So. I do not know what to say right now. I am at a loss. Words effervesce to my tongue and then I find I cannot speak. The prison guard has informed me that my blog has over 10,000 views.
I feel this number keenly. Would I had never put paw to keyboard. How many desolate souls have I infected with my nonsense? How many brought down along with me in my failures? Oh, I dream and dream of absolution, but that is an impossibility. I am culpable for 10,000 sadnesses.
I could weep, for this news and for a book I just finished: How the Dead Dream, by Lydia Millet - a lovely and devastating novel. Allow me to quote a moment from the book which might aid us both in feeling just a tiny bit better:
"Forget the buildings and the monuments. Let the softness of dark come in, all those light-years between stars and planets. Cities were the works of men but the earth before and after those cities, outside and beneath and around them, was the dream of a sleeping leviathan - it was god sleeping there and dreaming, the same god that was time and transfiguration. From whatever dreamed the dream at the source, atom or energy, flowed all miracles of evolution - tiger, tiger, burning bright, the massive whales in the deep, luminescent specters in their mystery. The pearls that were their eyes, their tongues that were wet leaves, their bodies that were the bodies of the fantastic" (234-235).
You should read this book because it will help you cope with the shattering around us - the pain of news of war, death, strife, poison, illness, starvation, endangerment, etc etc; this book beamed a steady stream of light into my too dim heart.
My apologies for the 10,000 moments of time spent here with me, listening to my selfish lament. If only I could capture the wit, the musicality, the loveliness of Millet's prose. If only this blog was more than tired nails on a chalkboard, absurd, arrogant, asinine.
I have discussed this before, but what am I to do? Write everything I hold trembling inside me, pouring out the same strings of mundane despair over and over, or keep the trembling locked, neglecting it, allowing it to overtake me?
What would I be then, if I did not pour and pour? A desert? An earthquake? Something less than an animal - something without ability to reach and reach, hoping without even wanting to that it might be possible to finally connect. Finally take hold. Pull myself up up up and out.
Millet continues: "Spectacular bestiaries of heaven, the limbs and tails of the gentle and the fearsome, silent or raging at will... they could never be known in detail and they never should be. When time moved, mountains rose from the plains and the miracles multiplied, infinite, lovely. The miracles were the beasts" (235).
Does not it just make you catch your breath? Am I one of those miracles, or has my long internment domesticated me into something rather less than miraculous?
Can writing allow me back to that place of grace? I know not quite what I hope to accomplish with this blog, but perhaps this question comes closest.
The ambivalence I grapple with astonishes me: I wish the 10,000 a joke played by the prison guard; the 10,000 is a delicate tendril of hope rising like smoke inside me.
Hope that I have reached you.