Wednesday, May 21


there are folders and notebooks and stacks of my old schoolwork practically decomposing in boxes in closets in my parents' basement. tomorrow when I head back to Indiana, maybe I'll bring it along and transfer the decomposition process to my own closets.

last time I was here, I unearthed some of it and tried to remember who I was when I worked on it all, and how all those classes had gone. I'm convinced that going back to my own high school and undergraduate experiences as my current self (Ebenezer Scrooge style, perhaps) would somehow--at least partially--cure all my teacherly ineptitude. who knows if it really would.
these old essays and portfolios and scribblings show me a dim sort of sketch. I don't think I was a very usual student... but of course I can't be sure. I can only guess, and maybe nobody else knows either.
I've been writing non-required blogposts here for almost nine years. from time to time I wonder what it is I'm trying to do here. does it matter what I'm trying to do here? I write. our reasons for enjoying things are seemingly inarticulable. is there irony in that? I claim that words can make everything better. is that true even when the words crumble into meaninglessness as they fail at encompassing feelings? do I mean that even crumbled words are worth something?
yes. crumbled and halfhearted attempts at capturing it all still beats blank silence. I know only so much stuff fits into one life. there are only so many live possibilities. this is the way it needs to be, I guess. but the way everything is carved up now isn't how it'll always need to be carved. our crumbled communications don't stand still; they change.
I used to blog more often. I used to keep so many notebooks. I'm not the only thing changed since then. notebooks and tech and context all change too.

are my journaling and composition shifting toward the visual these days? the non-textual, the colorful, cropped quadrangles of things that catch my eye... are these the new and more regular records of my existence? maybe it's too soon to say. I don't yet feel as in love with that style as I do with writing like this. and even if I can't really say I know exactly what writing means, I can try to explain what I like about my practice of it.
I like the pausing and sifting through potential descriptions and the shuffling of parts of speech. I like the dancing of clauses and punctuation and space. I like the starts and stops and backtracking, the meandering fragments that stretch so subtly for their finish. I like the way these little symbols can twist and mold intangible thoughts into a dozen differently shaded shapes. I like unknotting a tangly draft, picking out the pieces that don't belong and pulling away each piece that does, tidying it all into a hopefully-clean curl of interesting prose. sometimes I save the scraps for later. sometimes I can't.
having this space here to display a few of my various little writing snippets is nice. it isn't the only option of course, and we all know I've experimented with heaps of other formats and genres and platforms. there are so many, though. I could draw more. I could vlog. I could make a zine. I could send out a newsletter like this pretty involved and fascinating one I saw someone telling Frank Chimero about on twitter the other week. I could post over here more often and make car-photos more of a thing. (actually, I had the very minimalistic thought recently that I might consolidate some of these as of now disparate blogs and somehow make car photos into a new series, à la the sunday scribbles. let me think about this and come back to the idea.)
nobody is really all that fussed about what I might or might not be trying to do here after all. this digital display shelf doesn't need to be usual or consistent. I write for the writing's sake. I sketch and wonder and experience plenty of other things for the same reason. they don't have to be means to some other end, these creative processes. maybe all the best things are their own ends, or at least neatly curled around something like one. 

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