Aug 21, 2013

Write as if you were dying.

This article from the New York Times was sent to me yesterday by a fellow writer, poet, and all around fabulous lady.  I'm so glad she thought to send this to me.  My brain has been spinning ever since.

Read the full article here: Write Til You Drop by Annie Dillard.  While many sentences and paragraphs jumped out at me, what hit me most were these: 

There is something you find interesting, for a reason hard to explain. It is hard to explain because you have never read it on any page; there you begin. You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment.

Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon? What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?

It's funny (although it's actually perfect) that I just read this because my brain had just bee trying to form a little snippet of poetry similar to this idea.  Something along the lines of, "I want to give you everything.  I want to show you everything I have, and everything I know.  But I'm afraid that if I do, I'll have nothing left for me."

I'm wondering about all of this.  John P. Shanley says, "what you leave out is the story."  And boy, if that's true do I have a story for you.  And boy, if I found out I was dying it would be yours.  Now.  Today.  It would be urgent and it would be out.  But I'm not dying, and I'm afraid to reveal.  I'm also afraid that I'll never reveal.  Is that the fear? That I could die without my story being told?

I have more story.  All that I leave out.  My most personal trials and tribulations.

I also have what I find interesting for reasons hard to explain because I've never read it on any page.  Do I try to explain it? I thought of that last night, actually as I watched the moon for a very long time.  Why the cosmos stir me the way they do.  Why cosmology, astronomy, and science seem the most crucial and important way a human could spend a life.  What I am so inherently sure of when I'm watching the moon without knowing as fact, other than I just know.  Why I have a strong pull to leave the earth.  To see it from the outside.  Why it feels familiar.  Why I know I've been there before.  

So where do I start? 
And what do I do?
How much of myself should I give to you?

Deena Marie

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