Tuesday, March 1, 2005



What if I’ve already said everything I have to say? A flash: this feeling of having sailed across a great, empty ocean only to find a strange, barren land far lonelier than the one I left so long ago. An author really only has a few themes in his or her repertoire. These few themes – when handled by a skilled writer – are repeated in each poem, story, and novel throughout the writer’s life. These themes never become exhausted, never become tired, and never fade. Kafka’s alienation and anxiety, Dostoevsky’s faith and corruption, Beckett’s loneliness and desperation: all as fresh at the end of the author’s lives as they were in the beginning.


I think about quitting. Everyday, I think about quitting. Tired of my own themes, feeling I had exhausted them long ago, I once turned my back on writing. I said, “It’s not you, it’s me,” and I left it behind; just like that, I walked away. We met a year from later in an unlikely place, time having given rise to thoughts of how things used to be. Meeting again, I got a taste of those days in my early twenties when I was all afire with purpose, wrapped up in my fervently enjoyed melancholy, and virtually unstoppable.


Having set sail once more on this great, empty ocean, I've come to realise that there is no destination. To write is to pitch for eternity on these waves of words, hoping never to reach land - for there happiness is not to be found, but only misery and want. Just as a sailor yearns for the sea when he is docked, so, too, does a writer yearn for words when he is not writing.

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