Sunday, March 21, 2010

Typing at Work

Today is a sponge resting on the edge of the sink. It sits, slowly but steadily leaking. It smells a bit, but can still be used. This is the first thing that came to my head to write, thinking that writing might be something productive and productivity might be something that keeps my mind off of that sponge. There is definitely something in the act of creating that distracts one from prevailing thoughts. The conundrum of this being that often what one creates is based on those thoughts. If ones finds something of merit in the writing, it is saved, only to be found again later, perhaps when one is in a better mood, to serve as a reminder. Depending on a number of factors, like what one has been thinking about that day or plans to do later, or what someone else has said, that discovery can be either a wistful reminder of how bad things seem without perspective or the first step to losing that perspective and heading downward.
What then, head off the spiral by avoiding creation in the first place? If the bad times are the one thing keeping one down, but are also the one thing that is seemingly unchangeable, doing everything possible to prevent being reminded of that fact would appear to be a plausible solution. There is also a risk inherent to creation, that being the possibility that one will lose interest, ambition, or satisfying ideas before finishing, leading to disappointment. That disappointment quickly becomes a symbol for all past failure, rational or no.
It's happening right now. I'm halfway through, thinking about how I will end this and what I'm trying to say, but stumbling on the words, giving myself time to allow ideas to creep in. What does my personal philosophy, or for that matter, my personal struggle, matter? Does this questioning get me anywhere? Will it matter a week from now when I'm so crippled by lack of motivation that allowing myself to let my mind go blank and vegetate within movies and old tv shows seems like a show of strength on my part? As I write this, I am chatting with my wife online about the looming health care decision. We are both disappointed by our lack of knowledge on the subject and beset equally by the desire for those in need to get help and the unwillingness to accept that progress comes at the price of insidious appeasement of the powers of influence. Mine is a temperament ever teetering on the brink of cynicism when it comes to world affairs, but I am, perhaps naively, more often optimistic about individuals. The distance between these two often leads to, at best, indecision and blissful ignorance, or, at worst, complete loss of confidence in myself and a cynical disillusion drifting steadily towards lack of hope.
ENOUGH! DISTRACTIONS! This is not what I set down to write...well, I didn't set down to write anything in particular, but this was not where I was headed. I'm sure there is much fodder for discussion to be found in my inability to change the world because I'm dealing with my own little problems and I'm sure it will dog me as I walk to BART tonight, but that is not where I was headed. Disappointment, that is where I was. Is the potential for disappointment sufficient reason not to engage in what may become disappointing? If this were aimed at someone else or destined for wide publication I would say no, but I am writing this for myself, and to myself, though it breaks my heart, I say that there is no answer. That is a question that can only be answered by the individual that asks it. When in my depressive state I wait. I wait for an answer, or a reaction, or an affirmation, or a push; I wait for a definitive reason and clear, final, solution. While writing this I think of what might happen if I post it on my blog, some might seek to comfort me, some might say they really think I should be a writer, some might offer advice and some might privately admonish my cavalier assessment of myself and theorize upon my motives. There is no answer. I wrote because I felt like writing it and I post it because I wanted someone to read it. I don't have any expectations beyond that. That comes later in the day, or tomorrow, or a week from now. Is it necessary? Is it worthwhile? Is it meaningful? I don't know. I will not speculate. I know that I have spent the last two hours doing this instead of wondering what to do with my time and I know that I am still at work and have eight hours to go. I know that I deleted several words and sentences because they did not effectively or efficiently express what I meant and I know that I did not plan to write this until I started.
There was a time and now it has passed, there will be more time later. Who knows what somethings are the right ones and whether or not it matters. I imagine no one or someone very quiet and unassuming. He or she shuffles down the street, nodding to those that pass, ever ready for the day that she will reach out and grab the elbow of the one for whom he has been waiting. Then she will whisper in to that ear what he knows. I could wonder about each hand that ever so slightly rises when I pass; or I could keep looking ahead, answering my own questions until I hear an answer that makes me comfortable with the possibility of more of them. A sphere, but a large one.

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