Saturday, August 05, 2006

questions for a later date

How do I want to grow today?

This is the question I asked myself this morning. And it came to me that I just wanted to let today happen, with no effort to put a framework around it, no trellis for my struggling vines of accomplishment.

I want today to come to me like waves to a shore. I look over my notes from this week, my writings and scribbles, notes found on the kitchen table, the typewriters, the notebook on my bed.

One thing I see is the movement of questions over time.

Now, it happens that I love questions. Of answers, perhaps, I am not so fond, although when I was younger they probably seemed important.

It seems to me there are probably few answers, and maybe there’s a mathematical formula for this (X number of questions, but only Y “true” answers, where “true” is a possibility). The answers are neither quick nor easy; it they are, it’s a question to leave at home boxed up in the closet when I mentally or otherwise travel through the day.

Here are some questions I found this week, in various conversations:

B: well…what is baggage, anyway?
H: Baggage…is anything that keeps you from being close to yourself.

B: what is your preferred method of communication?
H: A nudge in the morning.

Theresa: But where am I going, and why?

Personal writing questions:

What thoughts and readings act as a fertilizer for my writing?

Can I get to my authentic thoughts more clearly, more quickly going into the deep of the coal mine of myself, or ensuring the hot water drips through the bold coffee grinds to arrive at an authentic, bold brew?

What if I just kept a writing diary, without comment or judgment, of what I’m writing, what inspires me, with no thought to an “other”?

How can my writing help me feel…connected? And what does this mean?

Someone asked me this week if I write for entertainment. Here’s a question I can answer easily. The answer is no. I write for enlightenment, discovery, truth, transcendence, meaning.

The rest is just “stuff.”

It is…as my friend said…"baggage."

Maybe the questions come in to the shore like waves, some with whitecaps, some barely noticeable.

I do think I am in love with questions. Answers, maybe not so much. But I love the asking.

What is a good question?

What’s your favorite question, or one that you may be mulling over right now?

Well, this shore is getting a bit lazy as the noonday sun moves overhead. Do take care, be well, and be good to yourself.


Theresa Williams said...

Beth, I enjoyed this entry very much. I think when we look back on our writing lives we can distinguish certain sequences. I.e. The Divorce Sequence, The Death of a Parent Sequence, The Health Crisis Sequence, The Lover Sequence, The Poor Me Sequence, and etc. I think maybe I'm moving into my "Mystical Sequence" now. My readings take me to writers who looked for the same things I'm looking for. Theodore Roethke is really big for me now. This summer I've read four books about him (or by him). Praise Amazon! I've been able to find the best books on Roethke at rock bottom prices, many of them out of print. If I pick up a book and I don't feel something like a current of electricity running from me to the book and back again I lay it aside and pick up another. I like Roethke because he was this big bundle of contradictions. He looked for God but didn't believe in God. He wanted a mystic's experience but questioned the search. He questioned EVERYTHING. It's quite amazing to trace his various sequences, from the tentative work when he was influenced by mostly women poets to his phase when he let go of pretty words and went for the good, meaty Anglo Saxon words, the one or two syllable ones that created velocity and movement. As you keep saying, Beth, the answers aren't all that's the questions!

Paula said...

"Someone asked me this week if I write for entertainment. Here’s a question I can answer easily. The answer is no. I write for enlightenment, discovery, truth, transcendence, meaning."

This really resonates with me. Something to chew on. Thanks.

Erin said...

Beth--great entry!

I especially like this question/answer:

"How can my writing help me feel…connected? And what does this mean?"

My current questions are--

--What drives person X, Y, or Z to leave bed in the morning? What defines reality? When that definition is muddled, how does a person clear the water once more? OR, is it more useful creatively to live with the muddle?
--Is there any such thing as casual conversation? If so, what (if anything) is its importance?
--What is growth? Can anything survive without it?

V said...

Beth, Congrats on the publication of your article!
Woo Hoo!

McFawn said...

I like the idea of a day without specific purpose. I think a shameless idleness is noble, and ambition-by-clockwork is far from admirable. "Improving" oneself can often be just a cover for narcissism. Sometimes, just recording impressions can be better than wresting an impression from the Self with a capital S. Much like your image of waves crashing over you...