Monday, January 3, 2005


I write these words for you. They come to me, building, like a slow, dark dream - a vision's exhale. Inspiration rolls out from the same mysterious place as the ocean's waves; tugged at by the moon, blown to your shore on the winds, before disappearing in the sand. Afflatus: flotsam for the mind.

One reader writes:
"Why blog? I'll admit, I read them, in fact, I'm quite fixated, but I can't understand why people write them."

My initial response is to say that I've always kept journals in one form or another. Whether they be the plastic containers of scrap-paper scrawlings, miscellaneous half-filled notebooks, assorted notes scribbled in the backs of novels, piles of *txt files sitting on a collection of HDDs in my closet - they're all there, but that's not the right answer.

It's more than that, this blogging. (I've always hated that word, blog, but I'm slowly coming to accept it.) Blogging presents a unique challenge, in that I am not just writing for myself. It asks that I present to you the best I have to offer on any given day. It asks that I edit myself. (Both my words and my thoughts to some extent.) It asks that I be entertaining to one, insightful to another, and sensitive to the next. It asks that I be always fresh and original. It asks that I actively participate in a community. Without doing these things, I would be writing to myself, and might as well return to scribbling on scrap-paper.

So I push forward, creating a work whose end I can not see. Am I in the middle now, or am I still near the beginning? Or am I nearing the opposite shore? No, there is no land in sight. Allow me to borrow from myself a few lines:
"An old raft rocking on the ocean, nothing but the sound of waves lapping in my ears. The smell of salt in my nose - its taste burned on my tongue. The feelings of hunger, thirst, and the too hot sun turning my hide a brilliant pink, then brown."

I'm collecting driftwood, afflatus, but what purpose does it serve when I'm in the middle of the ocean? I spend my days carving it into shapes and setting them free - hoping they make it to you.

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