Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Body of Work

I thought that for my first blog I would post a recent reflection on writing (sorry for the accidental alliteration . . . ahhhhh . . . anyway). A major reason why I continue to maintain a blog and website is so that I have a forum to explore my thoughts and ideas in writing.

What they tell me is that a story needs a structure and that finding that structure is crucial to the existence of the story. I am sure that in many ways this structure has been likened to a body. A body, a human body, may be born in love, hate, passion, or indifference. But it is always born in union; in penetration and reception, in giving and receiving. For this reason perhaps stories too may be born in an author’s rape of its subject. Or perhaps the story was conceived casually, almost mechanically. Like children born in these circumstances, the fruit may even turn out to be good stories.
Now if the story is the child, the body to be born, as an author who is my lover? Is it life, ideas, society, or God? In love there are no neutral participants, but this is also the crux, there are participants. Love is not a solo act and neither are stories. I know some stories have come out of hatred for life, ideas, society, or God as they have come from innumerable other emotions which drive us into each other’s arms. I suppose that if any of what I am writing is true, then I am aware enough to choose how I will approach my lover whether I will attempt woo or wield her. I am approaching 30 and feel that just now am I realizing that I may not love people. This is an age where if I were to be a successful writer I should at least be published or locally recognized by now. But if I am learning just now that I may not love the one who will bear a story for me how long will it take to reach the sort of intimacy in which we might enter the marriage bed? Or maybe I have gotten it wrong. Perhaps I am the one who warded of the advances of life, ideas, society, and God. Maybe they are seeking intimacy with me that I may bear them a story honouring to them. How much longer then? I know this much, I am beginning to long for the story and so perhaps I should pray for the lover.


Anonymous said...

This 'recent reflection on writing' is the best work of yours that I have read. A book full of this would be enchanting. I can empathize, my best work remains in my journals, in the moments when it no longer matters what the world will think when it finally hears the story.

I spoke with an artist friend the other day, an artist who works with metals, telling stories and poems in golds and silvers, and he said that you can't worry about when 'it' is going to happen, you just have to keep working.

Anais Nin only first published in her thirties and some consider her novels to be art, especially me...

You know things are going well when you haven't cleaned or slept or bathed in days, you are only working. Sick...

You have some work which is bound and on a bookshelf already. It may not be the result you are looking for right now but it is one publication more than many writers will ever have. I have read that Emily Dickenson only saw three of her poems published in her lifetime and I believe they found thousands after the death.

'Wheresoever you look is the face of God', from somewhere in the Qur'an, I forget the exact Surah.

And check out 'Beirut', the best new Indie band on the planet! Incredible stuff...Later.

Unknown said...


that was encouraging. yes i have already tried the not cleaning or sleeping for days route. it can produce 'fertile soil'.