Narcissus' Echo

Thoughts, tears, rants, ruminations, hopes, fears, love(s), and prayers of just another being passing through this wracked sphere...

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Friday, May 06, 2005

Why do you write?

Have you ever asked yourself that?

Why do you write?

Is your personal writing restricted to blogs? Or do you have other avenues of writing as well? And why, why do you write? And I am not talking about writing in response to someone else (which, admittedly, this blog has been indulging in lately), but writing for oneself; a kind of rumination, introspection put into text, if you will.

Is it to vent? To rant? To lament? Or to boast? To self-console? To self-assure? To justify to oneself that one's life is not as meaningless as it seems? In hopes that someone else out there will agree with you that your actions bore some significance? To leave some trace behind?

Writing is both solace and torment to me, for while it allows me to vent, to rant, and to console by avenue of lament, it has rules, forms, and structures--standards that must be followed; even in the most intense paroxysms of feeling, these rules can only stretch, bend a little.

A conversation this morning reminded me of someone who passed through my life many years ago. I wrote the following poem in one sitting, drunk on a bottle of wine and half a bottle of scotch, alone in my tiny studio apartment in Palo Alto after the party at her place in San Jose on a cool summer's night. The poem was subsequently published in 2001. Now, looking back, if someone were to ask me if it was worth it--if the poem was worth all the pain it took for it to come into existence--I must reply that I am not so sure. I cannot reply with the kind of confidence a young mother has, dismissing the pangs of childbirth with the joys of motherhood, for my child is, albeit one of beauty, also one of pain. Its beauty lies in the articulation of pain. Thus, its beauty--and my pride, if any--are forever tied to the reminder of pain.

That said, the scar on the psyche, through the phenomenon of writing, has been transferred to the text, and less of it resides in the wracked and wistful heart. In that sense, the act of writing has done its job of exorcising the angst, if not completely, then at least partially, with the unexpected payoff in beauty (in the sense of Mishima's writings). I invite you then, to partake in this communion of pity, empathy, love, and pain. This one is for you, Moe: A Sheaf of Tears with No Sound


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