Saturday, April 17, 2010


Sometimes, when I’m physically and mentally exhausted — not to draw a fine line between the two — I think of pulling the plug on my worldwide web endeavors. Then I remember that I have never walked away from a friend. Which is what you need to understand: my disease is such that I can’t pretend you in the abstract, I can’t wish away your flesh and bone and blood. In my mind we have already met, and the only way to destroy that fact is death. In my time, I’ve seen old vineyards and orchards pulled out, pushed into piles, and burned. I’ve stood by their fires day and night, and inhaled their blue-gray smoke. I couldn’t get enough, for the lungs are connected to the heart, and the heart is connected to the mind. I still carry that smoke inside. I am the flesh of everyone I’ve known, and of those who will never know me. This joy and pain I feel is our own. And yes, this sweet abiding melancholy I would never wish away, or this laugh at all I think and say. We will disappear, but that is a good thing. And we will meet again, as it has always been — I a tree, you the wind, a stone, a twig, a bright eye, a furry tail. The love we seek, the breath we hear, the hand we feel.

In the Forum: in a brand new T-shirt, waiting to be discovered.


diipo said...

I was touched and I remaimed touched. Thanks for sharing.

William Michaelian said...

Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

Caio Fernandes said...

" i am the flesh of everyone "
i feel like that . it is a curse for me , not something that i am found of . but it is here , everysingle one , doesn't matter the level of intimacy .
not talking about just internet , all life , sure .
but internet has this power too , and about internet i can't complain of the "being the flesh..." i think that in it i have more control and become more selective , so i like it .
" i have never walked away fron a friend " . i don't know about that . i think i've done this , but i don't remember what friends mean or maybe i don't understand very well the english expression "walk away" , maybe i am making a huge mistake here . i am pretty sure i am not .

all the time the subject friendship appears i get lost .
but your last sentence is perfect and precise .... so i think i can find a way .

see you man !!
the way you write makes even the subjects i avoid be a pleasure to read .
the blue gray smoke is my favorite part .

RUDHI - Chance said...

Easy come, easy go! Makes friendship butterflies (and life) so bold...

Janice said...

William you say so much, so beautifully, with so few words. I can almost feel your exhaustion but selfishly I hope that you will continue on with your blog. What you have written here is so intimate and beautiful. You have the gift of painting a picture with words~~~

Elisabeth said...

When you 'think of pulling the plug on my worldwide web endeavors...[and] Then .. remember that ...[you] have never walked away from a friend, I find myself relieved. But I know the sensation myself. One in the morning , I should be in bed, but one last visit to my blog and I read this.

William, you are sensational in your energy and endeavours and the extent to which you share it with us. Please don't stop.

William Michaelian said...

Caio, what you say is a great compliment. Thank you. When I say “walked away,” I mean it as “forsake” or “abandon.” Beyond that, control, not control, who can say? I think we’re all along for the ride.

Rudhi, there’s that way of looking at it too! I love your outlook.

Janice, believe me, comments like yours make a huge difference. I am driven, and it might one day be the end of me, but the end will come by and by anyway, and who am I to say that work will not extend my life? Better to do what you love than wonder, I say.

Elisabeth, I treasure your response as well, and I derive energy from it. I know how busy you are answering the myriad comments on your blog, giving each the thought it deserves, the clock ticking all the while. But there is something to be learned from each exchange. That’s the way I feel, and I know you do too.

Wine and Words said...

"I can’t pretend you in the abstract, I can’t wish away your flesh and bone and blood. In my mind we have already met" I feel this exactly.

rahina q.h. said...

is there anything left to add William? i think you said it all...

William Michaelian said...

Wine and Words, thank you. Apparently we’re afflicted with the same disease....

Rahina: if I have, it was probably by accident. But I’m so glad this piece means what it means to you. Thanks.

Noxalio said...


you've given words
to sentiments many of us
have had (i don't quite
understand why it is so
in online/web settings
but it is - i've discussed
this, several times,
with people in my
circle - it seems to be
a recurring theme - both
the fleeting desire for
shutting it all down
and also the very strong,
opposing force) ...

i write about it constantly,
although somewhat shrouded--
digital and analog being
my code for them (as bits
and atoms might also be
appropriate alternatives).

the same way as we end up
trading atoms when we are near
one another (and in fact our
atoms are wind-blown,
clear across the globe, and yes,
inhaled or incorporated) i suspect
our digital bits seem to also
act in a similar manner ... they
travel the ether, and
cross-pollinate, i suppose,
and are incorporated and help
give form to one another's
writings (i'm certain
this has been going on since
the advent of the printing press
but is so much more apparent
because of this medium's urgency)

thank you for your take on this,
i appreciate it.


William Michaelian said...

As I appreciate yours, Noxy. It’s interesting, in my Web wanderings, I hear the opposite as well, individuals so eager to slight online friendship that it casts a shadow on the flesh-and-blood kind they favor and approve, as if someone far away is somehow less real, or disqualified unless he’s had the good fortune of meeting him in person. And yet we know how often people are strangers in the same room, and in close relationships. Your third “stanza,” if I may refer to your comment in this way, is beautiful; I suspect it might even sound threatening to some.

Elisabeth said...

Just to comment here on Noxy's wonderful thoughts. They help make sense of why we do this thing called blogging.

Apologies for this case of cross pollination across your blog, William. I'm sure you won't mind.

William Michaelian said...

Of course not. And here you are, up again and back at it....

Alberto Oliver said...

William, there are in your lines something so intense, like a torch flaming, a way to communicate a feeling, yes, a feeling, that is what matters, that is what is worth to be shared..
Thanks for your comments on my little pieces of time and light...

~im just only me~ said...

Well, William, I've several times now found myself describing you as "my good author friend, who lives in OR...", that's good enough for me :)

William Michaelian said...

Alberto, thank you. I love what you’re doing on your blog. The things you say about this entry, I feel about yours; they seem to be lit from within.

Cassie, I’m honored. You should be safe with that approach as long as you don’t mention my name; if you do, you’ll lose all credibility.

Paul L. Martin said...

I do not know what I would do without a daily dose of Michaelian rumination. My only wish is that you and I could meet every day at that local coffee shop where you met with your friend who recently passed. That would be perfection on a daily basis, and we all know that life is rarely perfect. So Recently Banned Literature must suffice for now.

William, I do not find men and women with your wisdom and grace in my daily life, and I thank the stars that the ether of the internet entangled our lives. Through meeting you, I have met so many other gifted writers and thinkers. All of you have enriched my life and encouraged me as a writer.

The part I struggle with in your post is that we will disappear. You are right: it is what happens. But call it ego, self-absorption, whatever, I hate the fact that we must disappear some day, most of us will be forgotten, and you and I may never meet face to face. Hopefully, fate and destiny will intervene in the magical way it so rarely does.

On a humorous note, my wife and I were talking about traveling some day to Oregon and visiting you. I imagine, through the voice in your writing, the way you would speak, your mannerisms, etc. She asked me, "What if he has a high squeaky voice and speaks in monosyllabic chirps and whistles?" That would explain the wise and knowing words you write: you are an alien from another planet.

Keep writing, William. Keep breathing the smoke of this existence. Keep becoming. You are a trusted and treasured friend.

Take care.

William Michaelian said...

Paul, all I can do is try harder, now, to be worthy of the kind things you’ve said, and the beautiful way in which you’ve said them. And take lessons in elocution, of course. In the meantime, please know, and don’t ever forget, that the feeling is mutual.