For quite some time now, I've had no hope. I've had no motivation, no desires, no hope at all. I moved through my days without really caring what I did, where I went, or even if I went anywhere at all. In fact, I haven't gone anywhere in over six weeks. My days have become routine, and even though I've been working on a new story, and have written 30 pages of it so far, there's been little to keep me going. I've become linear in some ways, linear and inefficient, which is a horrible way to be.
Now I'm realizing, as I've realized in the past, that hope is simply another art. It's simply a choice we have, a way of mythologizing ourselves. Do I want to be hopeful and vibrant and motivated, or would I rather stay cloistered and apathetic, plodding along with my days until the break comes and I'm published. It's all a question of what I'd like each moment to be like, each day to contain. It could contain either, anything at all really. And either way is workable. Sometimes I feel ichor flowing through my veins. Or is it some sort of ambrosia within me, lifting me so light I not only can fly but do fly. Something. Something inside of me.
And the words start to flow. Had to break through something there, as it usually is.
So: hopelessness. Yes, it's something I've experienced, for a while now. It's something I've learned to take in to my central identity: that I am a person characterized by despair and hopelessness. Certainly it's because of my failure with my parents, but it's more than that. If it were only that, it wouldn't be enough, and if it were only that, of course, I could fix that and fix everything at once. But of course it's much more. It goes much deeper. Back years, back decades. Back to elementary school, probably. Back I don't know how far. It doesn't matter much, either. I'm not going to focus on my past. The past is gone. I have memories, but I have no past.
Where was I?
Anyway, it's only been when I've been writing that this hopelessness goes away. For the past year, in particular, hopelessness has been driven away by the euphoria I feel when I write. The euphoria is the ambrosia flowing through my veins. Then I had moments of ecstasy in my writing. One moment, especially, when it was pure bliss, when my mind was on fire, like an orgasm, like a continued orgasm, lasting minutes, what we all strive for anyway but no one knows how to get there. Drugs must come close, but still there's a difference in what I was feeling. It was truly like orgasm, without the mess. Ha.
So is hope simply the feeling of bliss? Is that really what we strive for? Is all motivation simply overcompensation for lack of ecstasy? Do we know that we'll never be able to live in continual mindblowing ecstasy, and therefore we strive for something anything that could come close. Are we a world of -holics, searching for anything that will take the place of what we can't have: continual bliss?
But I think we can have it. Why not? The brain must be hardwired for it.
So what am I saying: that hope is what I'll regain when I've figured out a way to achieve perpetual orgasm via my writing?
No. That was just a tangent. It's hard to understand how I get on tangents like that.
No. Something deeper is wrong. There's something else that's been missing in my life. Motivation for learning. I haven't been motivated for learning as I always had in the past. I've finally been able to write, but I lost something else along the way. Art for art's sake kind of vanished within me. The whole idea blew up. Anything for anything's sake became difficult for me. Writing the exception, because the need to write supercedes all other thought in me. Aside from writing, everything got to the point where it had to have a reason.
I am tired of reasons. I don't need them. Ironically, I never needed them in the past. I floated around, reasonless, and without reasons I had no fears. There's a deep courage in me, but there's also a wellspring of fears. They vie for control of me. I wonder if that's the way it is with everyone.
I haven't typed this fast in a long time. This is a good thing.
There's something calming about texture. I've incorporated that idea into my story, too, the way that natural things have texture. Toys have no texture. Trees and animals are all texture. Nature is something we want to touch and smell and taste and feel. We want to bring all of our senses to it. The computer is a poor substitute for meeting people face to face, because via the computer we can't smell each other. We can't see the bumps in each other's faces. We can't smell each other's breath. We can't see the tea stains on our fingernails, where we divine our futures.
So I have my fears, just as you have yours. But there's something about my fears that feels so unreal, so manufactured, so recent. I don't remember being afraid when I was a child. I had fears, certainly. In many ways I was a coward. But they were different types of fears; they were anxieties. No, wait. They weren't anxieties. Maybe. I don't know now. The problem is, they're not easily characterizable. I didn't worry about things. Worry was a more recent feeling. And now, I'm once more beyond most worry. I'm fearless again, because I've been deeply suicidal. It's made me not care what happens. I imagine scenarios in my mind where I risk my life, all the time, each day in fact I'm imagining scenarios where someone threatens me and I couldn't care less about it. I laugh. I say fuck you, go ahead and shoot me. It makes no difference one way or another, because I've shot myself a million times in effigy already. I already know the way the bullet will feel as it rams against my skull and bursts through the back of my head. What do I care about your gun? It's your own toy, your own insecurity, and why should I fear what you are afraid of?
