If you’re wondering about the pauses, then I must blame time. I must succumb to accusing time of misdemeanours it never intended to or perhaps it is not aware of and will never be. But remove the disillusions and I would blame my job. For all my efforts to establish a balance between work and life, I have found myself invested in my job beyond what I imagined (and even planned). Drowning in paperwork and loyal to the demands of practical life, writing has taken a backseat. And yet as I find myself deeply immersed in my profession, the more I sense words forming in my head.
Thrown into the maelstrom of ordinary life – waking and sleeping, commuting, meeting people – my heart feels, and my mind observes, with a sharpness and clarity I only usually enjoy when I am also immersed in another matter: love. Perhaps practical matters are a fertile plain for the seeds of prose. And perhaps in more pedestrian terms words, like coffee, brew better undistilled. While I can already savour the bitterness, the darkness, the warmth, the same machine which releases the essence of these prosaic seeds keep the words from dripping, from streaming into my veins, and thus, from staining paper.
For the ordinariness of human life is both a blessing and a curse. Time – enough of it – is essential to fully grasping and appreciating it as a resource for writing. While love, lust, joys and griefs are reliable for engagements with the life of letters, the mundane is meant to be sublimated. The terrors of everyday are not to be left as functions. They are situations in need of reflection – and through writing, refinement – as they possess intimations which fulfill the greater task of pursuing the life of the mind. How else can a man discover his capacities than by understanding his familiar ways?
Love, joys, griefs – these are matters which estrange us with ourselves and are expressed as exceptions, as out-of-the-ordinary; shared as experiences. Constancies, routines, involuntary choices, memories – these are the inner voices we’ve silenced pursuing the profound. Lost in my job, I have discovered the ordinary as indispensible to the way I see the bigger picture. How could one which consumes so much of my time also leave so little of it for me to indulge in this indescribably joy of putting things in orders – arranging the letters, creating; divination, transformation – to be a person once again? How can I be so exhausted yet still so eager?