There is no tool for digging up. No shovel for carving water out from the bottom of a pool. The current, though soft, does move. The trick is to use one’s truncheon when he’s dragged over a sand bar, when for a moment he’s closer to the surface, closer to the shore, to strike at more solid ground. It must be quick and it must be done viciously without regard for current depths. Second guessed, it sinks. Flung without thought it’s likely to find purchase, from there all there is to pull the whole weight of the ocean and oneself onto the shore.
The party was successful. The house manages to be both decorated and cleaner than it has been in months. Several guests declared they could only stay briefly, yet no one stayed for fewer than two hours.
I suppose, now that the elaborate webbing and pumpkin displays have been successfully displayed, it’s time to take them down. The pumpkins, at least, can stay in a reinvigorated form for the next holiday, which is thanksgiving, despite what stores have been shouting since october third.
The new bulbs I bought are doing well. All of my plants stationed under them have new growth. Once the Halloween decorations are all away I’ll change the last three incandescents in the front room out for the new fluorescents and said room can become a plant parlor. Perhaps I’ll actually spend time in there thence.
Writing has been difficult. I’ve not felt much like doing it, felt even less like I’ve had anything new to add. The only thing that’s prompted me to pick up a pencil or press down on keys in the last few weeks has been jealousy over the successes of others. Not even peers. Established writers. Ones who’ve been writing publicly since before I could write at all. Dead ones whose success is now meaningless. Even click baiters. Anyone with (or without) a pulse who I’ve recently read, who, regardless of merit or ability, has managed to get me to read his or her work, and therefore, as I am a picky and prickly reader, a diverse and abounding audience, has earned my ire over it. Why should I read them when they haven’t read me?
Because, as Samuel Johnson said, “the greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” Because reading, if nothing else, is fuel for writing. When it is something else, it is wonderful, and without its, any “its,” publication, I’d never have read it. Because my own difficulties are aside the rest of existence and to condemn authors for printing in supposed opulence by contrasting their publicity with my own obscurity is folly and self-indulgent, and not a little bit shitty.
I’ve had the sense of an impending end all through October, and I had no idea what it was. I now think it was not something catastrophic, but an end to my current indolence. So a month of illness and self-indulgent worrying ends. I am no happier, but I feel unfettered. Afforded no reward, but no longer bound to… to nothing, there never was a tether beyond what was in my head, something I hadn’t been able to consider until today. The invisible elephant in the room. Elephant in the mascot of American republicanism, I actually like real elephants.
Here’s to a new month, one marked by plants planted and writings written.