Visible Ink

Saturday, September 7, 2002

I thought I was smart
I thought I was right
I thought it better not to fight
I thought there was a virtue in always being cool
So when it came time to fight
I thought I’ll just step aside
And that time would prove you wrong
And that you would be the fool
I don’t know where the sunbeams end and the starlight begins . . .

–The Flaming Lips, “Fight Test”

The desire to write something beautiful again, or finally, overtakes me.

There’s something that hasn’t been said, isn’t there? There’s a new insight lying about for me to pick up and display, right? It seems there should be. An ache tells me so.

It seemed there were days when beauty fell in my lap. When coffee-addled drives home provided me unending inspiration. When music easily filled the gaps in my consciousness and provided, more than comfort, a backdrop for the shaking of leaves and the tenderness of streetlight halos. Movies left me with a joyous feeling, a wonder at the world around me that the trained camera caught but I apparently missed. I can’t even see the stars this deep into the city.

There were days when beauty fell in my lap. And while those same days were often filled with sadness and the weeks flooded with depression, I still sometimes, in some way, miss them. Possibly the illness provided me with a special point-of-view from which I could appreciate those small moments of delight. Or not. I’ve quoted Rilke before here and I will again: “I’m afraid if my demons leave me my angels will take flight as well.”

Am I still lacking in experience? Experience in what? The daily flowing of life, yes, of course. That experience which turns to wisdom with each hour and day and year. But the experience of work? Of drunken evenings? Of longing and failing? Of school? Of love?

What do I want?

The suspicion that truly beautiful things are only told in stories, not commentaries, haunts and frightens me.

And have you thoroughly kissed my lips?
There was no particular haste,
And are you not ready when evening’s come?
There’s no
particular haste.

You’ve got the whole night before you,
In an uninterrupted night one can
Get a good deal of kissing done.

–Ezra Pound, “Night Song”


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