July 14, 2017 (Friday)

by Yule Heibel on July 13, 2018

The morning pages were always conceived as an adjunct, or, more properly, a basis or habit on which to build a more substantial body of writing. Then, as other projects stumbled or were pushed into an apparently permanent holding pattern, another idea emerged alongside the dying ambition to write “big” things. I began to think of these entries as potential future blogs called “So Last Year,” but it was going to be a side project, an adjunct to the actual work. Then, my belief in even that possibility faded, especially during those ten days when I was so sick, and whatever inklings of insight I’d ever had, whatever brilliance – or even just goddamn nuance – I managed to smelt out of my morning thoughts extinguished, went out bit by bit.

And I was left with what felt like ashes. Fire, then death. Fire, then death. I see a pattern here. But I don’t know what it means. My life sometimes feels like a bunch of asynchronous overlays, where levels of energy are mismatched to levels of insight which are mismatched to places I’m in. It’s true that by the end I was sick of V., for example, but most of that had to do with not being able to make any money there; the rest was due to getting involved with local politics, which showed me just how fatally vulnerable to (and intolerant of) I am to the stupidity of my fellow humans. I hate the tribal games of politics, and now the current climate is of course dominated by exactly that. I had it in spades ten years ago and am not looking for more.

Yesterday I got myself into an almost-snit with someone on Twitter. I have to warn myself of another asynchronicity that tends (still, to this day) to dominate my life, at least occasionally: I may have grown up as “the baby” of the family (and simultaneously, because of the huge age gap between me and my older sisters, as an “only” child, particularly from the age of eight onward), but I’m now 60, and the fool I was tweeting with yesterday is probably less than half my age. Yet I defer to everyone as though they were older – and my “senior.” Do I not believe in myself? I also worry too much about how these “seniors” could hurt, rather than support, me. That’s why I’ve preferred “back room” jobs, like researcher or writer. Not professor (professing, proclaiming in front of an audience) or pundit, which seem like invitations to constant sparring matches, bruises, KOs. Lawyers probably like that kind of stuff. I would have made a great detective or spy, but I’d have to have let the lawyer bring my cases to court – who would probably fuck it up consequently. I don’t have an especially great opinion of most individuals. Humanity as a whole, perhaps. People, not so much. Dorothy Parker, redux. I say I want to write this novel – in part because great fiction writing is the perfect “back room” activity: you can proclaim, profess, and pundit away, but it’s all hidden under or behind the techne of arte, and people can read it and let it invade their minds – they let their guard down, willing suspension of disbelief and all that. You don’t have to be serious, a decent strategy in an age when being serious results in mob crucifixion. (Yet I’m not doing it.) <–> (I’m not doing it yet.)

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