It’s been so long since I last posted that I forgot my password to my own blogging platform. Go figure. Writing here hasn’t been foremost (or even mid-most) on my mind, obviously. Decisions will have to be made about this blog. Pull the plug and be done with it? Transport it to another platform, hoping the move will revive it?
Who reads these kinds of posts these days, anyway, when so much more, it seems, can be had over at Twitter in 140 characters or fewer, or on Instagram, where a picture can be worth a month’s wordy posts? A symphony of voices and news from all over the world, instead of this lone voice, slightly out of tune, droning on and on.
Apropos of writing:
I’ve finished reading “Still Writing,” by Dani Shapiro. An autographed copy, though not for me. The book was a gift through an exchange at our last writing group session before Christmas. It’s a slim book, but it took me a long time to read. It’s a book about writing. I used to love reading books about writing. Felt about them like rich desserts or deep-flavored chocolates. They made all my thinking about writing creamy, sweet and so sublimely flavored with hope.
I don’t like books about writing anymore. It took a long time to get into this book and try to savor its small chapters, served up like an amuse-bouche to tease the appetite for writing. At odd moments into it, I did feel the old tinge of excitement about writing. Yes, I thought, maybe I can get back into the magic kitchen and whip up a poem or try to make a stew of that raw story I left bleeding on the counter of my imagination.
In the end, though, I have to confess that my appetite for books about writing is all but gone. At this stage of my wordy dabblings there is nothing I can learn from books about writing. And that’s not because they don’t have something valuable to teach, don’t get me wrong. Plenty savory recipes for to be had for turning words into the cake of prose, the frosting of a poem, the mixed salad of the personal essay, and so forth. But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. Which means that, for me, the only lesson in making a feast of words is to go make a mess in the kitchen. Dirty up a number of pots, spill flour on the counter, dribble oil on the floor, burn the sugar, or fail to temper the chocolate…. and then start over again, and again. Until I have a dish that’s sure to hold together in texture and taste, and better yet, to nourish some hungry soul.