Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Digging Out

I went through and tossed out about fifty pounds worth of old writing and assorted paper from college. Maybe more. One of the first classes I took was creative writing. I was in my mid-forties. It had been years since I'd written anything more than a journal entry. I sort of tried to write some memoir once. I wrote in large scrawl on a large drawing pad. I don't remember if I ever learned grammar but I certainly didn't remember any. It didn't mater much because The class was being taught by a poet of the Beat bend. First thought. Best thought. In my end of semester student review she wrote that I was an accomplished writer. I knew better than to own that. I think the word accomplished might reflect quantity as well as quality. Still, having just reread some of those one page splotches, I did do some pretty cool writing in that class. I was uninhibited by critique. The teacher could barely speak in full sentences. She was dear and eccentric and effusive but not at all interested in being corrective.
In one of the last classes of my BA in Humanities I wrote: It may be ontologically important for creative writing to strive to express itself in ways that are not decipherable.
Oh. Well. See. It was in a paper titled: The Problem of Causality: Race, Gender and Class in American Narrative. It was also taught by a poet but a poet who could speak comfortably on many levels and complete complex sentences. She made lots of corrections of my grammar and suggested more perfect ways to say things. I took her praise a bit more to heart. I worked harder to earn it. Rereading it was interesting. I took on quite a lot in a relatively short paper and it was laden with other people's ideas. But I enjoyed the reading and writing I had to do in that class. I looked for a MA program in which I could continue and hone my grasp of theory. I didn't find one and maybe it's just as well.
This digging out of personal history is intense. I spent a whole day reading through things and reeling at what I'd been through and what I'd done and how long ago it was. It doesn't feel like it was that long ago. It never occurred to me that I would like college. And then I graduated and got a job playing a video game.
I mean.
Today I found another pile.
I wrote:There are ways in which all writing is an intersection at which a reader and a writer arrive. At an intersection people pause, wait to feel the other's intention. Who will go first? Who has the right? Who got there first? Will everyone obey the rules? How fast will anyone move and will that determine how fast the other can react? One false move and there is calamity, or maybe not calamity but an involvement. Hesitation is not a function of fear. It is a function of awareness.
It feels a bit disembodied but I've pulled it out of context. It was a short page on an Emily Dickinson poem. And thinking back to our class and the time it is fairly good thinking.
This digging out part of moving is reverie, some regret and filled with long forgotten selves. From which I am hoping to assemble what ever or who ever is about to be.

1 comment:

Cheryl Czekala said...

I like that second quote a lot! (Re. Dickenson)