Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gravity pulls west

I'm visiting my brother this week in Northern California. This trip, like all trips out here, is a dangerous one. For me a trip to California is like that one sip of whiskey taken by a recovering alcoholic. It something that i have acquired the taste for and I know I will eventually do anything to obtain it, to scratch the itch. 

It's a junkies love that brings me back to California. After too long with out it's sun rays and blue skies and ocean breeze I enter a sort of fevered state.  I tend to let myself be buried by the unending gray winters of the midwest, frost bitten by the lonely short days. If I don't try my best to make it out west once a year I start to feel the roots dig in. The familiar bars and labyrinth of suburbia's  that swirl around the sunken in midwest loom overhead and a slow panic sets in.

I'm not sure what the pull is for me, but it seems to be almost elemental or subconscious. Liken to a migratory sense placed in birds, the pull isn't something that must be assembled from stories heard or dreams dreamt but rather it is something that must be suppressed until the most opportune time then sprung like a trap. 

It's not that I desire to flee out west to make it as an actor, or musician to which I would inevitably be a waiter or a bartender. The truth is I'm not sure what I believe this state has to offer that isn't available in Missouri, but I know that sense there hasn't pilgrims in this country they have sought to travel west. Suffering stifling tragedies and overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds for centuries sojourners have made the tracks with the sun and cast their trajectory toward the west. Some successful and others only to meet their demise a days way out of safety - maybe this is the pull; to measure myself against some other vision of myself. To test what success or what tragedy I can withstand and to know in the end where the wonder lies and which direction is home.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Who writes epitaphs?

I wrote this a while back when I was thinking about the tricks memory plays on you when it doesn't have the present to argue with.

Death makes statues of all things. Perfect images sculpted out of imperfect memories, never to be altered or corroded by the unraveling of time or slow recollection. 

And at these tabernacles of memories we put aside the failed moments and hasty remarks. We sacrifice the reality of history so the memory endures greater than it ever was.

Like a dream hoped to be authored into existence, memory passed death is but a wishful assembly assembly of moments that characterize the best of someone and the others are disregarded, until the memory is not a memory at all but maybe something better; the continuance of love.

Memory - unlike history - is not linear.  It does not follow a straight course as you re-trace its fingerstains in your mind. It mingles with itself and weaves in and out to better suit the ending.  A single event can live on in one thousand memories and in each memory it can take on different forms. Memory is a painting commissioned by a biased artist.

Near the Beginning....

The truth is I have always found the blog to be two things; pretentious and innermural. For in the first place to cast a blog out there, to breath existence into it and give it a voice is to assume that there is someone who is willing to listen to it, to presume that someone cares about an anonymous opinion in a crowded counsol of other minor opinions.

Furthermore, I belive that anyone who spends time blogging would be wiser to spend the time actually writing. To blog is to stall. If Hemmingway or Faulkner had access to blogs where would literature be? Instead of "Farewell to Arms" and "The Sound and the Fury" we would have musings on where to eat, what music to listen and how to vote by voices that every writer, poet, blogger is so indebted to that it as if the written word was created by such authors in some staging area for ther world itself so that upon their arrival their craft would be waiting for them to perfect it. Would our literary evolution have ended there? Aristotle's blog on "the poetics", socrate's blog on "the problem". Would we be any the wiser?

The blog is a distraction, a short detour on a long journey. The trick is to mind the course and understand the difference between procrastination and exercise. When to snack and when to feast.

Out there in the ether are channels of ideas and theorys and rhymes and words that stream by you when wind blows and when waves break and when nature trembles. Writing is our attempt to tap into the channels and express them in words that man can understand, a good writer is a translator for a language that he himself doesn't fully understand. Some times you merge peacefully into the channels unoticed other times you crash and the momentum is lost and the idea speeds passed you. It is not always easy and it is not always a smooth process. This netherworld that exists side by side the more obvious calm world we occupy chooses who it allows in and when, it also may choose someone one day and someone differant another day, exchanging the first for someone else who was searching a littler harder at that perticular time.

This is the world for novels, and poems, and plays and scripts not blogs. The blog is an oil change when what you need is a tune-up.

The world I struggle to write it about exists among the themes that haunt me; life and death and earth and science and God and man, the world that seems it would be better off with out our intrusion, the world that knows we are but temporary tennants and will one day heal itself of the scars left behind long after we're dust and bones.

The blog is a hope to keep the engine idle instead of shutting it off all together.

I still feel the weight of it. I know I need to write, writing is a type of exorcism. It is something purged after it has exhausted the host. But until then I blog hoping to find a reason, a common thread between the slight and grand. In my search for things within the world I know and within myself I will listen to the rhythm within the pulse and the words between the whispers.