Into Ruins

post-phd thinking, writing, art, cartography, abstraction, Robinson Crusoe – risking appearing deranged – writing-as-thinking

Tidying the archive 1


If I wake up early, enough, and if, if, I get up and look at the dark sky, and make the coffee, and put away the dishes, if, I can stand in the kitchen light and be patient, attempt patience, as my eyes accustom me to the new conditions, then, if then else, then, sometimes I would write, I would write things that then were verboten by me, drawn a line under, but didn’t I always say, didn’t I always, that its purpose, the writing’s purpose, it’s shadowy purpose, was always to be the outcome of a process and that the part of all that that most interested me – no, seemed most important in a way, was the typing typing typing. It’s very different to writing by hand, and I like to write by hand, that’s fine, when you have a sympathetic pen though, that’s important, otherwise it’s a horrible scrawl that bespeaks inner chaos and inadequacy.

I got my ideas by writing. A combination, then, of writing and thinking. Remember, it’s safe to do so, go ahead, remember, when we used to sing – sit – in the government yards, at the dining table, we used to sit and we would talk, you and I, I would talk sometimes for hours. To use the construction, I would, this is the essence that I used to long for, was used to longing for, in imagining my life as a film, that I was in a film and being seen from across the street or from nearby, beside me, and that what I was doing looked interesting, that I looked interesting, because I could imagine that separation from my interior and visualise it. I still do that. Sometimes. We used to sing. It’s that sense that you gain from a story, told, or a novel, or a film especially showing that whatever is happening is usual for the person shown. It made the construction I used to seem comforting and safe – look, this person is doing something they’re used to, what is it about that that seems so gripping to me – a way of rationalising them into feeling ok, I imagine them feeling ok, look, isn’t it interesting that that person has an interior life and that I can’t tell at all how they feel or how they regard themselves in their life at the moment? I’ve got so much love to give, he said, heartbreaking really, I’ve got so much love to give to the person I can imagine from a distance.  It’s when you write, I used to do this – maybe it’s not so safe, but keep going, it will become so – I did used to sit at the table and talk for a long time on occasion, usually only for a shorter time, and I would (I was in the habit of, I tended to, I would, I used to) try to write notes about the idea or bit of understanding I arrived at.

When you don’t notice, when your bits of processes aren’t given headings – for me, I love a heading – then that can be where the creativity is happening and then – and then – I haven’t had any new ideas for a while, but I think, something I think, is that if I’m going to do a long project about something, if, if, it would help for it to be something that the mind is comfortable to have there as a fairly constant presence. The chap on the radio had a point I think, of course it affects you, the choice of what subject matter to immerse yourself in.

So I learned how to flail about on the page and keep my hands moving – it’s not like you get to ‘bank’ these capacities, if you don’t keep doing them they will shift away from you, like German – and I learned how to write like a thesis, and I learned that I can put together really very long sentences that ramble about and need to be cut down into three sentences, and that sometimes starting and finishing sentences is harder than just carrying them on which I guess is why a lot of people do just carry them on. It’s getting there, some better kind of style, but with a ‘voice’ or a style writing will not suddenly present itself to me as something easy in general – but sometimes it feels easy, just the doing of it. That’s something true too, it’s not just one thing. Hey Claire, it’s not just one thing.

I need to write out, to articulate, in words and sentences, my Robinson Crusoe research project, and that’s an apprehensive thing, treading between that sort of arch, academic style of writing that can come out, and actually trying to persuade, to sell it in, to make it sound exciting and engaging rather than a pile of dried up old shite that you can read anywhere. Making things sound more complicated than they are, and arch, is usually a way of drawing a veil over unclarity in the thinking. It’s ok not to know what your study will find out; and you want to talk it up, I just hate the hyperbole. It’s not going to change our lives – well, if I do it it will change mine quite a bit.

The brightness of the light bulb shifts again. The sky is purple blue via the window and I need to carry on writing like this. I am not clear about what is wise here. If I wait to be clear I will wait indefinitely. In this age of compulsive over-sharing, cannot I find my place in the welter of admissions and confessions? This is what I can see, this is what’s private, this is the weather. This is me getting some of my pomposity off my chest, wringing out the cloth. What if everyone can see this?


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This entry was posted on 2 May 2018 by in Uncategorized.
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