“A man who fears ridicule will never go far, for good or ill: he remains on this side of his talents, and even if he has genius, he is doomed to mediocrity.”–E.M. Cioran
I was nervous about publishing my last post. It was a great joy to write, but I worried people might think I’d finally gone nuts. Perhaps I had hitched a ride on the hypomania train, my freak flag flying on the other side of depression.
Despite my honesty here, I’m still holding plenty back. Not all ideas find their way online. Some retire to the privacy of my journal. Others are destined to roam the hinterlands of my psyche. More than a few self-truths never emerge, but I know they’re up to no good.
Good writers generate themes; great writers develop a distinct voice. How much of blogger-Chuck is the real me? How much of poet-Chuck is the real me? How cleverly has blogger-Chuck adopted the persona of depressed-Chuck?
What do I want you to think of me when I’m nothing but a ghostwriter projecting inner shadows?
Perhaps our good friend Mr. Cioran can shed some light on the subject of secret-telling and how I should compose myself going forward:
“Write books only if you are going to say in them the things you would never dare confide to anyone.”
For fun I google E.M. Cioran: “We are all deep in a hell, each moment of which is a miracle.”
A Tumblr page contains the line, along with other solemn notes. It’s the work of a woman—a tender soul/MFA candidate professing interest in:
poetics, critical theory, semiotics, poststructuralist philosophies, anti-essentialism, misanthropy, pessimism, introversion, & solitude.
YOUR PLACE OR MINE?
This gem, under “about”:
“I had always been aware that the Universe is sad; everything in it, animate or inanimate, the wild creatures, the stones, the stars, was enveloped in the great sadness, pervaded by it. Existence had no use. It was without end or reason. The most beautiful things in it, a flower or a song, as well as the most compelling, a desire or a thought, were pointless. So great a sorrow. And I knew that the only rest from my anxiety—for I had been trembling even in infancy—lay in acknowledging and absorbing this sadness.”
— Hayden Carruth, Reluctantly: Autobiographical Essays
I’M HARDER THAN LIFE ITSELF—A TREMBLING INFANT.
I pen suggestive lyrics with her in mind:
with nectar lungs
I catch her tears
upon my tongue
my head is crowned
for sweet repose
her highness perched
atop my nose
In a dream I lie beneath her feet, absorbing sadness.
“They won’t come clean,” she says. “See what you can do.”
Chris Truman isn’t himself. He has ideas for his blog, Creative Type, but the page won’t oblige—the words won’t stick. The stories he’s been telling himself—his personal narrative—are not his own. Perhaps his mind is all made up. His life a mask—the world an insufferable ball.
We have countless ways to hide. Truman sleeps. There is something to be said for silence, the warmth of inactivity. You’re weightless in a dream, given to nonsense. A pilot with no manifest. We spend the better part of our lives asleep; the worst happens with our eyes wide open. A possible post? His family might get worried. Is Chris OK? Taking his meds?
A blog, like a psychological history, sees many revisions. Inspiration takes time. You think you’re finished before the moment arrives. Where do you think this thought is coming from? Therapists have a way with words. They’re all about self-talk. Truman never tires of writing about therapy, second only to writing.
Truman looks to the past for answers but finds his strength in question. He recalls his project—to reveal his true nature in the fictionalized account of his friend Chuck Snoad. He’ll pick up where he left off. Publish when he’s ready. His therapist might enjoy a reading. She could analyze the document. Judge its authenticity.