Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Love-Hate Relationship With Writing

     Writing and I are like fighting lovers...lovers best separated by interludes of absolute and utter eloignement wherein I cease to think about him and turn my attentions towards reading, research, laundry, taxes, the stale edge of baguette sitting in my kitchen.

      But we always, always come back to one another, eventually, precariously, as if nothing had ever passed, as if time had stood still and in the blink of an eye thrown us into the future where I could graze my palms over his smooth back and kiss him softly in the nook where his neck meets his jaw line, the tender patch of skin protected by a layer of scruff.

       This is my attraction to the written word, electric and vibrating in my mind, quivering from my thoughts to the page.

        Much has passed in the blink of the eye that separated us this time.

        I started and finished my Master 1 Recherche in Paris, with flying colors mind you.

        I still work in au-pairy-nanny-land, and still live in Paris.

        I'm a year older, not necessarily wiser, though I'd hope so.

        I'm more stuck than ever oscillating between two countries. The ex-pat ambivalence has set in strongly, and now begins the dance between the two pays I now call home. Don't make me choose just one, dear God, please don't. I'll never win.

        Do I really want my PhD? I'm beginning to wonder. Could I live with myself if I didn't do it? I don't have the answer yet......

         Just what is life like on the other side of the Atlantic, what's it been like in my absence? What have I missed? But oh how roots are wonderful here...

          This blog is to be continued, even if only for my own pleasure, if no one reads it, oh well....it is enough that I have written, that writing and I have returned to one another....

          we are, it seems, soulmates.


  1. Mademoiselle Lindsay,

    (Which, alas, is the extent of my French)

    Your eros-fueled Edge of Desire caught my imagination, an absolute joy to read, and then ... Silence.

    Understandable. Life does have a way of intervening, the demands of mundane reality clamoring for immediate and constant attention. And yet, despite the lapse, your imagery still retains that edge. Both of your latest entries shine - but the second paragraph in this post in particular speak to me with the sparkle and smoulder familiar to anyone who has been lost in the embrace of logos, in love with - and loved by - the written word.

    Of course, logos and eros are inextricably intertwined. Henry Miller (another expatriate in Paris) served as my guide - certainly apropo, as my motivations were far from noble. A passage from Sexus describing his initial efforts to woo Mara (June), the muse who informs his most eclectic, electric works, remains etched in memory decades after I first stumbled across it:

    "Anyone who thinks he is defeated, hopeless, without resources, can take courage from me. I had a scratchy pen, a bottle of ink and paper – my sole weapons. I put down everything which came into my head, whether it made sense or not ...I said to myself over and over that if a man, a sincere and desperate man like myself, loves a woman with all his heart, if he is ready to cut off his ears and mail them to her, if he will take his heart's blood and pump it out on paper, saturate her with his need and longing, besiege her everlastingly, she cannot possibly refuse him. The homeliest man, the weakest man, the most undeserving man must triumph if he is willing to surrender his last drop of blood. No woman can hold out against the gift of absolute love."

    It didn't always work out that way in practice; picking up chicks turns out to be the wrong reason to take up writing. Over time, though, I realized the object of Miller's eternal, undying love wasn't June, or Anais Nin, or the dozens (hundreds?) of nameless floozies with whom he shared a moment of passion, but the uppercase Muse who inspired his creative work.

    It doesn't matter that Henry Miller is male and you are female - you will recognize your kinship in his words:

    "Ideas were pouring into my head. As fast as I jotted them down others came crowding in. At last I reached that point where you abandon all hope of remembering your brilliant ideas and you simply surrender to the luxury of writing a book in your head. You know that you'll never be able to recapture these ideas, not a single line of all the tumultous and dovetailed sentences which sift through your mind like sawdust spilling through a hole. On such days you have for company the best companion you will ever have – the modest, defeated, plodding workaday self which has a name and can be identified in public registers in case of accident or death. But the real self, the one who has taken over the reins, is a stranger. He is the one filled with ideas; he is the one who is writing in the air; he is the one who, if you become too fascinated with his exploits, will expropriate the old, worn-out self, taking over your name, your address, your wife, your past, your future ..."

    You know that feeling, Lindsay. I can only thank you for sharing that high with the rest of us.

    As for how the plot of your life unfolds from here, you can trust Story, Lindsay. Each of us, conscious or not, is the Author of our own lives - but you have the advantage of reading along as you write ...

    How do you feed your bliss (which is a question different from how you feed yourself)? Will pursuing a doctorate do that for you - perhaps the very process is part of your bliss - but will attaining the degree move you closer, or pull you off track, away from your bliss station?

    No idea - only you can answer that ...

    1. That second expert of Miller is perfect. I know exactly--EXACTLY!--what he is talking about. I write in my head all day ever day and all over the city as I wander...then POUF. Most of it disappears. But the good stuff, the truly good stuff, gets onto paper...I wish I could be paid to do this for the rest of my life. This is what I love.