Tuesday, May 17, 2011

To Write, To Ramble

 I’m not sure what to write today, but since I have the time I may as well write something. I’m not certain there’s a better way to spend free time than writing. It’s a great opportunity to be creative, particularly since I’m being paid while I’m doing it. I suppose I should be writing pages of my novel, but that’s a hard habit for me to create. I’ve avoided writing prose since poetry became my medium of choice. It was a matter of effort, really. Poetry comes from me like a geyser. The pressure builds, I fall in love with an idea, a line, a woman, and the words flood out, wash away the white of the page in the waves of tiny black detritus. It’s a flash flood, whipping through one of those arroyo’s during a summer storm, just like you read about as a child. Was it Gary Paulsen? Or perhaps the Happy Hollisters. No matter, it’s quick and easy and over almost as soon as it began.

Prose is more like adding a water feature to your yard, or a reservoir to a national forest. You have to lay a base, craft, form, create. There must be a solid foundation and it must be engineered so your words don’t simply seep out into the soil and leave you with a dry, empty basin. It is built, layer upon layer like a retaining wall. Prose is rarely a project accomplished in a day, let alone an hour. That, I think, is my stumbling block. My prose is the first shovelful of unbroken ground and I have a tendency to lean on that shovel and stare at all the work that’s left to do. Future effort added to the concept of the completed project equals a lone shovel and no one to dig it. Forget that I lose time when I’m writing, and I enjoy losing time. Forget that it seems like the road that leads to my dreams. Prose is the mountains on the horizon and writing is the seemingly endless trek toward them. 

Perhaps part of the problem is there’s too much wondering what I want to write about and not enough writing. I haven’t brought what I’ve learned from Zen into my creative side. I’m daunted by the goal instead of letting the journey be the goal. Maybe that’s what’s next. Time to be Camus’ Sisyphus: “The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

No comments:

Post a Comment