Friday, May 08, 2009
Once upon a time ...
I split up from a partner of six years. The space that he left behind was expansive and beautiful. I met another man, dark haired, dark eyed, who lived far away.
We wrote every day for months. To tell the truth, I wrote more than once a day, only half the letters I didn't send. I wrote stories for him. Sometimes, I still do.
I moved to the wilds on my own and did up my flat with my bare hands, for the most part. There was an old silvered mirror that hung in the bathroom. I took it away to fill the cracks in the walls, and when I came back into the room, bang, the blank wall, a distance removed, right in my face. So much closer, realer and blanker than a wall should be.
I haven't had a cigarette for two months. Yes, I still want one. Very fucking much, sometimes. My whole family smokes. I've smoked since I was thirteen. I could never imagine myself like this, blank, naked, alone. Addicts are selfish, I only realise that after I give up and friends blow smoke on me, pretending to be happy but secretly missing my habit almost as much as I do.
The dark-eyed man eventually stopped writing back so much. It got awkward. I started writing to a good friend who lived in Japan and might have been lonely like I was.
Even with my daily thread of communication, I got lonelier than I thought possible. Eventually I stopped thinking it was a bad thing. I fell in love with solitude. I really started writing for real, not for cheap immediate thrills, when I finally gave up my correspondences and faced the blank page.
Writing is lonely, fucking lonely.
But maybe it needs to be, at least sometimes.
Blogging and twitter and facebook - they're like laying out your drugs of choice in front of an addict, all shining and beautiful and free. They're the mirrors that give a false impression of a room, they're the crutch that stops you breathing deeply, they're the lovers one is always running after trying to impress.
That is why, dear friends, I've been having a blogging pause. Now I'm trying to work out whether the problem with blogging is the fact that the blank page isn't blank, but made of real living and intelligent people, which means the long, restless desire to write gets gratified too easily - or that the problem is being not honest enough.
To write well, do I need to write less, or more?
Lately I seem to keep bumping against all or nothing decisions. In the end I just have to shut my eyes and jump without knowing which way I'm going. Here goes ...