Seven weeks ago I tasked myself with writing a trio of essays which would inaugurate the recalibrated/renewed trajectory I’ve been steadily uncovering/recovering.
Writing them has been exponentially more laborious than that initial, effervescent decree led me (its author!) to believe… I had nearly every jot and tittle plotted out, only one or two points to establish with each, but as progress was made w/r/t word count it rapidly became apparent that these pieces were much more multifaceted than those inchoate mental screenshots I had originally envisioned.
Which is good, right? A: Yes, when you aren’t hexed and perplexed by the Law’s Arbitrary and Crushing Sense of Deadline. That two fortnight promise had me wigging out somethin’ fierce, with the usual Law-inspired digging the hole deeper as I manically (and fruitlessly) attempt to claw my way out of it. The drive to scale back and just peremptorily crank the things out petrified my output, scary, shivering tendrils of aphasia dismantling my attempts to wrap them up and shave off some of that deadly deadline delinquency… I was gored upon the Law’s double bind horns: bootstrapping it the rest of the way and just finishing them would have satisfied the ostensible aims I announced but the deep-in-them-guts purposes of each essay would be bulldozed over for sure. Straining after impossible compromises encumbered the prose and froze it within absolute zero inertia.
Then I stopped worrying about it.
Grace Imbued Countersuit to Legal Woes
Reading David Foster Wallace’s biography Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story has been as illuminating as a South Pacific hydrogen bomb test and one portion in particular jump started my enthusiasm by putting my slavish sense of obligation in check. The AA mantra “Do what’s in front of you to do” DFW discovered in his Boston halfway house instantiated itself into my heart and brain and cold cocked my Law-obsessed sensibilities, straightened my tie, and sent me back to my notebook to keep on working. Not an overly epic tale, I know, but it has the advantage of being true, which is more than good enough.
So, I’m still plugging away and not freaking out that I’m way overdue. Who gives a rip? I’m not going to allow some personally (and arbitrarily/naively) set deadline short circuit these pieces’ potential, so I’m commit myself instead to a summer long already/not yet midnight premiere.
This whole enterprise has felt more like an investigation than the Lathe 0f Heaven-esque brain-to-blog transfer I had presumed it would be. My role has been less architect and more archeologist, finding out what’s there rather than structuring and imposing. My hearing aids are cranked: the texts’ demands are discernible as something other than discordant background hum, and I’m here transcribing the pitches emanating out of the aether. There’s synergy crackling between the texts’ stepped leaders and the charges I’m sending up to meet them.
Along the way, within and around the interstices I’ll be posting other important stuff as it happens, because I simply have to write about Iron Man 3 (something else I had been putting off because of my questionable sense of duty with the three aforementioned pieces), and I know something about DFW will most certainly be forthcoming after I finish his biography. Stay tuned, true believers: this summer’s going to rule!