I've been doing some of that inevitable, silly New Year Syndrome thinking, mainly about my writing and what I hope to accomplish in the near future. Aside from the more concrete goals, lingering in me also is a kind of desire to express myself more authentically than I ever have. I don't know how common this is for other writers, but somewhere between what's in my head and the words that actually get written, there's always a filter keeping the piece I'm writing from being organically "me". It's of me, obviously, but I've begun to feel that's not enough.
And then, strangely, I came across the poem "Ethics" by C.K. Williams:
"I want to act not because I've coerced myself to,
but because I'll have responded from the part of myself
that precedes will, residing in intrinsic not projected virtue."
Which more or less nails my point. But I wonder how easily any of us could go about even bringing to the surface that buried part of us acting in a way that "precedes will." It requires, I would think, an ability to exist in one's own head and strain out any consciousness of how those around us think and function (as if writing isn't already a lonely enough job).
I mean, even to stop and consider everything that influences our thoughts and actions on a daily basis - books, advertising, other great (and, unfortunately, not so great) human minds, the severity of rush hour traffic - is overwhelming. I hit up a damn Wendy's, the other night, just because I saw their ad on TV. Filters aren't just created by us, but everything operating around us, so I think it'll be a challenge to block them without a Thoreau-like effort to remove myself from society.
And then there are the things that positively influence creativity, like nature, that you wouldn't necessarily want to excise from your brain. But I suppose it's easy to be more accepting of that imposing on your thoughts and actions, nature being, you know, natural and stuff.
"I have no wish to be good, or pure - inconceivable that -
but I wish not to have to consider who I am or might be
before I project myself into quandaries or conflicts."
All I know is I'm ready to stop composing poems about others' thoughts on cats and start writing ones about my hatred of cats.
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