Sunday, January 3, 2010

Falling off the Edge of the World

There would have to be some horror to falling off the edge which is well beyond the horror of merely perishing here on earth, right? Maybe? Or is perpetual free-fall to be preferred somehow, as in the impending Geek Rapture? What are people thinking? What could they possibly mean then, by the "me" they wish to preserve? I'll never get this, no matter from religion or science.

I get the "me" I want to preserve right now, but I sure don't want me around forever any more than I want (literary!) climaxes around forever. Else they'd be, well, anticlimactic in a jiffy.

I write me me me every single day now, as a kind of discipline to keep me tethered. It must be working in at least the clinical sense that I remain off drugs and speak as if I'm still among the sane. No really, I can carry on a conversation, evaluate what experts are telling me, calculate the odds and go along with what makes sense. I'd pass any Turing test you can come up with and for sure I don't go ranting on about Jesus with Bible quotes the way lots of schizophrenic people do. I'm no magical thinker who sends along chain spam, chants the rosary, avoids the cracks in the sidewalk.

But I actually do need to do this writing. Not exactly a compulsion, not exactly a passion, not exactly just an exercise in something I think I might be good at. I'm in the midst of my very first Kindle read - a freebie which must be in the category of pulp fiction. It's fun. I have a good excuse - practice on and evaluate the Kindle. But it reminds me, as if I were to need such reminders, that I have none of the writers' genius.

I mean there's no problem at all for me to awaken to the fact that I will never be a gymnast, a musician, a dancer, an actor. I resist the conclusion that I will never be a writer, since, well, it's what I do all the time, you know? But I am surely not a novelist, nor a poet, nor an essayist, nor a journalist. As with good wine, I am enough of a good reader to know when I encounter genius in each of these disciplines, and I'm not it.

And I don't mean genius as in the best in the world. I just mean something that sticks out enough to be the prominent thing about a person. The thing which has the power to bring tears to the eye of the beholder, and causes the misnamed soul to soar. That thing which creates a harmonic resonance between artist and audience which transports them both, for a time, to the very same spot in the cosmos. That thing which gets called a gift.

I guess I'm a blogger, but can a person be a blogger if there's no-one reading? Most of the time I wish I'd ever had the discipline to become the scientist or engineer that I was meant to be. I calm myself sometimes by the extravagant claim that were I to master any particular discipline, I would be as lost within it as are its masters, and therefore blind to what transcends it.

But I don't like these terms. Transcend. Soul. Gift. I struggled for a literal age to find some other term to describe what was meant by "School for the Gifted" which wouldn't make donations seem redundant. Sometimes I think I've hit on the formula, but it's always too wordy, and ends up ridiculously metaphorical. Mental gymnasts, musicians of the mind, say, or adepts in the poetics of ideas. But that term - idea - is as profane as to name God, and leads inevitably to terror, terrorists, and technological spiraling death.

Oh, worra worra worra. Well, hang on, I've got to go inject myself with a little more blood thinner. I'll be back in a jiff.

See there! I annotate the real time, but it's not as if I don't go back and edit. In a kind of rush, the way that journalists must do. But they have real editors to true their words according to readership expectations and corporate dictates.

I've called this a kind of performance art, but there's that other word - art - which is so problematical. It conjures terms like creativity and authorship and these in turn confuse people about intention and meaning and how to see.

I just think I'm a smart and perceptive guy who's come upon something really compelling and I'm trying like mad to figure out how to communicate it. I'm manifestly too lazy to work it up into a book-type read, and so I plug away on a daily basis now trying for words which will reflect back to me what it is that can both be true to the "vision" and recognizable enough for the average Joe to "get". I'm stuck with the average Joe because it's rather impossible to penetrate the language of the disciplinary experts. And I'm pretty good with languages.

Well, sorry, just a little rant today. Now back to my Kindle. I'll get back to you when I figure out what I'm trying to do here. That's a joke. See, I'm not very good at stand up either.

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