Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Writing Life: Beginning, Break, Rapid (n.1)

The Beginning:

I'm locked in my own head. This never used to bother me but it's been bugging me lately. I can't get outside myself so I can see and experience things from something other than my own perspective. There's imagination, sure, but that can only go so far, right? I struggle to learn new ideas, knowledge, and still I'm locked inside my own head.

I'm a prisoner, doomed to see everything through my own filter no matter what I do.

I'm spoiled with my own viewpoint. I'm inherently selfish and what's worse is I'm feeling self-confident. Why can't I stay humbled yet steady? This is what happens when you're in love with your own words and way of seeing things.

The Break:

There is no break, no frenzied shattering. It's just me sitting here at my computer, writing as usual. I'm not drinking heavily, doing drugs, losing my mind, nor any of the other things artistic types sometimes go through. It makes me wonder why there isn't a break going on with me. Perhaps I haven't been doing this long enough. Perhaps I'm not smart or imaginative enough. Perhaps I'm not experiencing enough torment and pain. I don't know.

All I know is I want to write, have to write, am going to keep writing. Nothing else matters. Not getting published, not if I need an agent, and not even whether anybody ever reads my novels. Eventually, I'll have to address these things but for now creating a polished body of work is the most important thing of all.

The Rapid:

I was going to write about my old life on the river with my ex. I was going to talk about how idyllic the river was during the summer and how it turned into the thundering brown monster when the riverbanks swelled in the wintertime rains, how we had to evacuate, how my ex couldn't hold it together. That was several lifetimes ago and I wore myself out just writing down this paragraph.

No, the Rapid is about simpler things like:
  • The city fog
  • The stairs going up the side of the mountain on my street
  • The Pacific Ocean which is only three miles away from here
  • The places I've been since then, the people I know and have met, the writing I've done
It's all so ordinary and selfish. I spread myself out in my mental mind. I wonder what am I missing? What am I not learning? At least I know what to leave behind, how important it is to move forward, and how I'm getting there even if I don't know the destination right now. I'm not bored, that's for sure, and the second half of my life spreads out in front of me like some wild feast with great food, great drinks, and so much good company. That's not a bad vision to end this Rapid with.

(n.1) Jo-Ha-Kyu (sp) is a concept in a wide variety of Japanese arts that has to do with modulation and movement. Jo-Ha-Kyu is roughly translated as "Beginning, Break, Rapid" and generally refers to the idea that things should begin slowly, speed up, and end quickly.

No comments: