Thursday, July 16, 2009

Scattershot Thoughts Of Change

AS I NARROW in on my big move to Bernal Heights, as I'm about to slough off an awkward, stilted and oppressive living situation and be only two blocks away from my wonderful place of employment, I wonder what will motivate me, as a human, a friend, a lover, a writer, a son, a non-combatant, a pedestrian, a reader, in the months to come. (Among the other identities I'll have to flesh out as circumstances arise, as things ebb and flow.)

ANOTHER identity is "worker" and, now that I'm in the only field I'm qualified for but making less money than I've made in a long time while remaining HAPPY in what I'm doing, is this then my CAREER or as close to it as possible? IT's the only time that I've COME back to a trade that I had done before, in this case when I worked at Logos Books 6 years ago.

A YEAR ago I would have said I was in uncertain waters, which I was. THAT I had made a sudden move to a strange place full of strange people. (THIS place, called The Excelsior I have tried to document, write about and understand, with certain degrees of success and failure.) THAT I had, in my decision making acted largely out of fear, anxiety and the need to settle again. THAT I had made a very difficult life decision prior to that one, one that still often haunts my waking thoughts. AND that perhaps creatively I didn't have a foreseeable outlet after the decision was made. THE last part was the most ridiculous conviction, thankfully.

OK, so let's finally determine then that now, a YEAR later I know what I want to "do with my life", as if life is putty you get in a kit but the instructions are in Gaelic and the "example" they show you in the drawing of what your putty is to become is of an Iberian fortress near the Tagus River that's been rained on with flaming arrows, so just figuring out what "to do" with your putty becomes this anxious, tactile adventure.

I CAN say, smugly, staidly, that life has no instruction manual, which is funny, because one of my favorite novels translates as "Life: A User's Manual" by Georges Perec.

WHAT I, above all, want to continue to enshrine is that life's purposelessness is fertile ground, and not cause for grief and woe, but a HOLY disorder of sorts that stories are made out of, stories that become lineages, families, next of kin, new rivers for blood to flow in.

THE addiction to literature proves this out.

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