photo by Michael Ochs, 1956
Whether or not you like it, what you do will be infectious.
-- This thought got dredged up from the depths of my brain. I've since been ferreting it about. It's a good thought. Warm to the touch, slow and malleable like honey. A good one to play around with.
(This is symptomatic of the eternal academic in me -- to concoct these sorts of aphorisms, and to test them out. To stretch them, push them into funny situations, attempt to drown them, resurrect them, to follow them, measure the length of their shadows, teach them to fly.)
It is also, perhaps, this same version of self that demands a change in expression. I reject notions of "thoughts occurring." And greatly prefer thoughts "dug up." Writing is, I find, less waiting to be acted upon, and more an interior voyage. Writing is piloting a ship of words and sentences through the vast expanse of Memory Stuff -- a navigating of self. No, mere occurrence is too passive for my liking. (We are not objects.)
So, yes. I've been preoccupied with the funny infectiousness of things.
I've got a bit of a fantasy -- one in which I always see myself, as if as some clandestine externality, and not through my own eyes -- a fantasy of stumbling into some public space, seeing a stranger, and that stranger's hands clutching some quarterly or anthology to which I've contributed, her face obscured by the cover. (Of course, in the best possible scenario of this fantasy...it's a memoir.) And I'm always wondering what she's feeling. But, I'm wondering, too, about which words made it in -- and which didn't -- and in what order, and which characters survived, and am I graceful, or am I weak, and, by the end of it...what did I champion?
What I champion.
What I champion. What I champion. What I champion.
For better or worse, I am always coming back to loveliness.
The loveliness of loss. The (unexpected) loveliness of all the shitty stuff, like minds apart, and ugly families, of people who go away too soon, of stuff that can't come back. The loveliness of love itself, of all its verbs -- having it, making it, finding it, giving it away.
And there it is. The only thing that matters.
There is love. And then there's everything else. And loveliness is giving it, all of it, every atom of it, giving everything away.