Thursday, February 17, 2022

27

Writing is the pathway to otherwise, a walk at the cliffs that fall into the sea. Anticipating the drop but seeing something else: the many tiny landslides that make up a passage to the below. Dirt to sand to sea. Writing is the space I turned to then walked away from, a body in motion surrounded by field. Field surrounded by a body. Sounding out the difference between want and being there. Inside is direction bound by some internal form. Pain, but pain encircled, enshrined with scraps of paper, notes at stoplights, the way I think of you every time I see white butterflies.

What’s held inside me also holds me in the too much overflow of missing you. I know how to keep going, that its safety I’m looking for, some structure to submit to, but always the catch: who to trust. Less divided and awake. Less divided through what I learned on the mountain, hundreds of miles from the sea.

The way space happens inside—all my feeling being places. Annie said of my newer writing that there’s a clearer sense of place, which was nice, because I’ve always been thinking about places. I don’t write about non-places, or I’m always writing about a place, the place of missing you or the place of warm wind in LA in the springtime or the bridge you talked about us meeting on—isn’t that a place, somewhere we were once in a fantasy of becoming solid?

Speaking for the first time in years, or not speaking but thinking about it. What happens there in the not doing? Writing is scrawled on the stairs I tried to save myself on, drew a door and found a way through. I did what I said I would do, finally. Writing is walking; speaking is seeing you. Hélène Cixous says, “Writing forms a passageway between two shores.” Are we shores or bodies in the water, clinging to language, a few lines of prose?

 

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