Monday, August 29, 2005

I Sit In The Cold.

I sit in the cold and wait for something to come that I know is a long way off. The wind snaps itself around my fingers and I can barely notice the pen that's in my hand or the nose that's on my face. I know that to truly make things real I must make sacrifices but is the sacrifices which ail me. It is too cold outside to sit and watch the world unfold. It depresses me to watch the empty trees crack and sway in the dry wind. Everything is empty and I am just cold and waiting.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Nothing But Feelings.

I tore last night completely apart and left it bundled up at the bottom of my bed like a dirty and used blanket in a room that was too hot to begin with. Sleep was the farthest thing from this room as I lay awake all night long in an intoxicating lucidity. A great many things came together, glued themselves to one another and made a ladder on which I could ascend and view the inside of my own head from a very new perspective. I found many things which I didn't mean to save in the first place, only kept out of forgetfulness or disconcert, and in them I found myself and wrung myself out of dry paper and ink. I sometimes get sentimental in my blatherings, in my odd and not often well articulated ideas, and I pretend that I exist as a human so far beyond anything that I could ever write. I pretend that my words are only but a dim shadow of the life that I live but as soon as I spend a great deal of time writing I realize that I am only a dim shadow of my words when I am at my best and most real and generally I am nothing but a smushing together of many letters and fragments and pieces of flesh. And one would expect that upon this realization, I would weep as if upon a grave or a burnt dinner, but I cry neither at graves nor burnt dinners nor this realization because I have all the words to make me more real than I would ever be if I were merely tearing at the corners of my eyes over something I knew all along was the farthest thing from tangible. If I can explain why I am crying, I do not need to cry. If the tears come anyway, breaking past all concept of words and logic, as they sometimes do, I am wholly human in that too, because I feel something liquid and fading. It's odd, so much, how I can feel so totally whole and real when I feel nothing but words and then I feel so completely whole and real when I feel nothing but feelings. The world is full of words and feelings and the only way to live is to make the feelings words and the words feelings and then you are feeling wordy and human, just the way it should be.

I Don't Know How.

I don't know how the words structure themselves inside my mind and I don't know how my mind structures itself inside the words. Not only have I discovered, in this state of soggy groggy nothingness, that I cannot function without a direct and daily transference of thoughts into words but I have also discovered that one can transfer anything to words and be somewhat satisfied in making something solid. I can think something that would have just been passing by but once I catch it and grab it I can examine where it came from and what it really is. I don't know where my words end and I begin. I don't know if I am what the words are or if the words are what I am but I know that I am empty without the words just as the words are empty without me. You find the most human parts of you by feeling things not by making them into words but you cannot understand what you felt or why it makes you all the more human until you put them into words. I live only in my mind and in my words and in my ragged slippers in the morning. They are as much a part of me as my feet and it is just as hard for me to imagine that one morning I will wake up and waddle about in them and they will fall apart as it is to imagine that one morning I will wake up and waddle about and my feet will fall apart. But both of these things are true and I can only wonder which will happen first.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Dearest Father.

Dear Father O'Connor,

I have never been inclined to talk to clergyman or mystics or any of that class of men who must find some other name for that which is simply life. But you struck me with the force of your words. Very few of those religious men who delight in discussion with infidels such as myself are willing to admit so openly the role that God plays in their view of things. I have always been frustrated by such sidelong proseltyzing. I have always hated speaking to the smugly smiling sort who will always find reason to argue and refuse to admit that they do not argue from reason but only from the supposed axiomatic existence of God. "God exists. Therefore, I am right. QED." But you, my good father, came right out with the heart of the matter from your first statement and so you compelled me to listen to you and to think long and hard on what you said and finally to do what I always do when someone intrigues me, to write to you.

When you spoke so forcefully, father, I thought I heard in your voice something of myself. And now I understand this impression. You are the only person I have ever met who truly has faith. I do not doubt that you could have converted anyone else with your speech. But I know what faith is because I too possess it and so your faith cannot move me. I have faith in words; I do not seek my salvation in anything but the printed word and because of my own faith I understand the secret of yours. Faith is a thing that you must create. I do not doubt that you know this. Faith is the understanding that life is nothing and that man must make something if he is to live it. This is what my writing is built on. This, too, is the pedestal on which your god stands.

Do you think that I have never known God? I remember him well. I remember how in my childhood I saw him in the silence of the sleeping house and in the stars that mark out the endless depths of the sky. How later on I felt him enclosing the definite shape of my single, separate soul. But I can also remember what is older than he. I can also remember nights before I knew God and how he was never there when I descended into dreams. I can also remember how small I was, how savage and alone with myself and how I never knew fear or trembling. And I know that God was created in me and that I held on to him as long as I did because I have always known the necessity of faith and the passionate desire for immortality.

I do hope we live again, father. I do not fear His judgment. I have not taken this blessing, life, for granted. I have not killed my consciousness nor lied about what I am. Could God know me better than I know myself?

God is unheard whispers and shadows in the night. Listen closer and you will know that someone speaks, turn on the light and you will know that there is something actually there. Well then, I guess God exists; but he is nothing more than what is always there even when I do not think of it.

We understand one another father; we are both idealists. It is my idealism that teaches me my materialsm. I love the thought of what is actually there. It is too beautiful to make in man's image, a thing that walks and talks and takes its revenge when it is denied. I think that you are like me. No one could have such faith in a crucified Jew or an angry tyrant (that is to say in someone else). I think your faith is like mine: a belief that what we are can live alongside what we are not. I have never heard you claim that God loves us or is benevolent.


Friday, August 05, 2005

She Saw Nothing.

I cannot feel anything until it is in words. I can understand what it is I am supposed to feel but I cannot have any type of reaction until I understand what the reaction is that I am having. I once held a woman for a whole night. She cowered beneath my strong arms as if she were begging me with her toes (rubbing them against my ankles) to feel something for her, to show her that I did. And it wasn't that I didn't feel. I lay there and touched her, memorizing her skin because I knew I wouldn't feel it again but never uttering a single sentence. I could have told her lies but I opted to tell her nothing instead. She saw right through me and she saw nothing.