To begin with: etcetera etc. Which is a beautiful book about beautiful things beautifully and often surprisingly arranged.
I don't think the photos have much to do with the post. I've been rambling about it in my head for days, but really the crux of the thing is that I'm mindnumbinglytired. Not just physically but mentally. Which has something to do with the state of being a writer more than anything else. So I'm surmising. What it is - is that I'm tired of carving out these little spaces in time. It takes a monumental effort. I'm lucky if these sessions turn into 50 words of anything half decent. I'm not satisfied with what I'm writing but I guess I also know that I felt like this exactly last time out. It's a good thing to feel, because it means I'm going to go back and go back and keep bashing at the thing until it takes the shape I want. Years will pass. That's okay too. Having done this once, I know that it's worth it in the end. So, I'm in that constant state of complete and utter and somewhat weird and insane dissatisfaction and unhappiness about the work, while also feeling that I'm effingontosomething. Have you heard about the Happiness Project - book and blog? I like that whole idea you know, but it's so not for me.
Okay, some more leaves. Told you the pictures would have little to do with the post, though in part, what it might be about is sorrow, (are not leaves sorrowful in their bright glory?) and writing sorrow, and taking on that sorrow a little. Some days, a lot. And there's something about fallen leaves that kill me. So. Partly, I'm blaming my current frame of mind on Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse. Which I suddenly somehow knew I HAD TO READ. And weirdly, I was right. I'd read in the Gorgeous bio of C. Lispector by Benjamin Moser (Geez I give thanks for this book so often it really is brilliant) that she read Steppenwolf early on and it gave her the freedom, mentally, to "pursue her vocation, to describe the inner life." The last couple of weeks I've been slowly reading and re-reading this book and having my mind blown every time I pick it up, and have it take me into its wolfishness and spit me out each time. I'm telling you this is an exhausting sensation especially in its ongoingness. I'm not done with the book yet. I'm now going to read it up against The Hour of the Star and etc. (Etc, meaning the rest of C.L.'s works).
There are a lot of quotable bits in Steppenwolf, the most known I imagine is:
Not for Everybody! For Madmen only!
This reminds me of the preface to C.L.'s The Passion According to G.H.: "This is a book just like any other book. But I would be happy if it were read only by people whose outlook is fully formed."
But for me, this is the line that repeats in my head:
You have a dimension too many.
Meanwhile, the character I'm writing has this element, this destiny of having a dimension too many. She's dealing with a grave moment of sorrow. Or will be as soon as I can crawl to it, because that's what it feels like, I'm on my hands and knees crawling down a gravel road. Something like that. I don't want to take her there, I don't want to go there myself. But it's real. It's difficult. So that's the test right?
I feel like I could start a project called the sorrow project. No disrespect to the happiness project. Honestly. They almost go together if you think about it. The thing is that the more I write, the further along I get, the more I understand the depths of the revisions I'll need to do, the number of tunnels I'll need to dig - thousands.
Anyway. As soon as I finished the Hesse book, I had the idea that I had to re-read The Story of the Stone. (Above). Illusions, dreams, reincarnations, consciousness, the soul. For all of these ideas. Etcetera. (One of my favorite words, I think, etcetera). And it's weird, (also a favorite word), weird to be holding so many books in one's head at once, and that's not necessarily including one's own. It's also weird to have been a 'poet' and then write prose for so many years, invisibly, more or less. And not think of oneself as poet at all. And though I spent 7 years in university and a couple more in college, I'm not at all an academic. I'm respectful of all these things I'm not, you could say that. I feel like I'm in a very in between place. Neither this nor quite yet that. Which is excellent, but wearing too you know?
And lastly, randomly, the boots. The socket. Table legs. Well, paths. Travels, inward travels. The path of art. Moser talks about C.L.'s possible reading of Steppenwolf. "The path of art, and the independence it requires, is a terrible one, he seems to be warning the adolescent Clarice. But Haller also notes, "Those who have no wolf inside them are not, for that reason, happy." "
Those who have no wolf inside them are not, for that reason, happy.