Along a Writing String

I do often wonder what this string of writings looks and feels like to you. If we can be said to write for just one reader, as it were, you are that reader. I write here for you. I wonder what this string of writings looks like to you.

I say this because I read it back, and back, and I try to think outside myself. Perhaps a writer does this, because only then can writing happen. I don’t know. It’s the curiosity of thinking about you, here and now, which takes me. How you see is my concern. I don’t write that with any trepidation: I write it with deliberate wonder.

When you wonder here, what do you wonder about how this stack of writings all connects? I mean, do you think — like I sometimes do when I read through the offerings of others’ work — what threads through this all? On the face of it, outside myself, I might write some unfathomable things. Sure I might. I write some experiences of the writerly life; I write some travels, some formed thoughts and some, frankly, thoughts in progress. I wonder if a drift is being caught and flowed along with.

Do you come here because you’re attracted to the title, the tag, the first line or the paragraph? Do you come because you’ve found me by chance arrangement of search engine offerings: flotsam or jetsam washed your way? Are you looking for something specific?

I write these things because, though I write to you, for you, I write for me too. Of course, this whole stream, this body of work, this collection of whatever transpires in the fullness of time, this is what I’m engineering as a window on this writer. My curiosity prods at my ribs: is it deep enough, strong enough, clear enough?; is it focused, de-focused, imprecise? Any or all or more of these?

I’m blog writing, here, about blog writing, which in turn is about writing.

I’ll work backwards because there’s some semblance of shape in doing so: I’m writing here to lay down, to engineer, to find out things that may be of writing worth. I’m writing to form a body of work, a collection, a mass, a form of words. There will be layers, and there will be contradictions: of this I can be fairly confident. I can revisit these and find out more in the process.

I’m writing here to see what’s deep enough, strong enough, clear enough, focused, de-focused, imprecise, and other things, vague as they may be. If I write to you, there’s a chance you may find my message in a bottle washed up your way. There are many ‘you’s I write to, so many bottles. Some will be loved and some will be discarded. The more I write, the more I’ll find out. This ‘you’ may agree with some things I suggest.

I’m curious about you because I’ve written you into this piece. You’re a character here. You tell me some things: you whisper them quietly. You tell me them because I’ve formed you here on the screen. You can’t help but tell me things. A writer needs to step out of himself though. How else can he find out more? So I’m curious about you: I wonder what you read here, how you read here, how you see it all. I step out of me to see you.

There I see how I write some unfathomable things, and some experiences of the writerly life; I write some travels, some formed thoughts and some thoughts in progress. I write some other things.

It’s all a wondering of what this string of writings looks like to you.
 
 

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Of Urgencies and Buzzes, of Raw Prints and Breadcrumbs

Writing is a rush.

Get inside, somehow, but get inside. Here it is: here is the whole of it. Inside words there is, of course, another world to fall through. It’s a world of otherness, a liminal space, possible connections and improbable lives. In it we’re in a dream. Writing is a rush. It’s a buzz. We surface and we feel the adrenaline fizz through the system like a shock of near collision when driving. Here it is. Rush is, from research:

Oxford Dictionaries:

verb: move with urgent haste.

noun: a sudden quick movement towards something, typically by a number of people; (rushes) the first prints made of a film after a period of shooting.

Encarta Dictionary, via Word, has this:

verb: move fast; hurry somebody or something along; take somebody or something urgently; do something hastily; go recklessly; flow fast; capture enemy quickly.

noun: great hurry; sudden fast movement; busy time; great demand; sudden attack; sudden flow; sudden feeling; sudden pleasurable sensation.

plural noun: unedited prints of film scenes.

Writing is a rush of research, a buzz of the clack, of falling into and through the characters, the scene, the place and the space. If I leave it, will I find my way back there again? Do I need to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find my way back in? How do you find the exact same space you found before without it?

Get inside. Move with urgent haste, have a sudden movement towards the possibility of something, something, in there. A number of people will move there too. Write them to find out; move with them; be part of the crowd, the throng, the space and the breath of it all. Draft it out, first prints, first press, first shooting, pencilled in, crayoned in, rough at the edges, dirty with the love of it all.

Get inside. Move along with the pace and the speed and the smell and the light and the darkness of it all; move it along because, even in the pauses, the pauses are part of it; hurry along with it all; get caught up. It’s a dream. It’s a wave. Take everyone and everything along for the ride. Go recklessly, not dangerously or without thought, go recklessly without fear of it all. Flow fast and flow slow and flow wherever it takes you. Capture the enemy of fear, quickly and smartly, and take it along with you too. Write and edit and think and pause and sink and swim and flow and write few words and write many words and keep inside, keep inside.

Get inside. Have a great hurry about you, a suddenness, a busyness, even all of this in the stillness of fingers; be in demand — let the words need you. Execute great and sudden attack: find the exact right word and lay it down, or turn it over and over and play it till it squirms. Know the sudden flow, the sudden burst, the emotion and the exaltation and the energy and the chemical spill in the veins.

