Friday, August 26, 2011

"the Writing Life" an part of an essay

Daniel June to the Students of Life: Greetings!


This Longish essay, which follows the brief World Canon I attempted in the previous section, is merely a sketch of what I have been developing for months and years in another essay (or is it a book?) that spans 300 page and is entitled “the writing life.” This section offers a few ideas of how to live life as a writer, or by analogy, how to live life in devotion to any given expression for the love of life and celebration of our universe. To live a life aligned with your passion is happiness – strive for master!


Take care, Caretakers!





5. The Writing Life

Michelangelo - The Libyan Sibyl.JPG

            All of life is written. The 'writing life' is merely an epitome of this, just as every step is a dance, which the dancer epitomizes, represents best this aspect we all share in. The writer especially has an ear for music, the tempo of words, the tempo of terms, the tempo of topics, which are rhythms and counter rhythms in all books. Not only do clauses vary in length and in quantity per sentence, but so also do sentences and paragraphs compound. The same topic hovers behind the different sentences, and beyond that topic, a broader topic. How quickly does an author move? What are the layers of his rhythm?

            The writing life is the strategy of the game that externalizes all thought into crystalline words. The author creates a second body for himself, an earthly abode where his spirit yet lingers, even when he after death internalizes into his own heaven. In this very book you hold my soul. Just as every couple practices some activity by which they are most a couple – and by this I mean sex of course, but more than that, other things too, some shared hobby which when they engage it they symbolically celebrate the greater self of their combined romantic being – so too does every man do some thing where he is most real, most alive. For writers, this is writing, and of being a writer I will talk at length, but I intend each reader to think of his own passionate action as he continues on.

            I am most alive, most real, most divine, when writing. I enjoy it better than sex, and the pride I take in my successes hums in my fingers and loins longer than any orgasm could. I struggle with my autistic daughter, wrangle with the marriage, stress the job, but when I am writing I am God, my heart blossoms like a rose, it is as if the Mother opened her heart and revealed the sun of love within, bleeding healing shine over all my being, and I am a fragrance, I stand for beauty, I am That, the core of me resonates with the full order of being, and I am well placed and perfect in my world. I see gestures when I read, and gesture when I write. When I am inspired, my being is knit into the words, I dance in thought and body.

            We each create from necessity. To get at the need, analyze the creation. Why does a writer commit himself to his books? Does he have a hole he wishes to fill, like a woman, or does he an have excess he wishes to give out, like a man? Either is glorious in its own way.

            Each writing contains a few quotations, each style a few metaphors, and much filler and repetition. To get at the generative forms, the creative engines, is to plumb the writer’s secrets. Formulate his means of troping, and you have swallowed his soul.

            Every idea, every book, every art-form is a sentence, pulled long or short. Seeing simple designs in complex phenomena is the aim of all science. Every style implies a philosophical system, perhaps not unique to the author, but filtered through his consciousness – a philosophy in gestures requiring no explanation. Tone is attitude, idea is belief. The world itself is real because it has been realized; lacking a mind to consider it, it need not therefore exist. Sentences structure reality. The novel is an image of the world, making it considerable, thinkable, pulling the single sentence of a world long enough to be truly seen. All sentences organize objects into logical relationships, just as paintings organize them into spatial relationships.

            Perception itself is a sort of sentence; the blinking of the eyes are commas and periods. Seeing is describing. A love at first sight is immediate resonance, but requires great duty to maintain. To study the weather, one has to be born in a cloud, each mind finds as if a word or image got mixed into the DNA.

            Style is everything. Have a good style and I will love you, I will forgive all your faults, bless them even. Speak upon whatever you want, and if your style shines I will heed you. The microscopic shape of our discourse is the body of our style, and yet it isn’t able to be experienced as a style with a microscope. It is too small to be directly seen, and yet parts of it can be labeled as ingredients to that style. Style is caprice, is easy, is natural, is essential. What feels like caprice on one level is cold calculation on another. We are free and we are determined, on different levels and in different ways, but all at the same instance.

