“in the year of the chewable ambien tab”

wednesday songs: oh, january,oh, the decemberists; get whatever you want, the shys; rose for the lady, folded light; slip through your hands, the shys; please speak well of me, the weepies;  calamity song, the decemberists.

I have so many nerves today. I’ve had so many nerves all week, but they’re showing themselves in crazy ways. I feel like I can’t keep up with everything, so I’m awake until 3 am and waking up at 12 and feeling  beset by hysteria.

For some reason I lack an appropriate metaphor for how I feel-it’s like being about to crack an egg? Or jump off of something? There is some dramatic change coming, maybe it’s just going to Israel, maybe something more, I don’t know. Maybe it’s not something I have any control over. Last night, D said to me, “Sometimes you just have to believe something until you believe it.”

Right now, I believe I’m a mess. When I feel this way, it’s usually paired up with guilt around doing the things that make me happy, the weird things that I know preserve my sanity. I’m about to leave the fictional loved ones for a pretty long time, during which we won’t talk, and I won’t be able to pay much, if any, attention to them, but still miss them like crazy, even though I’ll be so distracted and exhausted I might not even notice it.

The difference, of course, between now and six months ago, is that I’m taking writing seriously, instead of feeling like I’m indulging every time I do it. This is both terrifying and remarkable, I think, because I still manage to punish myself in the form of believing that certain writing is important and other writing is not.

I read something the other day, a quote by the painter William Dobell: “A sincere artist tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.”  For me, fiction is the thing that is the most alive, and maybe that’s why it’s the hardest to do, the hardest to make stand still.


tel aviv, july 2010



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