Monday, November 3, 2008

Why I'm Not Writing

  1. i am, as i know many of you are, anxious about the fate of the world. i am anxious that people have not yet understood the idea of a gradated tax scheme. i am anxious because there is an inchoate hope that is starting to sing and if silenced now- there will be a very heavy despair to follow. i cannot concentrate on too much else right now. Which is why
  2. the past is not usually a source of happiness for me. Sure there are moments of tenderness in it, and various memories glow a little, but by and large, the past is a burdensome weight to carry. There is one thing in my past however that always makes me happy, no matter the occasion: the West Wing. in this world, i am greatly thankful for having many incredible friends, which enrich me constantly. And amongst the group that forms us, no one is as enshrined in me as the two people who come immediately to mind as soon as the music of the opening credits starts to play. and the conversations we've had, debating public policy, or greater principles, or whether i most resemble Joshua Lyman or Toby Ziegler. And in a time when i think the world is overrun by not just ignorance, but by arrogant ignorance (a smug acceptance and propagation of the doctrine of uninformedness, like in high-school where it was cool to not know the answer), there are very few guiding lights to remind people of the loftiness of civic duty, the ingenuity of the ethos of democracy, of participation in the issues that matter to it: free speech, the rights of women, the necessity for accurate and specific language, the hope it has the potential to breed (yes we can).

    West Wing is not a television show to me. it is a time. a little universe. it is a universe made of a few people. a theme song. a yellow couch. a dark office dubbed the batcave. that time during the fast when Martha came to my office and sat with me and said prayers with me. Of walks down steep hills. and people crying on park benches for no reason at all (which continues to make perfect sense to me). all that. And i can't believe anyone truly knows me if they don't know the West Wing. There's too much they'd miss. (like Southpark). (or Bach). But, now, here's the amazing thing, for the first time in my life, something of the past is having a retroactive influence that's actually positive. My orientation to law school begins on January 12th. I already have a two-page list of places i might like to intern. my resume is almost ready to be sent out to potential part-time employers. i have plans for exchanges, and cram-a-thons, and...when i'm bored out of my mind in torts, or contracts, or civil procedure, or criminal- in my head i'll always see Josh sitting on the front steps outside of his house saying to Amy: I'm sorry I wasn't around in school... I'm not as smart as the other guys... I just had to work really hard... for this. This is all I've ever really wanted to. And I'll feel better about it. And because... for the first time since high-school, my academic pursuits make sense to me. Make sense for me. And I see paths and directions that can be uncovered that are amazing, and most importantly, exciting to me. I see discussions of civil liberties, and diplomacy, and arguments over precise wording, and how subtle facts demonstrate that the rights of women are still undervalued. I want to fabricate uproar about abortion (before secretly apologizing to my lord because I'm 100% pro-choice). For the first time in my entire life, the past is a source of inspiration, and not a dead weight that reminds me of bruises and failures and a geanology of all the cracks my body now wears for ornaments.
  3. i bought a SMART car. it's tiny and drives more like a go-kart than a car. it gets 1000km per tank of fuel (33 litres), which is to say: it just about runs on urine and saliva. I wanted to upload pictures but can't find my camera anywhere. in Los Angeles, for lack of anything else, getting haircuts became a rite for me- a 'feel-good'. a thing you do to celebrate, or, alternatively, a thing you do when everything sucks and your life sucks and you suck and if you just come home looking different maybe that's a good stimulus for change. tomorrow i think i'm going to get a haircut.
  4. i'm breaking down a wall tomorrow to double the size of my room. then i'm putting up shelves. then i'm tearing up carpets and putting down wood. mostly: i'm not really writing. nothing's coming to me. nothing but plans and re-plans and counter-plans and hopes and hopes and hopes. and for right now, i've taken love, and history, and gravity, and time, and told all of them to go screw themselves, and i've squished them into a litte man-box (the size of a shoe-box) and hidden them away in a dark closet-corner in the back of my head somewhere where they'll be out of the way and they won't remind me of the ghosts that used to feed on me. there they can gnaw at shadows and make little muttering noises i won't have to deal with unless i'm listening to Bon Iver (and i'm glad someone other than me thinks any winter is a good winter). For my friends in North America, bon hiver mon freres.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"...what's next"

Amz said...

don't lock love away :'(. You'll need it, and when you go looking for it, it'll be cross with you and then he'll refuse to come out of the box. Then you'll be in trouble