Wednesday, January 4, 2012

You Know You’re Right

There is this feeling I have, a desire or dream—though I would not call it a goal because I am doing next to nothing to pursue it—to just simply be. Perhaps that’s not it exactly. What I mean is to find a way to exist in life, a position or arrangement, in which I don’t have to worry about much. To feel some sense of security, yes, but also to be able to focus, to not be distracted by worry and doubt, to not lose so much thought and energy to trying to figure out what to do next, to have enough in my life that I can go from one thing to the next with comfort and certainty.

It is an impossibility, a mirage, but one that I, beyond all reasonable explanation, foolishly believe in. You may think that this would require, first and foremost, independent wealth. For how can one exist in this way and be dependent on having to make a living? It’s a fair question, one for which I do not have an answer except to say that I believe it to be so. It is my hope (though a futile one I am certain).

But there is some part of me that feels that if I could just get good enough at what I do for a living, if I could just get smart enough about finding work, and once having found it, be able to hang onto it, my dream could become reality. In this manner, however, I am not what you would call ambitious.

Or perhaps it is not about a career. Perhaps it is more about simplifying my life materially. I could spend less, certainly, though every time I have tried it seems more like I spend more. These problems are not easily solved.

You could argue that writing is one way to achieve some version of the existence I seek. Many have said it before, and it is true, but for the problem of being a writer. When you are a writer you inevitably worry about publication, success, a career. Once this has happened, whenever you sit down to write you will wonder, “what do I do with this that I am creating? Where can I send it? Who will like it and why? How can I make it part of my next book? If I can, is it worth the effort?”

These are valid questions, ones that any writer must ask his or herself. And yet it is antithetical to the spirit of writing. The purity of the urge to put pen to paper and get something just so simply for the sake of it, the satisfaction.

(composed 12/28/11)

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