Monday, May 10, 2010
I, the Universe
I can’t explain it — and indeed I feel no need to — but I would like to note that there are times when the urge in me to write is so strong that it’s simply a matter of sitting down and yielding to the spirit. And then there are times when the urge is not to write, but to draw, and so I draw. I suppose it seems obvious on the surface of things: oh, he wrote today, or oh, here’s another of his ridiculous drawings. But it used to be that writing was all I really wanted to do, and my little drawings played a complementary, secondary role. I was, in effect, drawing and reemphasizing what I wrote. Now when I draw, I am drawing instead of writing. I am yielding to that mode because what needs or wants to be expressed is best expressed in that mode. Or so it seems. Because what I do is, and has never been, a static thing. I’ve said all along that I’m a writer, but I have never been afraid of not being a writer. I’ve said that I’m a poet, and I am. I call myself an artist, using the word in a general sense, and I am. But I have no fear of not being those things, or of not being thought of by others in that way. And I have no fear of finding myself someday doing something completely different than what I’m doing now. In fact, I expect it. I expect it, and yet at the same time, I’m fully aware that I might also continue just the way I am, writing, drawing, maybe learning to paint eventually, gradually improving, and then losing ground as my faculties begin to wane, if they haven’t already. And I’m not afraid of that, either — of being the father and grandfather who was, the artist who was, of being the tired, worn out, doddering one that is, a hairy caricature with a twinkle in his eye at the oddest of moments, the one who can no longer sip his coffee without spilling a little, the one who fascinates little children by his mere presence, and who frightens already frightened adults. Why not? Why should I fear such a thing? Haven’t I already been granted an obscene amount of time in which to do the things I want and feel I need to do? Or I could be dead tomorrow — hence the daily sense of urgency, as well as the comedy — yes, the comedy, of being an animated speck in a universe also quite possibly in search of itself — an animated speck in an animated universe itself within, or parallel to, multiple speck-like universes. Or is it the other way around? I, the universe. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust — I, a universe that is and was, all dressed up, and every place to go.
“I, the Universe” is my newest Notebook entry. Old notes are archived here.
In the Forum: a leaky puzzle in the basement.