Monday, December 16, 2013

Generative

The key is to endlessly moisturize my hands. Maybe then I will be ready to go outside. If I am ever ready. I guess that’s what today feels like. I’m heartbroken by the idea that “giving back” indigenous land somehow makes up for centuries of colonialism. I think we need to move away from thinking there can be reparations for genocide. Reparations might help the living, but they do not bring back the dead. Still thinking about what makes Twitter feel generative to my writing process, whereas Facebook mostly feels distracting. But then I got distracted.
 So, Twitter can be distracting too, but it hasn’t yet felt immobilizing in the way that Facebook does if I look at it for more than five minutes. Thinking about how I didn’t used to get this cold. Thinking about how I think I didn’t used to get this cold.
It’s amazing how long something can take when you think it’s not going to take any time at all. What kind of holidays do you like, someone once asked. Honey, I’m not that kind of girl. When I first started reading Sketchtasy after not looking at it for a few months, I thought: what is this shit? Then I realized the first chapter had to go. Once it was gone, I felt better. Yes, I needed to bring a few things back, weave them into the new first chapter, and once I did that I felt like I was high. That’s the best feeling: when editing makes you high. But soon enough you will be low again, struggling over words, your words, what are these words? How can I make them work? I feel like I’m going slower than I want to but also I’m speeding, my breath stops, I want to get up to take a break but I can’t get up.
            I’ve turned into one of those people who goes for a walk in the cruising park, even though I’m not cruising. It’s hard to have a life with all this editing. But, this is my life. But I’m not birdwatching. Or walking my dog. Or looking for my shoelace. The stars are not out yet. The moon. And hot tea is officially back in my life – welcome back, hot tea! I’ll admit I’m confused by the people who write to me and say when are you coming to my town, when? And then I’m in their town, and they don’t show up at my event. Oh, wait, it’s December. I don’t understand auto-clean settings that involve cleaning after the auto-clean. I do understand why I don’t have wine glasses, even though I don’t drink wine. They break, no matter what, they break. It’s kind of lonely here in this world that’s my writing but then there’s the world outside and which is lonelier but I’m getting a lot done. I love it when I get to cut a whole chapter, even if I just edited that chapter — now I realize it's unnecessary, it's getting in the way, too explanatory.
            It often seems like those who think of themselves as on the edge feel the most threatened by critique. I think they’re worried that critique means they’re not so edgy. Does the center really matter? I ask this question all the time. Most people don’t seem to. Why do I look at the weather so often? What do I hope it will tell me?

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