Many months away… and a response to Rachael

October 15, 2005

I have not posted since May or so, which doesn't surprise me. I've been quite sporadic in my writing for the past 10 years. It occurred to me yesterday that I took a decade off. A decade. Ten years is not a minor hole in someone's life. Those are the things you look back on and wonder what the hell you were thinking, what the hell you did, and why. It's a palpable regret and a bad taste in the back of your throat, an adrenal fear creeping up the back of your neck as you wonder what you've done with this very important part of your life which is now gone, finis.

I got a couple of very nice comments on an old post about a month ago. Rachael wanted to know if I were real (yes, very much so, or at least I was the last time I checked), and whether I was in school for writing or whether it was just a love affair.

I've not been in school for a long time.

But writing is a love affair, Rachael. It has to be. It's never "just" a love affair though. It's a feeling inside you in a place where nothing else exists because nothing else can. You have your loves and your other work and the other events and the parts of your life — but the writing is the greater part of you, bigger than you are yourself. It holds everything else together and though you write and use words all the time, you can't find the words to explain how it makes you feel because there are no words for the feeling that nearly overwhelms you with fear and joy and exhilaration.

It's always been a love affair to me, brought on by reading far too many books growing up and throughout my life. One has to love writing to write, because it's an action entirely dependent upon you and no one else. There is no one else to blame, you see, when you don't write. That's why it's hard to love like that. It's easy to put this love on the back shelf because it's always there. But to love well one must practice love, like Buddhist meditation or athletics or writing.

For myself, I've not loved — or written — enough over the past 10 years for reasons I can't explain (see above comment about regret), although prior to that, yes, I wrote and wrote well and yes, published.

But I've fallen in love again I think, and it's about time.

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