            Some of the greatest writers, Emerson and Whitman included, wrote in a loose style, and yet the true body and genius of their work is in their tone, not in any definition or particular formulation. Perhaps a thick volume would be necessary to nail a single word down. But having done that, really done it, the book is worth more than most others. This summa sophistria will be a success if I can define Allism.

            There is no discipline like self-discipline. What goes into a man corrupts him, but what comes out of him purifies him for all time. When you write because you must, when writing is as necessary as your exhale, then you might be worthy of being called a writer. If there is still a choice in the matter, how sincere can you be?

            Let every man know his guiding trope – for none of us lack one. The writer explores the mind best, teaches us all how to think. We slip into his mind when we read, we are no longer on this earth. To 'know thyself' is still the basis of Wisdom, the first step. To know the All is the final step.

            Must we die to approach her?

            What if death is sleep? Metaphorically, we equate sleep with death; a corpse and a snoozer look close enough alike that there’s even stories of unconscious people being accidentally buried, only to wake up disoriented. But if the mind is part of matter, as I believe it is, and if the dreaming mind approaches what a disembodied mind would experience life as, then death must be something like a dream state, where the mind makes the rules, sets the limits, establishes the borders, and you live. Assuming that most of the nightmares of life are caused by body aches while sleeping, this isn’t such a bad idea, that an afterlife where the mind is affixed to the barest of matter, free from aches, would find its private heaven enjoyable. Such a conjecture sits well with me because for my entire life I’ve enjoyed sleeping. I have no nightmares, and I sleep fully at peace.

I've felt sometimes beautifully sad in dreams, or mystically happy, so perfect, and it was unlike anything I've ever felt awake. It seems in dream states, like fine art, an affect or passion can be drawn out into its purified, rarified form. Dreams and art share a similarities in that they are aesthetic and moral; aesthetic in that they purify a passion for contemplation and enjoyment – even sadness can be enjoyed – and moral in that there is a meaning or lesson affixed to the passion: it is never senseless. I’ve felt so profoundly and innocently sad from a dream, with no hate, no anger, no confusion, just a pure, soft as a lamb’s mew sadness. I rarely remember what the dream was about when the mood is this intense: the mood lingers a little into the waking day like breath lingers in the winter air.

What is writing but a trance? What is reading but a spell, sleeping to the world, and yet to wisdom sharp and alert: our mood sets the pace! When I am happy, happy things happen, when I am sad, sad things happen. When my mood is rising, no terror can impress me, but I make short work of all my challenges. If I am depressed, I can’t even enjoy good things without paying more reflecting to the fact that they will all soon end. It feels as if I am a different person with each mood, and yet all these beads of being hang upon the same eternal wire of my innermost self, my needs. Each moment brings out a different flavor of self.

Each book complements a mood. Everything I read qualifies and balances my storming heart. I’ve weathered such depressions in my life, such an intense pain on waking, that the days are thumbscrews and razor blades, but no matter how harsh the mood, it is a painting always framed in the loveliest of frames: I dream beautifully when my life is misery. With such an escape during depression, I could sleep 18 hours a day, as if I were in the Mother Universe’s arms, murmuring joyfully, and then wake up, stare stupidly into space for a minute, when my worries, concerns, troubles, and duties fell upon me like a broken ceiling. Sleep is a lover. And yet when I am happier, as I am now, happy be to caffeinated, sleeping a balanced 8 hours, getting up at a relatively godly hour, hanging out with the family, reading, and preparing for my next job, I am happy, and life is good. It’s not that I forsake sleep, but I don’t feel it as strongly. I let her go a bit. I take her for granted.

Better than sleep is wakefulness, the utter alert of deep study. To study regularly brings us inspiration. The gaining of such an inspiration has a few prerequisites. First, you must desire inspiration. Secondly, you must do things that will promulgate inspiration, such as drilling the action you wish to have inspired, without inspiration, such as writing exercises, no matter how uninspired, and regularly, so that the trench is dug for the river of inspiration to flow. Third you must feed in the forms you wish to put out, by observing art or studying the lives of those you wish to emulate. The more extraordinary you desire to accomplish, the more stable you must be. When you find your center, and know your true potential, only than are you omnipotent.









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