SEEKING THE POINT
May 1, 2006 11:21 pm
Essays demand certitude, and I am latitude. Nonetheless, I’m going to keep trying to write some for a while, and try to enjoy it. The problem is there are so many questions and only so much paper. Here’s what happens:
“I don’t see much sense in that,” said Rabbit.
“No,” said Pooh humbly, “there isn’t. But there was going to be when I began it. It’s just that something happened to it along the way.”
By then it’s grown unmanageably long and such a slog that I not only don’t want anyone else to read it, but I can barely muster the spirit to try and edit it—and I’m already doing it for no money.
There was a moment, very early in the writing—maybe even before the writing had found its way to paper—when I actually had the dream that the upcoming sentences might just be the ones that convince the entire world population that we need to come together on a few basic issues I am about to lay out.
“A writer is not so much someone who has something to say as he is someone who has found a process that will bring about new things he would not have thought of if he had not started to say them. That is, he does not draw on a reservoir; instead, he engages in an activity that brings to him a whole succession of unforeseen stories, poems, essays, plays, laws, philosophies, religions…”
—William Stafford, Poet and Pacifist, 1914-1993