Sunday, October 31, 2010

Easy for You

Whatever you knew or believed you knew in the past, and however you acted upon that knowledge, you were naive by today's standards, today being the immediate present.  Raw.  Slapdash.  Hurried.  Unedited.  Unsure-but-determined.  Wary.  These are all apt descriptions of the glorious states of activity known to you as Life (note the capital L) and Writing (with similar instructions to look for caps).

You hope to do your best with both Life and Writing, wish to excel rather than endure of slog through, following well-worn paths on which there are scant traces of accident or, for that matter, noteworthy achievement.  And for the record, yes; an accident can become a noteworthy achievement.  You have followed analogs of that path, your failures and successes more related to an impatience to move out or off  or away rather than remain safe, bored, some landmark always in sight.

You need to remind yourself from time to time:  Retrospect means editing the past to impart the clarity you may have missed in the exuberance of knowing, believing you knew, and acting or holding your temper or horses or any other convenient metaphor.  You are not trying to relive or revisit the past with any thought of changing it but rather to glean from it the energy that set it in motion in the first place.  You are mercifully past the point of trying to get by on first draft.  The big lesson to date is the awareness of endorphin seeping into your brain as you try to get it all down, in Life and in Writing, making of it some form recognizable to yourself and your fellow humans.

For a considerable time you fought the notion that something so remarkable could appear after the first draft.  It was all, you believed, in the spontaneity--which it is, but when that spontaneity is well articulated, there is more there for all to share.  Of course not all spontaneity produces positive results; accordingly, a close editorial look may prevent--edit out--lapses of logic or insight or awareness of consequence.  The appearance of ease speaks to a strong, editorial hand and a dollop of endorphin splashed on top.  To make it appear easy is to remove the difficult parts of syntax and language and boring cadence and traces of lecture.  To make it appear easy is to have convinced yourself and passed the message on without the need for rococo elaboration.  To make it appear easy is to send it off with parts of yourself attached.

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