Sunday, February 19, 2006

Darkness "Possibly, then, writing has to do with darkness, and a desire or perhaps a compulsion to enter it, and, with luck, to illuminate it, and to bring something back out to the light" - Margaret AtwoodWhen somebody asks you an innocent question that kicks off all sorts of internal wrangling you know you're a bit fucked up. This question of "would you write if you didn't have such a boring job" has been really bugging me (could you tell?) Really bugging me. A chance remark in the class last night helped sort things out, though. Somebody mentioned To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf [I've yet to read anything by her, but mebbe it's about time] - they were on about how she argues that writing something down kills the constant mental argument. It's not really a new idea to me, but I haven't heard it put in quite those terms before. It's a bit like the old saw a bad decision is better than no decision at all. You write something down. That becomes your "official position". If you disagree with it, or it doesn't sit right, you end up concentrating on refining it. Mulling it over. Wondering how better to phrase it. Or you come up with a counter-argument. Either way, it kills off the swirlyheadness and gives you something concrete to address. So I tried it on the train home last night. Filled a couple of pages of Little Black Book with stuff that's on my mind. No profound insights. No instant feelings of release and resolution. Just a vague "well, at least I'm not giving myself arthritis like that kid texting for England over there" coupled with "I hope nobody can read this, I feel really daft". Got home, crashed out thinking nothing more of it. Then woke up this morning feeling completely sorted. Relaxed. Calm even Godly. The angst has suddenly gone. Just like that. I'm left feeling like I've just glimpsed something outstanding, but I don't quite know what it is. Funny old life, isn't it?


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