I think I used to write to see if I could – to see if I had a voice or sounded any different from my peers. In short I suppose: to see what I could come up with.
The first time I wrote, or really felt the power of the written word was as a young adolescent. I remember having written something particularly transgressive and staring at the page. These thoughts that I had earlier kept secret were now open to the world, they were in some ways incarnate, given life. I felt myself in some ways a deviant, but at the same time, that a world had come to life.
I think I’ve returned to this particular pleasure often. I don’t know if I ever wrote out a need to release anything, if I ever felt that writing was a particularly cathartic act. Maybe it is for some, but I’ve never felt that I needed to write for those reasons – rather quite the opposite.
I wanted to write for “no one”. I wanted to be a posthumous writer.
Some of the greatest pleasures of writing have come out of a feeling of moving deeper into madness. An exploratory quest, to move deeper into the recesses and find any hidden passions, any lust for sin, a desire for decay, anything incorrigible – incorrigible. What was revealed, and the desire itself, was in my mind, oh so human.
To descend into madness. To lose myself in writing. To push deeper into the night. I used to describe the act of writing as simply watching words upon the page. I used to think, sometimes, that writing should be as easy as falling down the stairs.
What is writing to me now? I wonder. As I become more of a middle-aged individual, I think, something to earn a living from, a source of passive income. I wish I felt the pain of that realization a little more – I wish it was more poignant.
I used to write and say – yes – that I only wanted to find an honest word. I used to write to fill pages. I wanted to write for “no one”. I wanted to be a posthumous writer.
Yet I can’t look back on those times and see them simply as quaint, a result or product of some youthful naïveté or idealism.
I felt quite despondent recently, thinking that my life might be one without grand wagers. That I I might go through this life without having made any grand wagers.
What does it mean to cherish this life – to live fully? What could it be to slander the gift of life? Who can talk in these terms? I vacillate and find myself caught between two lies perhaps: one, the idea that nothing has meaning, and the other, that I’m all that exists.