Friday, July 18, 2008

each moment gone as it comes

There's an undeniably manic-depressive element to composing (or any creation): ideas, and the energy to work on them, do not flow constantly, but splutter, sometimes disappear to the extent that one is ready to declare them extinct, then suddenly flood forth without warning, to such an extent that one struggles to catch them, and must surreptitiously scribble while keeping paperwork handy to preserve the illusion that one is getting on with the uninteresting things that are nevertheless what justify the wage that keeps the bills paid and the food stocked. Notebooks become like buckets, filled with as much of the deluge as the clumsy pen skittering across the page can manage, in hope that these fragments may provide some nourishment when the drought returns. Fecundity ought to be something to be celebrated, revelled in, but it becomes another source of anxiety: what happens if this doesn't last?

This is the root of it: to get down the ideas, as many of them as quickly as possible, while they still come. While they do come it feels as though this is the only way it could be; and the same is true when they disappear and will not come, no matter how much one may long for it.

Too much or too little; dissatisfaction; achievement. And the hope that what has been achieved will serve us through the lean times.

And what then? The hope that it begins again. And so we continue.

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