Sunday, November 12, 2006

A pursuit of beginnings.

It’s gotten to the point where I miss the sound.

The sound of my fingers on this keyboard, giving that slight but momentous sensation of bringing something into the world. The individual letters shining with the traces of oil from my not-always-clean fingers. The sound of a beloved mechanical pencil making scritches that are only minutely audible. The side of my hand, sweating with effort, smearing the lead all over itself.

The sound of writing, writing, writing as the day grows dark; when the night rears its beautiful head, creating a new realm where the thoughts burgeon anew. Where the sound doesn’t stop, where the fingers keep sending out signals of thoughts that aren’t even truly thoughts, moving far too fast to be anything beyond the electrical impulses. Darting from brain to page, with nothing as a buffer on the in-between. Writing that middle -- that’s a feeling unlike anything else.

But to find that middle, you first have to begin. Have to commit to some kind of initial path. Have to find a place where the words suddenly take root, letting everything else naturally grow out of that tap with the purest spirit of springtime. It’s the point where it all begins to work. And also the part where it might very well go wrong. So there, that’s the trick, the point where most kindly folks chew their hands down to the bone with the utter frustration of it all, the point where thoughts spasm with seizures hard enough to break their insubstantial backs. It’s the point where I am now.

Sitting in a place that I haven’t been in quite some time, waxing philosophical about nostalgia; all while desperately, violently, hungrily trying to begin.

Because I want to.
I want to so, so much. So much so that I find myself here now, desperately clawing at the face of beginnings, letting the rough surface tear off my fingernails without my boorish resolve allowing me to care. Force of will, force of thought. Needs to an end. Needing it not to end. Because this is the place where I need to be. The very nature of writing is in here, in this moment, in this place of frustration and tragedy. Writing hurts. It always does. Beginnings most of all.

It’s here where it all works.
In words as in life, the passion of beginnings is where the world comes alive. They have to. They have to. We have to. I have to. I have to find a place I can call home. Where I won’t let my words down. Because words, contrary to certain opinions, can never fail us. We’re the ones that fail them. We’re the ones that spit them out in formations that aren’t as bold and uncompromising as they could be, should be. We’re the ones that can’t find them when the time comes, even though they sit right there, waiting to be used in a way that makes them glow. Waiting for a time when they might mean something, if only for the split-instant when they’re read aloud to someone worthy. When we fail our words, you can feel them scream.

And it is for their sake -- those vicious masters that I love so much -- that I don’t want that to happen. Not ever.

I’ve been trying to start something.
Someone, somewhere has declared that this month is a one of words. Words, in multitude. So I’d (I’ve) decided to use this as an opportunity to begin something. To find that sound again, by forcing myself over that astonishingly painful first summit, enjoying the hell out of the agonizing scramble for a true and proper beginning.

I tried once.
I hate sleeping.”

I tried twice.
My life has always been on the outside of humanity.”

I tried three times. Four times. Many more times.
Some seemed all right at first glance, and some made me want to sucker-punch myself in the labonza (a term which needs to see more use, come on). Some were alright, until I realized they were touching upon a place that was far closer to me then I had ever intended it to be. I had liked it. It felt right. But it wasn’t right for what it was meant to be. It was merely right for me.

And so on.

And so forth. But still -- the words must go on. And on and on and on. And on again. It’s in their nature to be with us, to inspire us, to make us feel a way that we didn’t know we could feel. And they might even help us to begin something else, which in turn might help the previous thoughts begin anew. After all, writing about an inability to write is a beautiful contradiction; and it always manages to ring true. If you believe in it, as you would believe in anything else.

I haven’t gotten there yet. The story is outlined (somewhat). The characters exist (somewhat). The ideas are as crisp as they are ever going to be. But even with that in place, with conceptual guidelines having been in consideration ever since the waning days of that dismal place downwind from the Budweiser -- even with that being the case, the beginning still hasn’t been overcome. The sound isn’t consistent, and the fingers, they do bleed on. It hurts. It terrifies. It matters not.

Writing is a process, when all is considered. All of it matters. Not just the moments after you've written, when a smile burns its way across your face like you lit a line of gasoline. Not just the moments when your fingers fly with the grace of a Heron crossing the path of an orange sun. All of them. From the puzzlement, to the hatred, to the moments when everyone in their right mind seems like a sworn enemy to the purity of your ideas. Such formless madness. All of it, a wonder to behold.

Despite their difficulty, beginnings always come about, someway, somehow.

Beginnings exist everywhere.

And in some interesting sort of way -- endings never really come.

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