Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Enemy Within

Who is your enemy?

Who nips your practice, your attempts at originality, your enthusiasm in the bud?

Who whispers Can't be done, making it seem a prophecy?

Who reminds you of the great poets, novelists, essayists, short story writers of your own discovery? How would she do it? How would he have handled that scene? Would she have even left it in, allowed it to stand in the first place?

Is it your enemy who has made you practical? Is, indeed, practicality the worst of enemies?

Who has betrayed you the most--you or others?

Whom have you betrayed the most--yourself or others?

Q: Is there some philosophy, science, religion, formula, advice, approach that is so comprehensive, it works every time?

A: Yes, but no one knows what it is.

It is just after midnight and you are, like Bernardo in Hamlet, patrolling the upper reaches of the castle. A ghostly apparition appears, gestures to you to follow it. What does it want from you?

Is this the way a story comes to you? I am thy story's ghost.

What do your enemies want from you?

Which is the more difficult, beginning a story or ending it?


Anonymous said...

Ending, ending, hard to get there.

Lori Witzel said...

"...beginning a story or ending it?"

Ah, beginning *a* story...there always seem to be at least eleventeen when I begin 'em, never just one.