I have not been in a communicative state of mind lately.

I have been marshaling my resources around my own head. In fact, between work, the note-stage and this space (soon to reach 700 posts), I am not much in the mood for talking.

I take my thoughts from one pocket; put them in another. Where others would answer, I nod and smile. I fear that I am not being a very good friend. Or a very good human being. I parse myself stingily. One would swear that I am being paid by the word (a thing devoutly to be wished.)

These are the days of the quiet necessity. The days in which staring into the corner of a dark room is my idea of a high time. I swaddle my head in silence, and hope for exquisite clarity; sit patiently on the nest of ideas and hope to hatch the almost-thoughts in there.

I am fretting for the start of the new book; pining for the ending of the last one. In the absence of substantial forward momentum, I’ve begun reading the filled first notebook. I am surprised by the depth and richness of some of the notes there. But.

Some big pieces are missing. Some huge reasons why have not given themselves to me yet. I may chafe to get at it, but one cannot start a race before the gun. And one cannot race without a course or companions—this is not a time-trial.

The book will tell me, I say. The book will tell me what and when. I could be using this time to start sending out the previous two completed, hard-won works. I haven’t done that. I wait like a teenager waits by the phone for a call from the object of her affections. The wait is getting old.

The silence, the marshaling, is my attempt at remedy. I am entering the state of holy simplemindedness, subduing myself, humbling myself before the task. All I can do. For now.

 

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