07 April 2011

Things We Didn't Say

I lean toward logic which means that math stuff comes easy enough to me. However, that does not make me a fan. I rarely do math just for fun.

I began this blog in April 2007. Today, April 07, 2011, I take a quick tally and I've posted here 101 times in the last four years. An average of two posts a month.

But there are also 95 wanna-be posts behind the scenes that only got as far as draft status. So I've written here 196 times. This makes my rate of publication about 50% and puts me up against the glass is half full or the glass is half empty debate.

I feel bad when a long time passes between my posts. I love this blog. I'm so grateful. Yet my posting frequency might indicate otherwise. I feel like defending myself here. But the dates speak for themselves.

I look back at some of the titles and topics of the unpublished 'posts' and feel some grief and wonder:

Breaking the Spell

Missing the Point

Is it 'A Wonderful Life?'

Do yourself a favor

Blog-reader Worthiness Test


Don't do me any favors

Barbie-colored Glasses

Some drafts in my blog are early versions of pieces that did eventually get posted. But there are many that stand alone and I can't figure out why they remain incomplete and unseen. Failed attempts. Maybe I'm too hard on myself.

I wonder if I were a sculptor or potter, would my unfinished pieces feel like failures in the same way that my unfinished writings feel? I imagine myself walking into my brightly lit pottery studio filled with the tools of my trade, the raw material, many pieces of my work in varying states of evolution and feeling good. Surrounded by living examples of my creative energy, complete or not. Celebrating each stage of development.

Why does writing feel different? I'm not sure. I'm not sure my writing has ever felt like art, exactly. I can make a successful argument for it but my heart would not be in it. My writing has had it's moments of creative energy but I rarely think of it as an artist expression.

Wonder swirls.

I do know that when I look upon a painting or carving or sculpture, I'm probably not likely to dismiss it by thinking, "Oh, he's just venting there. Off on a rant." Placing judgement on it with, "What an angry bitch."

I am able to feel whether I'm drawn to someones painting, drawing, clay piece, whether the energy pulls me in. Or not. But I likely will not be able to proclaim whether said artistic expression is just the artist whining about this or that.

Writing, in whatever form, poetry, song lyrics, journal entries or murder mysteries, speaks. Not always directly, but literally. It talks to you in a more specific fashion than some other art forms. You may be able to feel the emotion or energy behind a drawing or photograph but it usually will not say directly something like "My heart dances in the rain."

Now if you look upon a beautiful watercolor painting of a small girl splashing in a puddle wearing her muddy yellow Wellingtons, arms stretched wide in her shiny, wet red slicker, face turned up to receive the rain, you might fairly infer that the painter's heart indeed dances in the rain. But you might also fairly infer that the painter celebrates the spirit of childhood. Or that she has a daughter who jumps in puddles. Or that he thinks hotels in the Puget Sound area might be most likely to buy paintings that portray rain in a positive light. But you probably can't say for sure one way or another.

Taking in someones writing can also be guess work, I suppose. Trying to read into what you're reading. But somehow writing feels more vulnerable than other creative endeavors. When I look back at some of those drafts waiting to grow up, I cringe. Afraid to show them the light of day. Too honest. Too wide open. Too scary. Too angry and too sad.

Too much.