it is like this

I read a blog post the other day by a dude who wrote every day for 367 days straight. If he had 20 minutes, he said, he could write 500 words. I can’t even imagine it. I’m writing these stories that feel like the center of everything, the tenderest of underbellies of this whole thing I’m making, and I am terrified. If I have 20 minutes, I spend it staring at the sentences I’ve made and trying to summon the next one, and worrying that it is really not the sentence I want, but of course, you don’t know things like that until you’ve written the next sentence, and then the one after that. It’s easy to write myself into a place I don’t really mean, just so I can keep going, and then I have to back up, rewrite, try again, and consider if what I wrote before was actually what I meant, maybe the thing that feels the most urgent is the thing you mean the most, or maybe it’s the thing you’re hanging on the most tightly to, because at least it’s a thing you have, and so much of writing is feeling grateful that anything at all has appeared. I read another thing once about how being in despair is about abandoning God, but really, it’s those moments when you can’t hang onto the knowledge that this is part of it, it always happens, and you will always see the other side.

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2 thoughts on “it is like this

  1. andreakbeltran says:

    Despair. Adrienne Rich in her essay “What would we create?”:

    It’s possible that our national despair is by now too intricate and interwoven for disentangling. We have individual despair, loss of jobs, loss of shelter, loss of community, isolation within community, bewildered resignation, daily, routine fear, and self-blame. We have people who do not name what they are going through as despair, would be offended or dismissive at the thought. But we see despair when social arrogance and indifference exist in the same person with the willingness to live at devastating levels of superficiality and self-trivialization. We see despair in the self-hatred that clogs the lives of so many materially comfortable citizens. We hear despair in the loss of vitality in our spoken language: “No problem,” we say, “that was a healing experience,” we say, “thank you for sharing that,” we say. We see despair in the political activist who doggedly goes on and on, turning in the ashes of the same burnt-out rhetoric, the same gestures, all imagination spent. Despair, when not the response to absolute physical and moral defeat, is, like war, the failure of the imagination.

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