Thursday, March 26, 2009

What's Old Is New Again

"You're so fly you got wings!" Susan's text said, first thing in the morning. The week started well and the world supported me with more things like this every time I needed them.
At Sambar I told Kevin about the blog, how uncomfortable I get when I think about it being something for other people to read, with the way it seems a bit narcissistic in that light, same with the stories. The process of writing, I get. That makes sense to me every day, is always something I want to do. It's the getting to the end part that's hard, the idea that it's not just process but product, something to be looked at and valued, both in good ways and in bad. On what authority does it all stand? What right do I have to say something turns out this way or that, to resolve or conclude or end anything? I'm most comfortable in my stories that are almost all voice, not so much about what's happening, no decisions to make about how a character would decide this or that. How can I make up someone else's mind?
"I have to get over that" I told him, and he smiled and said "You do!"
Jane Hirshfield wrote a series of poems I love that she called "assays". The word pleased me when I first saw it in one of the titles, since I hear it nearly every day. It's used constantly in science. Here's what Merriam-Webster says assay means:
1archaic : trial , attempt2: examination and determination as to characteristics (as weight, measure, or quality)3: analysis (as of an ore or drug) to determine the presence, absence, or quantity of one or more components ; also : a test used in this analysis
Could that help? What if all the writing is just to assay? Test things out, examine, describe presence, or absence. I might be able to do that much.
Writing group on April 10th, time to turn something in and commit to working on it. Hard for me these days, but working on it.

2 comments:

Christina said...

Love this. Love how your mind works--and thinking about writing this way really helped me today...

Kate said...

I wish we were in a car driving to Edison right now! Your post makes me long for quiet time, bad weather, space to write in.

I used assay in a poem the other day: Holy/ is the ring of my eardrum assaying the quiet/ of my lover's room.