I’ve been trying to blog regularly (this week’s goal was four posts, but that’s not happening).
It’s been a weird week. Someone I know was in a car accident on Wednesday and it just completely wrecked me. They’re fine (thank God). It’s fine. Everything is fine. But on Wednesday, I was not fine. I’ve been trying to keep my everyday life at arm’s length here on the blog, but I don’t know if that’s going to work in the long-term.
I’ve been trying to keep people at arms-length here in my life, but I don’t know if that’s going to work out in the long-run.
Here’s how this relates to writing: For me, writing is about trying to capture the present moment. I don’t mean in the sense of trying to exactly transcribe everything that happens in your day, or even, writing how I am sitting at a picnic table outside on a cloudy Los Angeles day, the temperature is 60 degrees and I am wearing an off-white sweatshirt with grey trim. I can feel a cool, soft breeze on my face and the sky is…
I don’t mean that kind of present tense. It’s more about trying to capture how you are feeling and thinking and being in the moment, knowing that this particular combination of things will never, ever be replicated. It’s about trying to capture that transcendent moment—that eternal space on the other side of silence, somewhere beyond past, present and future. I think this is why writing can sometimes feel like it is outside of time.
I won’t be the same person tomorrow that I am today, or the day after that, or the day after that.
This is why when I read stuff that I wrote years ago or even last week, it feels like I’m reading something written by another person. Hopefully, I managed to capture the specificity of who I was in that moment—frozen in amber like one of those mosquitos in “Jurassic Park.”
Which is to say, there are points in time where I’ve heard the grass grow and the roar is absolutely deafening —when a friend went through a mental health crisis, when I catch a hint of vulnerability in someone else’s laugh, when I think about my friend who died when I was only 17, when one moment you’re talking to someone about dumb shit and the next moment, BOOM.
Just to be alive is to be so desperately, horribly vulnerable all of the time, every minute, every second of every single day. It’s the fucking worst.
It can be so overwhelming to see the people around you as just exposed sticks of meat. I know this feeling will also pass. I want to cry but if I do, I’m afraid the tears will never stop.
Half the time (actually more like 90% of the time), I feel like I’m running away from some inevitable reality of being alive, of being a person in the world. It’s all just too much.
I write to be present, even to this, even though it’s hard.