Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Long Away

Long Away

I have to write as if I am not here. Not surrounded by daily minutiae, not distracted by demands or tasks not yet answered. These things that sweep us up and carry us along, thrumming with a pace and necessity that fully expects a response.  These things that will always be there, without much pause. Waiting for a cessation of the necessary noise of life won't work.

The idea of a retreat sequestered somewhere far away from activity and mayhem has its appeal, but isn't realistic for most of the time. And to be disconnected for too long risks the non-atmosphere of a bell jar, possibly losing the cache of inspiration in hand, at the same time making a debit of new insights: a full-time retreat isn't the answer, even if it was possible.

Rudyard Kipling's desk, UK

So, then, this trick of imagination, this discipline of focus, using will to wrench away from the distractions of the day and just write, just put something down. If imagination and will give out, there is always the middle of the night. It's only sleep, traded for the night quiet. I don't always have the fervor, the discipline, for that. During the day, as part of the demands and tasks mentioned above, some kind of writing gets done, the kind with a deadline or at least a few people waiting for the result. But for the deeper weaving of words, the exposition of observations, that often start and end without stopping once the writing begins, I find I require serendipity or at least a brief pause in the mayhem, or I can't begin. Given the least bit of entry, however, and the writing is swept up and carried along, thrumming with a pace and necessity that fully expects a response. 

I rebel somewhat against writing  a simple travelogue of observations, though like many I can be prone to that. A diary-like archive doesn't interest me--if I unwittingly start journaling, I lose interest as soon as I notice; I'm not interested in writing as if I'm the only one who will ever see the words. Though the process itself pleases me even if it goes no farther than my desk. But I think that my best effort is realized when I imagine a reader, however nebulous, scanning the words, taking in the thoughts. 

Writing for a blog can be performed many ways. The platform supports individual approaches providing a varied experience for readers. If a blog is monetized, there may be a push to pump out words, tag them, and do things simply to promote page views. For me it is instead a practice, a place to shine a light on something, to hang thoughts up and examine them, to assemble them into a whole. An exercise in creativity and connection. Lacking an arbitrary deadline for this particular creative outlet, sometimes I am long away from this place, these pages of entries. I just wait for the next one to come.