Writing Ontologically? – the shit thickens

“It is the slowness of the art of writing, in its mechanical execution, that for years now has at times repelled and discouraged me: the wasted time of a writer throwing words on the page.

Julien Gracq – Reading Writing

for Jean Lee @ Jean Lee’s World, with apologies

I really “mean” it when I say that I don’t know what I am writing, and that the REAL WHY is because I want to write, and am able, and that I honestly have no character, event, or idea in mind or body as I apply this mediatory marking instrument (ball-point-pen) between whatever-myself-is and this-blank-lined-paper.

I truly might be WASTING LIVING TIME.

OR…might be recording something useful…providing traces…leaving marks of process…like masturbation, cooking, politics, or work – HOW LIVING TIME IS “WASTED.”

Who knows?  The scientists?  Or neurobiologists?  The philosophers or anthropologists?  Historians?  Pastors?  Sociologists?  CEOs?  Artists?  Who determines (evaluates and judges) what is “waste” from what is “significant”/”important”?  Do humans?  Does Time?

For what it’s worth, I have an ellipsis of minutes I am not (apparently) needed by children, pets, work, or world…and so I have taken up a writing tool and am drawing letters in collectives called words onto an empty section of a blank lined notebook.

Is this valuable?  Don’t we wonder or ask this regarding every action and breath?  From holding a child, to exercise; fixing plumbing to sleeping?  Laundry.  School.  DOES THIS MATTER?!?  And, if it might, to WHOM or WHAT…why?

I cannot imagine to whom it might matter that I am stumbling out sentences with nothing in mind other than WRITING, TO-BE-WRITING – excepting my insignificant eperiencing of “self” that WANTS TO BE WRITING – in any case.  Therefore, I AM writing.

All those who seem to depend on me for their well-being, survival (or SENSE of same) also SEEM to be surviving and existing at relative comfort.  Those who purchase (shamefully) my “LIFE.TIME” via employment – have proffered the day off as a normative weekend practice.  For the time being, apparently NOTHING has immediate NEED of me, so I am left to determine what to do with “TIME.”

(my LIFE).

And because I overhear myself continuously complaining, desiring, wishing and bemoaning that I ‘never have time’ to write – I AM WRITING.  Because.

As far as I can tell, I am writing nothing (of worth) because, as much as I desire to write, I actually don’t know WHAT to write, or for WHOM, or WHAT – and so i am just WRITING because.  Serving no one, not even myself, yet perhaps.  Perhaps, because the WANT or URGE “to write” as a writer…is NOT to WRITE SOMETHING (as far as I can surmise – albeit I also regularly wish I were writing something ‘great’ or ‘evental,’ etc…) but truly is simply to be IN THE ACT OF…WRITING, which I AM, and therefore I cannot know what good any of it does beyond being what I wish I were doing…becoming ACTUAL.

Wishes come true: I AM WRITING.

To no point of purpose but the fulfillment of desire: I AM DOING WHAT I WANT TO BE DOING: I AM WRITING.  And it does feel good, and part of it (I think) feels good because I am unable to discover a path, direction, or ‘way’ for it to feel good FOR.

In conclusion: I AM WRITING

and this is: WHAT I WANTED TO BE.

Mission.  Accomplished.

(to/for whomever wherever whatever)


11 thoughts on “Writing Ontologically? – the shit thickens

  1. JLA

    I believe it was T. Roosevelt who originally implored one should “do what you can, with what you have, where you are”….I’ve seen it modified slightly in a way I prefer: “Do all you can, with what you have, in the time you have, in the place where you are.” (N. Johnson)

    Or, as someone else put it, “one blink at a time.”

    We are glad you do…

  2. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that you dedicated this piece to me. Though come to think, I don’t need to wrap my head around it at all, for I feel like you’ve said what’s IN my head. So often I feel like the act of writing to be so damn selfish: I distract my kids on purpose with tv to get just a few minutes with letters, or beg my husband to take the kids to a park, to the basement, to just SOMEwhere where I am NOT so I can WRITE. Because to not write is…pain-full. There’s no…placebo, no, distraction, that somehow “makes up” for it. To write has become a genuine need, a source of life-blood in a world that takes all plus more and returns so, so little.
    So. Let the words come, be they with or without character, or story, or world. Let them come, and reach, and dance invisible among the worlds we readers hide within each of us.

  3. aubrey

    If an idea, a phrase, a vision, the tiniest of thoughts occurs, it will stay in my head until it is written down. It will then lie there, content to wait, until my slowness can address that spark and complete the bridge between inspiration and words.

  4. I recognize that the energy needed to start something from base zero is tremendous. There are a lot of factors involved. I can’t do it on call and the frustration is defeating. See Nathan…(LOL) you have gotten me all stirred up!

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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