“Each sentence hung over an abyssal ocean or sky which held all possibilities, as well as the possibility of nothing.”
Writing used to be a sensual joy. It’s more pounding now, more churning out material, wondering how to not get lost in the sea of sentences now ebbing and flowing in swift currents and tides. Structures of plays are not as fun as sentences, or at least they don’t come as easily. I guess flirting is far easier than the long haul of relationship, too.
As an artist, I’m a scavenger. What I mean is that I like to discover as I go, in brief but compelling bursts of connection. I am not now in the process of expressing a carefully planned blog post, but am instead responding to a number of things that came across my desk this morning, more in the manner of improvisation. But there’s a theme for sure, caught in the title. Possibility. Possibility is what I’m gripping as I start the work each day, and frankly, the forces of impossibility, false though they may be, are powerful. Call it resistance, evil, depression, whatever, forces are at work that make creation “feel like a real fight.”
If this life be not a real fight, in which something is eternally gained for the universe by success, it is no better than a game of private theatricals from which one may withdraw at will. But it feels like a real fight.
–William James, quoted in A. Dillard’s A Writing Life
A fight for believing the possible is…well, possible. Faith is at the heart of the divine design of the human, and faith plus action (how did we ever separate the two) moves the world. Sentences are actions, the throwing of words onto the membrane of the world’s consciousness. The vastness makes it seem futile, except that just now, you are reading, and there’s something of a connection going on. It’s a small gift to both of us, this meeting over possibility. You being here means it’s possible to be heard. Me writing the words to tell you that your voice is all possibility as well. We shake hands, and agree, and draw courage from our meeting here. And now we turn, and chase possibility again.
Or maybe no one will read, and the “abyssal ocean” will simply swallow my best efforts. Does Heaven care? Is God invested in our smallest thought? Does He need reminding to put His attention here, or there (with you), as we scavenge over a littered beach of a world, collecting the beauties caught up there? Whose idea was sentences anyway?
I continue to buy into God caring.
Fight well, fight long…