So I no longer worry about things like that.
And I've been wondering about leadership. Are leaders those who are so nonlinear and so beyond worry because they are suicidal? Because it makes no difference to them what happens, and yet they aren't desperate like you'd expect. No, their suicide is deeper. It's a thoughtful suicide. A strength in suicide. They know they don't care and somehow are able to use that to control other people and to control situations. It's not a recklessness. In fact, it's something that appears wholly rational. To look at a leader, one would only see strength and vibrancy and caring. Is it paradox for me to believe that leaders are the most heartless of us all? So heartless that they've gone full circle. Is it possible to be so uncaring that one reaches a point of caring about everything?
I think it is possible. When I write, I feel that. When I write, I care about my characters so deeply. And in doing so, I must be living out something. To have an experience is to feel it, I would think. In other words, if my characters can be something, aren't I, too, being that thing. If my character can care, don't I also care?
This is too convoluted, and it starts to become just words.
I'm one of the most "shut down" people on the planet, and yet I feel so capable of feeling. I feel almost gifted with feeling. So there's another full circle thing. I'm heartless and apathetic and uncaring, and yet I care so much that I have to protect myself from feeling or it can destroy me. It's always like treading a tightrope. Only in my writing do I achieve the courage of balance. It's strange to have no emotions at all and yet to see something and feel my heart melting. How can both these things be? Yet they are.
So yes. I'm hopeless. But I know what hope feels like. I have no motivation, but I know what it is to be motivated. I care about very very little but know what it's like to care. And maybe it's that I care too much. I'm afraid of nothing, yet I act as if I'm afraid of everything. I have this power within me to hurt people. I wonder if it's something we all have, yet I feel it deeply, that I could really damage people, badly, horrifically. To shut down entirely is a safeguard against it sometimes. Still, why should I care if I hurt people? I hurt them anyway.
What's happening right now, though you can't see it in my writing at the moment, is that I'm sampling someone else's life. Deep inside of me, working without my conscious direction, though I'm fully aware of it, is a sampling process. I know another way of being, another way of thinking and living and writing. I'm trying it out, internally first. It will come out in my writing soon, and maybe it will even come out in my living. I know this other way of being because I've already experienced it partially. In grad school, especially, I was this other way. My writng in grad school reflects this other way, to some degree. Not entirely, because the environment in grad school, though it should have been right for it, was not. This other way of being is a way I've wanted to be...forever, perhaps. For over a decade, at least.
It's a staring upwards, while thoroughly grounded. More grounded than I've ever been. Grounded not in literature and thought but in friendship, in comaraderie. That I haven't had in a long time. No. There's some sort of balance there. I know what it is. Can't yet communicate it.
Whatever. I'm being vague. I have to, though, when I go through these sampling stages. Sometimes I can sample someone at once, because they are simple, and because I've already imagined what it must be like to be that person. This case is different, though, because it's something I've wanted to achieve, and have been unsuccessful in achieving, for so many years. I've gone about it the wrong way. I think I know, maybe not fully consciously but still somehow I do know, how to achieve it now. Maybe I needed this year of writing to get there, to be receptive to it. I feel more open than I've been before. More tuned to the stars and planets, perhaps, to their signals flitting above our heads all the time. I sense the color green more deeply than ever before, and maybe it's the green that drew me there, viscerally. My new story is full of the color green. It's a...what's that word? What's that word Mann uses? Theme or something...but in music...motif, but that's not the word, either. Hmmm...leitmotiv? Is that what I'm looking for? I have a feeling the word I'm looking for is slightly different, but I can't remember now.
Where was I?
Oh, that's right. Hopelessness. The whole idea of "hope" is chimera. I'm tired of defining things. I never used to worry about such things. I'm going to forget about it now.