid of virtually all style and emotion.
This is one such time. It is, above all, the act of writing as chopping wood.
For a number of reasons that I will not get into, this is one of those challenging points in my life in which friends call me and ask if I’m okay. We all have these moments, and we all know these phone calls. Friends speak to you with tactful reserve, as if they’ve visited your apartment to find you arranging your books according to font.
This is one of those times.
In such times, concrete tasks are a lifesaver. Writing, unfortunately, is not always the best thing.
It’s not the best thing because it involves getting way inside my head, and right now, way inside my head is not the place I want to be. I want to be doing concrete tasks, such as practicing guitar chords, going for walks, learning Tai Chi, cleaning my apartment, and, yes, perhaps arranging my books alphabetically.
Consequently, writing, if I’m going to do it, takes on the rote, mechanical quality of a task. It is something to do. It is something in which, when I’m done with it, I’m able to say “there, I’m done with that.”
A couple of weeks ago, I was staying at my friend Joe’s, and he needed to clear some brush from his rural yard. He sawed down some saplings, and cut them into smaller pieces. I was, at the time, busy sitting in the guest room contemplating all the things I wish I’d done with my past, when I caught sight of him. I went outside, and moved pieces of trees; this made me feel better.
And so it is with the writing that I do now. It is the equivalent of just moving pieces of trees from one part of the yard to the other, and perhaps shredding those pieces into chips that can make a pathway, or, perhaps, mulch. Unfortunately, mulch doesn’t make for the most exciting writing; I am sorry for this.
I need to post things up here, but right now, the stuff that I post just isn’t going to be the most exciting stuff in the world. I’m writing it and posting it just so that I can say that I’ve posted something.
There. I’ve written something. If I didn’t live in an apartment, I’d go out and clear some brush.