Feb 23

Absences happen in our lives-short or extended. For unknown reasons certain elements become lacking. These may or may not be readily apparent: a person we know, a place we frequent. Occasionally, though, the absence is something inner, some part of us that was felt fully once and has seemingly retreated into darker and unknown recesses. It may be gone forever or merely latent as it was before we discovered its being. I’ve known people who have been passionately engage in an activity: a sport or hobby-perhaps even to the point that the talent they exhibit gets attention and serious discussion is had about their accomplishments in their field. I’ve known people who, after briefly attaining whatever point of mastery they considered acceptable, suddenly withdrew, sometimes dropping the once beloved effort altogether or reducing its importance to a negligible status.

For reasons that are unclear to me, I stopped writing, stopped keeping a blog. As any writer who associates with other writers knows, this is a mortal error. Write, write, and write, no matter what. This is a mantra, a law of our kind, unbreakable, unimpeachable. No one questions whether or not pausing is something that, perhaps should be accepted. Not writing constitutes a failure of some sort: a missed opportunity, a period of time where the skills we have worked so hard to hone might become flabby, unbalanced and inelegant. Certainly, there were times when I wrote continually, with demented intention. During such spates I felt as though my efforts were segueing with a higher reality from which art depended, interfacing with the numinous spaces wherein what dwelled could only be spirits of inspiration. These spirits, Muses, informed my efforts as they do anyone with the proper devotion and any man who is honest will acknowledge them, admitting openly that there is no way the work came solely from his rough and animal hands.

To take a pause from such efforts seems to indicate a hesitation in love, a failure in true devotion-a transgression that, however minor will be punished. We fear our talents are slighted, that whatever progress made slouches and we fall back. Or do we? Perhaps instead, by taking pause we feel the rhythms in ourselves and the world around us. Writing, as any art, is at least in part a derivative of experience. What is in our lives, whether we are aware of it or not, evokes itself in whatever we create. This may seem obvious, but taken to its fullest conclusion, this means that there must be breaks and there must be silences. We take from within and show it from without ourselves, but to do so in a manner that is consistent with our efforts and designs: the creation of something that is worthy of having been created, we must perforce take pause. And so, many months have passed since my last writings. The inner voice doesn’t merely sleep when we give it rest-it dreams.


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