Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Foggy Day

In the days before Internet and blogging, it was often your practice, as you lay abed awaiting sleep, to slip in a line or two of a poem, a paragraph of a short story, a line or two of an essay.  More often than not, when sleep arrived, the words vanished.  But even then, you did not mistake "thinking" for Composing.  For it to have been written, it had to have been set to paper or, as technology progressed, to screen.


Even then, composing meant getting the words down to the point where they could do something to you, embarrass, discourage, or somehow encourage you.  You were fast approaching the time and need to compose every day.  

On the rare days such as this one has turned out to be, when you find yourself invaded by a squatter virus who has in metaphor sprayed the interior of your skull with cloudy vapors, one of the few pleasures available is a return to thought composition.  But also, there is the primary bafflement then connection to a realization about your present murky condition and your overall intentions.

Being hit with what is probably a flu virus reminds you of the effect on you when your Inner Editor decides he want to have some fun, maybe throw a little party.  His goal, when he arrives, is clear.  He will be satisfied with nothing less than you pressing the delete key on your current work in progress.

Unlike you, your inner editor does not think things can be saved,  He has paid no attention to the things you've learned along the way, things which, now that you think of it, actually outpace him.  You have needed to retire to bed once in the setting down this statement of philosophy, in all possibility losing some of the narrative vector, but you note with some grim satisfaction that getting up the second time was easier, even seemed to carry with it the possibility of fun.

Having your mind clouded with flu and/or the internal editor is anything but fun, sends you reeling to a condition and place you have no wish to be.  The virus is the sort of alien you have no affection or use for, only a wary knowledge that enemies are slithering about.  

The interior editor is another matter.  He is a product of your cultural education, your awareness of standards to which you strive.but for many reasons you were led to believe were beyond you.  This is not you, in the throes of illness, blaming certain teachers because, in fact, there were other teachers no less encouraging.

Blame is a dismal thing, every bit as unfriendly as your current virus and your about-to-change relationship with your inner editor.  If you allow yourself the luxury of looking back on blame times, you may well find you pointing the finger at yourself.  There is and always has been time for growth.

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