2013 still feels new to me, like a rearranged room. The objects are all the same, but my notice feels different, charged with a new energy. I didn't write a resolutions post, or really formulate resolutions at all, because those things I hope to change and be better at and quit all feel pretty banal. But if there was one overriding idea it was not to conflate. Not to latch onto what happened yesterday as a precursor for today, whether yesterday was a good day or a bad one.
And, as is my wont, I bought myself a new piece of jewelry to keep this idea close. It's a necklace from Pyrrha. I think you know how I feel about talismans. How I love that blurry part where something takes on a quiet, but selfish, significance, where it's no longer seen as an object other people might also purchase, but something personal, part of one of those Venn diagrams I talked about earlier in the week.
I read this yesterday.
"Literature is often a compensatory activity; an elaborate form of wish-fulfillment... We all want to be loved, and writing is always a love letter of sorts." - Andrew Gallix
I don't think it's the whole story. But I think it's interesting. Not just for writing but other endeavours too and I wonder why we don't talk about this a lot more when we talk about the things we do.
I think one of the reasons I find it difficult to share certain work I do is that I hope it will make people love me but I know it won't. I think, oh if only you could see my words they would blow your heart wide open and you would see me properly. But I know that's horseshit really and so I don't put myself through it. Still, I think when I write, part of it is wanting to be seen. And that's also why being misunderstood is so heartbreaking, because it always happens at the precise moment when I'm really hoping somebody to fully get me.
But this way of thinking makes me feel like I'm being bratty too. It reminds me of this beloved Ted Hughes piece about our inner child that I think about again and again and is, itself, one of my talismans. And I struggle to have a continuous sense of myself as a being-in-the-world. I'm perpetually confused about which idea of myself is Right and wishing for greater constancy. Even though I know I'm as mutable as they come. And even though I think that idea of constancy is one of those conflations I've sworn off...
I also read this during the week (thanks to a tweet from the lovely Michael).
"As Vladimir and Estragon wait for Godot they wait to know, they wait to be told what to do, what they are supposed to do, what they are supposed to know. In the meantime, they are loving. Estragon asks of Vladimir, Who am I to tell my private nightmares to if I can't tell them to you? And Vladimir says to Estragon, You're my only hope." - Stefany Anne Golberg
"When we say that love is ineffable, as Beckett knew, what we mean is that, when we love, we don’t know what the hell we are doing. We can’t stop talking through it, trying to figure it out. We think we ought to be talking about everything, doing everything, doing anything — breaking into spontaneous rage, talking about suicide, playing games, complaining about our boots — instead of just loving. We wait and wait and wait. Inevitably, boredom creeps in, terror creeps in. When you give yourself completely to another, as Vladimir and Estragon have done with each other, and you say, “Don’t leave me, you’re my only hope,” every day is a little more and a little less frightening, every day is a little more and a little less suicidal, every day is a little more and a little less." - ibid.
I hope 2013 continues to feel like a rearranged room. Happy weekend!