There will come a time when you open your rickety eyes first thing in the morning, glance across the room at whatever happens to fall into random sight, and NOT have to wonder if THAT, in all its mundaneness, iffy-ness, and/or obvious immediacy, is worth writing about: light hop-scotching over neglected surface dust, an unknown single footprint impression in the bedroom carpet, a question of whether the end table’s corner is a true right-angle or microscopically, even atomically rounded, or whether you can still concentrate as you did as a child and tell the weather without looking.
You will learn to relax and let the not knowing come on with it. And just write what comes. Without wrestling with the fear that brings in a way that is a wrestling that’s a struggle, but more like a tumbling dance all over the floor where you’re partners with your opponent rather than trying to beat them at something. You’re bruised by and bruising the other while babying and treating their injuries.
The inanimate world around us poets (I’ll keep this conversation mostly to poets for now) isn’t out to get us, though it feels frequently combative due to its seeming challenge for us to crack the life and/or death code simmering beneath the surface of everyday life. We all sip from that conflict in order to fuel our obsessions, I think. And we haven’t even mentioned all the flying and crawling and mechanical beings out there underfoot and overhead demanding attention in the mind and eventually on the page.
Who’s got time to question if this or that THING is the correct or incorrect item or theme or birth or death or immovable thought to invest our daily dying in?
Don’t we then simply have to go write? Getting comfortable, eventually, with being in and staying in the creating state. Past all the silly (though very real feeling) permissions and worries, past all the ifs and can’ts and nevers, past the fear of not only death, but of living
A living that is called the page.
Loudly. Softly. Letting go of not knowing everything. Letting go of knowing too much. Letting go of what we hurt ourselves over.