The act of writing, as opposed to weeks of not writing, is significant even if what I write is worthless. Holding my fountain pen in hand and watching it scratch across line after line, filling the page without my censorship, is interesting even when, as now, it has absolutely nothing to do with ‘saying’ anything. It is the act itself. The act of moving a pen along a line and attending to the experience and maybe, maybe, returning later and attempting to decipher or elicit some meaning. But that isn’t the important part. Watching the pen making marks, that we call writing, holds me in the moment, observing both the markings and the negative spaces between and among them. The patterns themselves matter. The flow, the upstrokes and downstrokes, the gaps and swirls. The marking itself slows time and holds space still and records that I existed at this moment, and I filled a page.
The writing is also a distraction and a camouflage to the ugliness unfolding with my siblings over the lake property in Maine. It is too ugly and eternal and petty and predictable to be worth talking about, but I obsess and it keeps me awake. Any hope of an amicable and fair sale of my share to the others seems doomed. Despite the thirty plus years since we spent time together as teens and young adults, we remain mired in old ways, bickering and picking and fighting because they are our only form of connection. And we are ever, and always, who we are. As Pasie used to say, “You don’t improve with age, you just get more so.”
Photo by David Travis on Unsplash
Sept. 2, 2010