“Are you sitting comfortably?” they used to ask, as if anyone would seat themselves on a chisel or ball bearings. Thank God for Samuel Beckett who freed us from fiction. My problem is not to walk through the Red Sea but to step from this point of time to that one without being engulfed by inner catastrophe.
Obviously no words are as satisfactory as cakes in this regard, but each has its moments.
I need life to be a sentence – not a prison sentence but a clear, beautifully balanced assemblage of words taking you unerringly from morning to night. Writing a coherent essay illustrating a single notion demands discipline but, chiefly, I wish to inspire awe with a display of genius. The inability to be immortal either physically or historically is a blow to self-esteem with which I am always coming to terms.
Kevin says, “Sure we want to be rich and famous – but what we really want is to be happy.”
Something inside of me just will not set me free, to quote Elmore James. It’s as if in these days, happiness is verboten, forbidden.
“In reality” – whatever that hideous phrase may mean – I need to convince both of us (you and I and her) that it is all right to get to dusk without having subdued a nation or altered the direction of the earth. I need to remember that Hitler’s evil came from being a failed artist. In this I have at least taken the right step – and kept on writing. After all, for lengthy periods, that certainty of being an artist lifted me out of the office and into freedom: yes, it was a freedom to starve but friends often rallied.
My primary problem at present is a normal summer depression – normal for me, that is. While everyone else revels in sunshine, celebrates roses, pours Pimms, exults in glorious luxuriant growths of artichokes, I prefer a darkened room. Of all activities, writing alone relieves this pissing gripe. It is the one activity in which my mind’s workings do not induce a bleak pain. Any slight creation betters my state, albeit briefly. To be lost in music may also help, as long as it doesn’t set me to thinking of all the work I have not produced and thence onwards to everything else which I have not done.
As if to make clear its endogenous nature, this downer gets darker as this world get brighter. It has no cause except itself. I can arrest alcoholism by not drinking – this one’s a harder nut to crack.
Meanwhile, I hang out the washing.