Getting back in the habit of writing has been a thrilling and exasperating experience. I had banished to the deepest recesses of memory the joy of causing a collection of words to dance in a cogent yet pleasing manner. The frustration when they stumble over one another like drunken, mid-seizure epileptics, if they agree to dance at all, that was a fresher memory. (Bad stuff always seems to stick)
Prior to The Baker’s Dozen Exile tour (we’ll get to that at a later time–just know it was a thirteen year period of self imposed exile), I was constantly whipping out the ubiquitous pocket sized notebook to record in minute scrawl observations, quotable quips, and the pithy random thought. I’d play at the poem, essay essays, slosh about with the short story, jab jocularly jocund in the journal, and muddle through the murky memoir at every opportunity. I’ve always felt more eloquent, more innately articulate, in ink and pressed pulp than when using larynx and vocal tract (numerous quasi pop psychology mumbo jumbo possibilities on why that’s the case, but not here, not now). So, with a proclivity to grant my mind free reign to wander amongst the sights and sounds of the wonderama between my ears, and both an understanding and subsequent distrust of unreliable memory, I became a writer. One of neither talent nor consequence, perhaps, but it’s what I do. Or did. Or do.
Post B.D.E.t.(pronounced like “bidet”), I’ve sullied countless scraps of paper with ink and lead. I find them wedged between the pages of books and stuffed in the pockets of shirts and jackets. Some are collected in folders. Brief bursts of inspiration, but no willingness, or sincere interest in dancing with those collections of words, of choreographing their next big Ziegfeld eat your heart out production.
I’d considered blogging at various points over the years. The concept of circumventing the usual routes of publication and circulation intrigued me ever since a beloved friend of mine directed me to Carolyn’s Diary in the mid nineties. Immediately I found myself captivated by the author’s conversational tone and competent, accomplished informality. My surfing sessions to ferret out a bit of minutia frequently terminated in blogs even more esoteric than the niches I mined. I had entered the blogosphere effortlessly and unwittingly, and found it useful and good. Yet I wasn’t sure I had anything worthwhile to say. Hell, I’m still unsure of that. The again, there was always someone who’d take a shine to my work, whatever the form. And I suppose that’s the goal, to have an audience, any audience, intended or otherwise, who gets something from it, to whom it matters even momentarily.
Over the Christmas holidays my uncle Lincoln, fed up with my vague agreement that, surely, I should write a blog, created a wordpress account right then and there. It took me about three months to actually hazard an attempt, and probably a month more to familiarize myself with both the format and my own narrative voice (we’re officially ‘acquaintances’ now, hoping to be ‘friends’ soon). I may be slow, but I do poor work.
Here I am, arthritic and immature, learning again to be the me I want to believe I am, exhuming shadows and leaking thought onto the page, aiming to impose idiosyncratic truth through language in a meaningful way. Meet the new journey. Same as the old journey. Time to enjoy the ride.
They came to deliver me from the doldrums, to alleviate the weight.
They tried their best to wrest and rouse me from my melancholy state
“Though I know you have your reasons, still we hate to see you cry…”
I shut my eves, lowered my head, and offered no reply
“Perhaps it’ time you traveled, you’ve yet much world to see;
Forget all this and lose yourself in Prague or Tuscany.
Aren’t you the one who e’er advised to ‘Live before you die’?”
I glanced at them and saw myself, and offered no reply.
“What’s become of your ambitions, your dreams of anonymous fame?
Have you truly resigned yourself to losing at someone elses game?”
I replied that my life had but a solitary aim;
To lock me up in a comfortably place and quietly go insane.