Really, not much to say, so I’ll say it leaving you to imagine what I haven’t said.
I feel proud because this blog’s now one year old and many have read it. That pleases me. Here is a picture of the blog as a boy, calmly reading in itself like in an open book.
I’m laboring on a new novel. I can’t say that I’m closed mouth about it given that I’ve published a lot of character sketches as part of the 100 days 2011 project. Apart from the satisfaction of writing itself, the incredible, unexpected perk of this endeavor is that I work alongside my drawing daughter, who is, in her 10th year, generally bursting with creativity: she’s all over the place and I would say that I see my younger self in her, except that I’m still all over the place.
I get my few hundred words done every day on and off the project, spread out over notebooks, scraps, post-it notes, whiteboards: sometimes I even find a disembodied, digital sentence on my mobile phone and I think “this sounds great” and realize that I typed this myself somewhere at a traffic light between one thought and another. Lost and found lines are like frozen sparks off a fire stone. They may never amount to anything. I produce them, or perhaps they produce me. There are many: I wonder if, in twenty years, they may miraculously assemble themselves to a book, a true story. For now, I keep them locked in my chest covered with white wiry hair.
I am aware now how writing and non-writing and even unwriting come in waves of almost equal duration: two, three months for each phase. Perhaps not incidentally the length of a teaching term. Each phase announces itself by a desire to withdraw. An unanswered desire, because of my many responsibilities and involvements in the real world. Trying to hug the muse when the muse is away is lonely business. Paradoxical pain: I must beg her to stay while I must drive her away.
The other day I noticed a tattoo on my left arm: a jaguar that I had forgotten I had was still crouching there patiently, offering his paw, his wild grin. “How can you not remember your own tattoo,” a friend asked me. “It’s become part of my skin,” I said. What I didn’t say: I am the jaguar. Later that day, I lied with a feline face. Just so.
I don’t have any advice for myself. I’m trying to write a story about love and the city and I can’t do it. I am stuck inside the palace of my own vast imagination. I have no love left for the page. I line up images, one after the next, like a blind man lines up mice to make them squeal. At night I turn into a minotaur and visit my own dream; she is a woman of venomous beauty, dangerous to the common thought; the minotaur sees this but as he is immeasurably strong, a half-god, he does not flinch; his mission is not to run but to rave. When the woman opens her eyes, one look from her freezes the bull-headed hero. But when she closes them again, he thaws again, shakes and stirs her in her sleep. They’re locked in this poisonous game of back and forth; of day and night; up and down. As I am. But at least it’s happening. I am dreaming. One day, when no monsters visit me any longer, I will be sadder than any man. The real secret is not the mythically deformed man, but the witch-woman. I understand the father, but not the mother. I fear my journey at night, my knightly call to the arms of awareness.