On a whim, I opened Twitter for the first time in months and the first thing I saw was a link to an interview with Kate Zambreno with the excerpt “I can’t speak for other writers, but you can’t let not knowing what you are doing stop you” which is exactly what I needed to be reminded of at that moment. The interview was great, and I got back to work feeling refreshed. Thanks, internet: that’s a rare win.
I’m not writing much these days. Or am I? It’s hard to say, because the words are everywhere: they wind up in little scribbles on receipts, in autocorrect-encrypted phrases on my phone, in no order whatsoever in one of three cool looking paper notebooks, as well as scattered among work in progress – a novella, a mutant short story, and half a dozen poems exhibiting every symptom of delusional thinking. But I guess that’s writing, right? Well then, I’ve been writing a good bit these days.
Back in New Orleans for a while, where all the little questions of daily life are easier to answer: it’s no big deal to blunder through the day, I know just the cheap little place to grab lunch, and I never have to look at a map. Coming home is like going on vacation.
I know I spent ten years of my life designing bridges, and that as a result I probably understand the principles behind their operation better than the vast majority of people out there, but I just saw a picture of the stunning Bixby Bridge carrying Highway 1 in Big Sur, California and was struck for the first time by the horrifying hubris of building bridges. The gall to think the ground is not good enough, that a road should vault through the air, on as little substance as possible, and remain aloft, because it takes too long to go around! Who do we think we are to build such monstrous babels?
I’ve just finished reading Mauro Javier Cardenas’s “The Revolutionaries Try Again.” It is easily the best book I’ve read this year: incredible language, beautiful structure, and completely, totally heartbreaking. Read it.
It occurs to me that I’d rather know a few people well than a lot of people poorly.
As you can see, The Restless Lens is now back up and running after all manner of disasters and dramas. Restoring, repairing and moving a website (actually four websites) wasn’t really the way I had intended to spend last week, but hey, isn’t life exciting? Now for the return to normalcy; sweet, sweet normalcy*.
*There is no such thing as normal.
The hardest part about doing what you want with your life? Never being totally sure that what you’re doing is actually what you want to do. Is it a fantasy you’re foolishly trying to live out? Are you just overdue to grow up? Who knows. I’m not even sure which is worse: being impulsive or over thinking. Self doubt, it’s a doozie.
Just setting up the new site. I’m liking it.