Hey there– Long time no post.
Did I tell you I have a small poem (“Rue”) on The Remembered Arts site? Here is the link to my little poem about wishes undone. The photograph by Tyler Shaddix is beautiful and perfectly suited to the text. Thanks to The Remembered Arts for featuring my work.
For various reasons, as far as writing goes, I have been in a funk. Today on Twitter I found this quote by Franz Kafka and it seemed to sum up my mood these days.
“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”
A little more poking around on the Web brought me to the site of Andrew Gallix, an Anglo-French writer, who provides more of the quote, which is from a letter Franz Kafka wrote in July 1922.
“Writing sustains me. But wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that it sustains this kind of life? Which does not, of course, mean that my life is any better when I don’t write. On the contrary, at such times it is far worse, wholly unbearable, and inevitably ends in madness. This is, of course, only on the assumption that I am a writer even when I don’t write — which is indeed the case; and a non-writing writer is, in fact, a monster courting insanity.”
A little more investigation brought me to A Franz Kafka Encyclopedia (by Richard T. Gray, Ruth V. Gross, Rolf J. Goebel, and Clayton Koelb) which interprets Kafka’s meaning in this way: “writing is a sweet and wonderful reward for a kind of devil’s service, consisting of the writer’s descent to dark powers, into a realm of the subconscious and the irrational, where spirits normally bound by nature are unleashed and where questionable embraces and other dubious things occur that are usually hidden from the rational level of a writer’s consciousness.”
I don’t know anything about Kafka. I agree that creative writing does involve a trip into the realm of the subconscious and irrational. Where I disagree with Kafka is that I do not view it as a devil’s service but something quite the opposite. To me, writing (in the flow) has more to to with grace and divine inspiration. (An explanation which would seem to correspond with why I am so gloomy and unproductive these days.)
While I am on the subject of the devil’s service, I have something in my possession that I don’t want. We hosted a holiday party this year and had a white elephant gift exchange. As often happens, unwanted presents were left here. So that is why I have a red hat, made in China, symbol of hate and evil. At the end of January, a teenager wearing a hat like this was in the news. That’s when I read (and agreed with) Robin Givhan’s opinion piece “The MAGA hat is not a statement of policy.” So, I’m open to suggestions on how to dispose of this toxic object.
Peace, love, and solace