May 30, 2009


Sometimes I don't know where I'm going. Okay, most of the time I don't know where I'm going. Sometimes I'm just standing in the doorway to my kitchen after an evening shower, watching the wrinkles on my fingers fade, and waiting for the water to boil so I can make myself an Irish coffee before bed. And I think, "I like my soft hands," and while I'm waiting for the coffee to brew I sit down and I type that out. The string unspools and weaves itself into patterns and a collection of other strings that I had spun out behind me in hours and days past come together and suddenly I notice the pattern, what it is I've really been thinking about. That little thought, about my hands, becomes contemplation of death and the nature of consciousness.

Sometimes I react. I hear something on the news or read something in the paper and I think "It has everything to do with empathy," and I just have to share that. Sometimes it's just because I want to be right. More often I just don't want people making the mistake of believing the other guy is right. It's this fear that if only one side does the talking, everyone will agree. I have this kind of arrogance that leads me to conclude, without even really thinking about it, that if I don't point it out, no one else will. Which is bizarre, because I don't exactly expect my voice to make all that much of a difference. I always find that initial moment of indignation fascinating, but over time I've tried not to let it get away from me.

Sometimes there is a memory, a scene, and experience I want to share. I'll be daydreaming and recall the cathedral with the waterfall choir. And I congratulate myself for waxing all poetic or form building a world out of black and white letters on (virtual) paper. Poems are special things that only discover themselves when no other form of expression will do, when complete sentences and rules of gramar are just to restrictive. They can't be contrived. I can't sit down with the intention of writing a poem.

I wonder about what finds its way into this blog. What are the motivations, the triggers, the odd desires I hope to fulfill by posting things here? Keeping a blog is great practice. It has helped me to become a better writer, the same way that doing yoga might keep me flexible and strong. And writing itself helps me figure things out, find answers, find questions, uncover things that were hiding, run away from things I don't want to think about. Writing is an odd form of honesty, for no matter what words I put on the paper (again, virtual) I always know which ones are true, even if the reader might not. It's thinking out loud. It's the way I watch my thoughts. It's not the same as meditation, but it's not the antonym either.

My cushion is my keyboard.

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