Monday, September 17, 2007

you'll come apart and you'll go black

"Don't be a chicken," I think. "Don't not write about it just because it is somehow ugly, insecure, even disturbing."

Continue to look for your honest voice, she had said all those years ago.

Sometimes, I could be honest, with you, with myself. But sometimes is not good enough when it comes to writing. And if I've been holding my fingers from the keyboard, restraining myself from letting out words, it is not because life has been all rainbows and unicorns. And nor is it because there is so much to tell that there is nowhere to start. I could say, I could feign those things, but it's stonewalling, it's what I tell myself even to let myself off the hook.

There's this problem with honesty and writing. If I'm really honest, if I'm really telling the truth, I have to admit that it's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, this past month, and not in the "whee, who knows where this will lead" way. Rather, it's the crazed highs and the irrational lows. It's feeling invincible one moment and fully fragile and perishable the next. It's being unsure even when you're sure. It's feeling brilliant followed by feeling like a total moron.

And I haven't written about the rollercoaster because when you're acquainted with this ride as I am, you know it's temporary. You know it's not grounded in any real concern, any real crisis. But if I'm going to keep writing here, anywhere for that matter, I have to square with this. I know I may sound like an ungrateful wench at times, having gotten exactly what I wanted and still feeling the occasional twinge of holy sh*t. And I know, even in the lowest of the lows of the falls from breathtaking heights, there's nothing to regret- which makes writing about it all so strange. What am I complaining about and am I even complaining.

I still have a clarity of purpose. I still know what I'm doing and why. But it has taken over my life, for better or worse, and I think I have to write about that, even if it's in this incoherent manner.

So I went to the water. I walked along the shore, where the waves were sparkling in the late hours of the afternoon, the dying hours of the day. Surfers skimmed along, suspended for a moment before a crash of water knocked them off their boards. They never minded. They were felled by the ocean and they seemed to know they were never going to conquer or tame this beast. And yet, they got back on their boards and paddled out to catch the next wave.

For a moment, it was the strange feeling of home, the feeling of home in a place where I hadn't grown up. Or maybe I had. In San Francisco, it felt as though I materialized again. It felt as though the city gave me a daypass and let me pretend. And I fell off the board into the water, and knew that I'd never beat these ethereal unknowable adversaries. Better to make my peace with the fight, with the neverending, beautiful attempt to stay suspended for that precious stretch of time.

No comments: