Monthly Archives: March 2015

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The ember 19,186

I really enjoyed doing this erasure, though I probably obsessed over it for way too much time, and I think that’s where I struggle the most with things like this. Making permanent choices is rather hard. Yet I can always simply find this speech online and reprint it if I want (or take a quick photo before I erase). It makes me wonder what this act would have meant 30 or 40 years ago, when it was not so easy to find and reproduce whatever the original piece was. I actually ended up blacking out a couple more lines after I took this photo which I think I like better, but my phone died before I could take a picture of that one.

Additionally, congratulations to Meredith for placing 2nd in the R. Windley Hall writing competition for her hybrid piece! While I’m talking about you, Meredith, I’ll go ahead and comment that I really loved your interpretation of the white out choice!

 

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Sometimes I Lose Faith

I want to write this in numbers, but I’m really resisting that right now. Numbers are easier to read, and they work for our hybrids. However, what I need to say doesn’t need numbers, so I guess I’ll refrain from list-making.

Writing is painful. The Hybrid was painful. I am convinced that the only things I hold inside my brain that are worth writing about are painful. I can’t be certain that is true, but it has been so far for me. and fuck, I write a lot.

So sometimes I lose faith. I lose faith that it matters. If I keep writing, does it mean anything? It requires so much vulnerability, which is beautiful to read–I am grateful to Maggie Nelson and Claudia Rankine and Halina Duraj and all of these amazingly generous people. The thing is, I’m not them. I am not a prolific writer, and I can’t hope to attain their level of ability. I don’t even think I want to be a writer, so what am I doing? I feel like a criminal every time I inadequately try to capture my memories and thoughts, recreating false imitations and compromising their fidelity. Every time I write down a memory or an emotion, I inevitably tame it. I try to convince myself that it’s better that way, because other people can understand it. At that point it has lost it’s truth–at least, the only truth that mattered. The more I write, the more I show others my writing, I realize that I’m even more isolated in this brain than I thought.

A brain who, if writing this tomorrow, in a different emotional place, would claim that writing actually creates community, and allows us to connect more fully. because fuck it, Emerson was right, “our moods don’t believe in each other”. Should that not bother me? It does anyway. At least if I don’t write, I could start to feel a little more sane, right? Life is beautiful, but I think tragedy is beautiful too. That doesn’t mean I want my life to be tragic.

So please, if someone can lend me some hope, I don’t know why I lose mine so much. Talk me down from the (metaphorical) ledge. Even though I’ll be okay tomorrow, lie to me and tell me that it matters that I’m not right now. Tell me why the pain of writing is worth it.

 

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