Every writer is racing with death to say one thing of significance at least before death...wins the race.
One groggy afternoon…
Many a bird has flown away, Nietzsche sighed one day. He was talking about his thoughts and his writings. His thoughts were the birds, his writings were attempts to cage the birds, or at least hold them in place long enough to describe them down to the last color and texture of their down. He knew that however much he captured in his prose and poems, there would always be something that escaped. Not only that, but that the escaped ones, as well as the ones never caught to begin with, the Vogelfreis soaring the skies away from all our drudgery and cries, were the most glorious of them all. You can be a master to the utmost with words, and still you are playing a game with something that will always be superior to you in the playing. We all have an inkling of how often we miss life precisely in trying to capture life, because it flies too high above our writing pads and our devices. Some of the birds stay on the ground to make their nests and lay their eggs, and we miss them too in our eager attempts to lay our own eggs and sit on them long enough for them to hatch.
A more liberated form of writing would be one that would not be afraid to lose things, to lose everything, in the process of writing. A writing unafraid of things not being set straight, a writing unafraid of crookedness. A writing unafraid to forget, a writing not hell-bent on remembering everything. A writing unafraid to remember the hardest and profoundest things precisely when the writing has hitherto been a prolonged attempt at cathexis and forgetting. A writing of fragments and dust mounds, a writing of broken cages and a writing of the mockery of all cages. Otherwise every form of writing can be some sort of a cage, some sort of a prison. Even the letter to your father, the one you wrote after he had disappointed and enraged you enough by the time you were twelve. Your grandma warned you not to put that letter into the little tin John Deere tractor that held his mail. She warned you that it would lock you both tight in a story, and told you that you can always erase what you are writing while you are writing it, but not after it has been delivered to the eyes or ears or heart-mind of the reader. Then that bird has been caged for good, and even if you keep food and toys in there it is a pathetic life.
A human being-question chasing after both God and nothingness. The internet is a disaster, but our starlessness might teach us something. I welcome our constant experimenting with ourselves with open arms, for ultimately they are attempts of life at living and growing in life. My dwelling is in Key West, while the dwellings of my loves are Indiana, New Mexico, Texas, Massachusetts and Arizona. These spaces are nothing. Love abides and love embraces.
View all posts by Richard Q