when one writes one has to think what one is saying but i am always finding
that i am writing as a function of being, in other words i am giving birth,
if you like, to words that are in me just when i am putting them on paper,
or, more rarely, dictating them on tape.
what, then, is this function, what is this kind of creation? how is it to be classified,
under what art name are we to consign it?
the trouble with words is they always want to say something.
but i face an emptiness that drags my inside out and leaves me limp,
a nothing, with nothing to say or do and with nothing i can claim.
all creation stops. i almost called it paralysis but it is hardly that.
i am free to do anything but with this freedom i have been given the
unwanted gift of a rag world which absorbs all incentive and jibes
"so what, so what?"
luckily i taught myself years ago to look emptiness in the face,
as a good Taoist should, and to find it, if possible, as interesting
as anything else. to face it till it goes. it is there as a tease,
but who can wait the longer?
the process of introspection has, i find, to be carefully handled.
it can become out of hand and lead quickly to melancholia.
this i found in the early stages and, being scared, gave up all effort
at introspectional communication. i was not to be so easily rid of it!
back it comes, sooner or later, just as i have lately experienced the
return of a need for Gertrude Stein, a few years after i had parted
with the useful beginnings of a collection of her works, now very hard to replace.
after an abortive four days' holiday in London early this year (1983) i was able
to wind up with a delightful armful of her books and so to start again where
i so foolishly (as it seems to me) left off two or three years ago.
creative nullity is hard to bear, yet it carries with it a kind of embryonic excitement
as if something were about to happen, a new step forward to be taken.
the void has to be filled, a comfort supplied by nature herself; but whither we go
from here i do not know. perhaps it is this ignorance which makes the trip worthwhile.
so we look in at the emptiness and pull it out and study it, and it is exactly this which
i have been doing in the recent thinking and writing. if this is what i am given very well
i will toy with it until the next thing happens. presumably it is something,
so i fondle it as i imagine i am supposed to. if something else comes i will embrace that,
and if not i must imagine that i am to continue with the old toy.
i feel that we have to forge some kind of creation out of ourselves,
so i will squeeze the toothpaste tube, be it never so exhausted.
it is charming to read in Genesis how God had the same little problem that i have,
and he solved so neatly merely by saying Let there be....
the early book says nothing about the act of imagination that must have
instantly preceded this fiat. perhaps it was simply spontaneous.
let there be....we will now do a charade.... all you have to do is to decide
to do a thing, and there you are. instant creation.
certainly it was the original idea of all time. beat that!
but just as the good Lord's firmament seems to go on for ever in imitative
circles so we have to follow suit and create, create, be it simply procreation of the race.
"create spirit, create spirit, create spirit! look, it has all crumbled to pieces...."
Rozanov couldn't escape the emptiness any more than i can, and he found
solution where i shall find it, in God.
if i have a message it is the 'emptiness of life'.
i recall an inept drawing i made many years ago called, 'empty game',
a series of balls being hurled through holed screens as far as the eye could see...
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