Slipping

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I’m really glad you took the time to work through what you wanted to say. Reading your notes only makes me want to have my notebooks with me. They’re almost entirely at my mom’s house in Pennsylvania. Recently I’ve started to write in more notebooks again, instead of trying to unify my writing. I already want to have notebooks to re-read through. I wish I had started taking more notes ages ago.

My mind is exhausted. I admitted to Andrew that I think I have a terrible short-term memory (ie why I keep asking you if you have read TTTW, or whether you recommended something to me ). I know this makes him nervous because he keeps asking me to try to improve my memory. I think he’s worried about how time deteriorates all things, and if things are already bad, there’s not much hope for anything less than just worse.

I say, there’s too much in here, in my head. It almost doesn’t matter how much I write. It still doesn’t get out, still doesn’t even tap into the millions of things running around in there. And only a fraction of them are even conscious. I think I’ve already forgotten the rest, or at the very least how to name them.

Meditation was Andrew’s next suggestion. But I’m so still and inactive already. I don’t know if I need any more of that. I mean. I know I need meditation. But it’s also best in the morning when I have fewer excuses and the exhaustion hasn’t set in yet.

The labor of writing poems, of working with thought and emotion in the encasement (or is it the wings?) of language, is strange to nature, for we are first of all creatures of motion. Only secondly — only oddly, and not naturally, at moments of contemplation, joy, grief, prayer, or terror — are we found, while awake, in the posture of deliberate or hapless inaction. But such is the posture of the poet, poor laborer. The dancer dances, the painter dips and lifts and lays on the oils; the composer reaches at least across the octaves. The poet sits. The architect draws and measures, and travels to the quarry to tramp among the gleaming stones. The poet sits, or, if it is a fluid moment, he scribbles some words upon the page. The body, under this pressure of non-existing, begins to draw up like a muscle, and complain. An unsolvable disharmony of such work — the mind so hotly fired and the body so long quiescent — will come sooner or later to revolution, will demand action!

– from the essay Building the House by Mary Oliver

All this to say: I would write so much more to you. But I can feel the world slipping away into the night.

Goodnight, T.

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