Sunday, July 1, 2007
You glance out the window and see a squirrel; someone walks past you or stands next to you; you are waiting at the drive-thru in the rain; you are driving a long distance: a dialogue goes on in your head whether you are aware of it or not. If we are pre-conditioned about what is supposed to be 'important', it will leave our consciousness like sand through a sieve. But place a pan underneath the sieve (or a note pad in our hands) and we may find a treasure. Trying to capture that, I come to this place out of a sense of obligation; an obligation to record what I see (and sense), to translate into words and images what I believe is often missed in the otherwise ordinary passing of days. It is an obligation to notice what it is like to be alive at this very moment rather than being defined by how I choose (or am bound) to make ends meet every month and how impressive a resume I can build. According to averages (and genetics) this may be the second half of my life – more or less. For my purposes here, approaching each entry as just that - one entry – is a haven not only from deadlines, but expectations as well; it is a freedom that feels like doodling in the margins or drawing with sidewalk chalk. Each day I look forward to finding something to write down. My notes land here, for the most part, ‘as is’ - no plot or teacherly story web or writing diamond; they meander, they float, they drift, the only conclusion they will have will be themselves. As writing samples, they may be quirky, but perhaps quirks are the random breezes (the ones that move a wind chime, lift a wing or nod a sunflower's head) among the prescriptions, self-help and motivational ‘secrets’ that load store shelves. A good scientist goes into the field with hypotheses, not results. A good writer develops character before conclusion. A good artist observes before interpreting. Each day we are compelled to survive, we must forage, hunt, gather and defend, but that is not all that is striking, that is not all that is sensual or brilliant or unusual, that is not what I most need you to know about me. Pretend you have just seated yourself on a bench, next to me. If you don’t know me, then pretend you do. If you do know me, then pretend you don’t. Sit beside me without the urge to fill in the silences and wait, just wait. Maybe we’ll notice something. Together.