Let’s just say that for myself, 2012 was a mirror image of the end of 2011. But I have learned certain things which might be helpful in future.
First, sometimes you have to realize when certain things are simply no longer possible. That’s me where love and sex are concerned. Physical and emotional issues make any kind of intimacy a ridiculous idea. Six hernias times depression means you don’t even consider such things ever again.
Secondly, I’m still managing to write. Every draft is a counter to what’s no longer possible. Believe me, when this is what you have to hang onto, you hang on hard because there are no other choices.
Third, I have discovered during this journey that I am incapable of suicide. If any experience would make you consider it, this is the one. But I have a survival instinct, and it simply will not let go. So I give in to survival. There’s no other demonstrable choice.
Striving: I’ve been writing, and hard. 160 drafts so far for God-knows what, but it’s a joy. Actually, it’s my favorite daily joy. I’ve been a writer since 1967 by my own personal reckoning. OK, I was 10. But one summer day as I was walking home a line occurred to me. I don’t remember it now, and most likely it’s better forgotten. Still, I held onto the idea that it was possible to make poems, especially on a certain other summer day when my mother took me to the Carnegie Library imagining that I would restrict myself to the children’s section.
I found myself facing the poetry section. I just grabbed the first book to catch my eye. It was an e.e. cummings collection. The first poem I read was “i sing of olaf glad and big,” and it shifted the axis of my life in ways I find hard to describe even now. Between that and my first exposure to Frank Zappa around the same time (Freak Out!), my course was set. I could never again trust anything that resembled the status quo.
But I wanted to write. That was what I learned that summer. And I’ve been working ever since.
My goal isn’t publishing. It’s writing. I want a huge amount of first drafts to take back home and revise. That will give me something useful to do once I get home because, to be honest, I’ve NO idea what my mindset will be like when that happens. Thereafter, I want to start trying to publish from the newest work to the oldest. We shall see.
So we arrive to 2013. I have great fears about America and Canada both. I mean, come on: the Harper hegemony continues, so I worry greatly about the country where my cats live, where I have close friends, where I’d prefer to spend the rest of my life, thank you muchly. I’m afraid for us all, quite honestly, because so much is literally on the line. And as for this benighted place….