Thursday, February 01, 2007

Adequacy

Ok, I just had a mini revelation. I don’t talk about it here much but our son died almost eight years ago. He was one of a set of twins. But that isn’t the revelation. I was just sitting on the closet floor (the box holding his stuff is too big to move and I noticed the silver cardboard of the box within) rereading some of the cards assorted friends and family sent us after he died. (Always send a card btw, they are helpful even years after.) What the revelation was and how it is related to my writing, is that several of the cards said, “…words are so inadequate”. And in a time like that they might feel like they are failing the event. They aren’t but that isn’t the revelation either. What the revelation was is that I really want my words that I write to not be inadequate. I think I want them to be the words that should be said. I know the reader may or may not have the experience I hope to achieve, heh, I have been on the internet enough to know that isn’t the case. I have been thinking about success in writing. Not financial, or anything like that, but the slow judgment of adequacy. I think my writing resumed after his death as a way to structure my thoughts. I want to be able to use words to pinpoint exactly what I want to say. Now about anything, but initially his/our situation. It is a honing in maybe, a microcosmic peering in at the macro. I think that is especially why poetry draws me now. I think success in poetry is success in that.

Anyway, that is the revelation. Please excuse the parenthetical abuse. Have a great day!

4 comments:

  1. Nice reading. Best of luck!

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  2. Great post, V. Very thought provoking. I think you might enjoy the following quote by the Aussie poet, Kevin Hart:
    "Poetry is an experience of limits: it travels along the borderlines of what can be named and what must be left unnamed. It does not betray these border: it respects their mystery and complexity. The best conductor of mystery is clarity. The true bearer of complexity is simplicity."

    I like your ambition that your writing be adequate. One thing that saddens me is when an adequate writer or,one with the potential to be adequate,stops writing because he/she is rendered
    creatively paralysed by a noble quest for perfection. I believe that if you work hard and strive for adequacy, from that constant struggle for adequacy will be borne excellence and from that, eventually, perfection-or something close to it. I mean,really, if you consider the world-wide history of writing, especially poetry, the amount of works that even come anywhere close to perfection are pretty miniscule.

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  3. Thank you David. I don't know that poet but will check him out.

    Your comment strikes home, because lately I have had a hard time writing anything, anywhere. I will wait it out, and muddle forward, but my goal is solid I think. I know what I am, and what I am not so that in a way makes it clearer. What I will do with that, I don't know. On the other hand, I have seen improvement in my writing. That pleases me to no end!
    Vicky

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