Let it seep. Let it flood. Let it be known to the self that words have been written, that things have been said, that space has been entered: an otherness, a liminal place, where there are possible connections and improbable lives. Feel the adrenaline that passes. See the unedited prints of the scenes, edited maybe, a little, edited but unedited, undiluted, fizzing.

Writing is a rush, is to rush, is the rushes.

(Already, I know I need something more wind-proof than a trail of breadcrumbs though . . .)
 
 

About Emergent Merging

Take space to breathe.

We may say that writing and breathing are connected. We may say this, though the danger is that saying it causes us to fall into some pretension. It’s not so simple to say that we can always write without thinking about it, like breathing, though it is simple to do. I find it’s often the space that proves to be the difficult thing.

Build yourself up, psyche yourself up, get yourself ready to write — all of these — or accept that you should always be ready? It’s not so binary a system. We live in days of flux, and days flux in and out of us. We may live in words, and words in us, yet this is different to stopping, seeing, getting them down.

It is, right now and for this writer, an arrangement of knowing what flows around, and in, and in between, and choosing the moment carefully to pin it all down. Choose unwisely and there’s nothing that can be said, or written. The danger when writing about writing is that there is that possible fall into pretension.

So, building up and knowing that it’s all out there anyway are two processes that start to overlap. Timing is everything when everything overwhelms. Open the door and look outside. Look up in the world. Make that conscious effort to down the tools of whatever the necessary unnecessary of the flow of time is, and break time. Open the door, look up in the world.

Breathe, because making space to do this creates space to do it more. Write in the head because writing in the head creates space to do this more. Time and space, space and time, inter-relate and merge. It’s no longer a case of how one is more important than the other. It’s no longer about the focus and break-down of hierarchies.

Time and space and space and time and breathing and writing and writing and breathing and building up and knowing the flow and knowing the flow and building up all merge. It’s simple enough to write without superfluous thought: we just must drop into the now of it all.
 
 

One City Haibun Arisen From a Kiss

A kiss is never to be taken lightly — so write it in everything.

We can write literally and we can write with other material in mind. It’s no longer late, and I’m no longer moving. Moving makes the world slide by, smears it colourless, and what we do not see we do not taste. How we perceive the world comes through our eyes, but how we love it passes over our lips: I tell you secrets when I whisper them; we need no words when my lips touch yours.

I’m no longer moving and I see the world’s slightest movements. I tell it secrets when I watch it, and then I need no words.

It is as if I’ve pressed my fingertips to my lips when I finally write: there is a trace of the world on my skin, slightly salted.

It is not desire or any other base I write, when I finally write: it is the warmth of the kiss that being still and seeing is . . .

On the tube train, not thinking, just drinking coffee. A girl gets on. She’s maybe twenty. She’s an individual: dyed blonde-red hair; carefully chosen clothes for impact; black star make-up on her upper cheek. She has her head down at a screen. She has her earphones in. I think she must be pretty underneath all this attention-to-detail-look-at-me. She looks up. She has pretty brown eyes and a clear face.

I leave the tube train: stand on the platform to put my bag on my back, my coffee on the floor. I see the train go out till it disappears around the curve of the track.

city city city
only one person
watching
 
 

An Atomic View

Be mindful of the moments: like atoms, they make up everything.

If we cannot capture moments, we cannot write. We can write an epic vista over the massive wastelands, but if we don’t catch the moment of the wind blowing a strand of hair across the eyes, we’re not writing.

How many times have I dug up old Jack Kerouac here? He’s just a ghost who’s squinting in the sunlight, already on his slippery slide, sat in the chair just next to me. Years before, he wrote a moment I can’t ever shake from my head:
 
Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the colour of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the colour of love and Spanish mysteries. I stuck my head out the window and took deep breaths of the fragrant air. It was the most beautiful of all moments.

(Jack Kerouac, On the Road, 1957)
 
Of course we can always also sentimentalise, caramelise our feelings, because when we feel struck stuck, what else can we do? I refer to what we often term as ‘love’, or words we use that might approximate this. There are love stories to be told in atomic ways:
 
You keep our love hidden
like the nightdress you keep under your pillow
and never wear when I’m there

(from Love Story, Adrian Henri, Collected Poems 1967-85)
 
Of course we can always write from the iron tasting otherness, where it’s devoid of sugar and where we’re driven differently. We’re honeyed and we’re rusted, both, and all textures in between:
 
We made love in Sissel’s copious, effortless periods, got good and sticky and brown with the blood and I thought we were the creatures now in the slime . . .

(Ian McEwan, First Love, Last Rites, 1975)
 
How many moments have we truly really felt? Of course there’s no way to tell; yet, what we know is often more about the scene we’re in than the realisation that this, here, is significant. Do we know and feel the slime we occupy, the significance of the absence of an object or another, the fragrant air?

A strand of hair falls across the eyes as they scan the epic wasteland vista . . someone is mindful of the moments, knowing that atoms make up everything.