I will say nothing at all


[Turner]


It's now so long between posts. I tried this morning to sit down and write something out, but it turned loose and unstructured and so I shuffled it off to that other place where I write. I still question the separateness -- why write in two places? Why not write in one place in many ways? But then I began writing something else here, something which I will work on and complete tomorrow, for that is the plan.

I spent today constructing proof after proof. I find that they are coming swiftly now, a truly learned skill. I also spent the day strumming my new, borrowed guitar. Playing the simple chord progressions of the songs that haunt my mind and my twilight hours.

And I also reopened Time Regained, but it was too soon. I have these markers in my mind which stand to serve as guideposts -- it is not yet time for a return to artwork, to the creative process. First I must finish this work on love -- funny phrase. But there is Musil's story to complete, and I wonder what I can see about it now, now that my gaze has changed. But it's frustrating -- I can't find footing here, here amongst these literary words. How did I find my footing with Woolf, I wonder? I read her diaries, of course. And so I gather Musil's diaries, gather his short essays and non-fiction, prepare myself to study. And I fail. There is so little mental energy left. So little after these professional forays into papers that I will promptly forget. I've written of this before, lamenting my current state, and so I won't repeat that again.

But it really does require something utterly different -- to read a story that is. To try and understand a story is to try and gain access to the lyrical validity, to try and immerse oneself in the climate created by a text. To immerse. It's impossible to read and maintain some professional detachment. But perhaps that's true only for me, or, rather, true only for certain texts. And I remember struggling to find this place of immersion before, with Proust and when my mind was benumbed with legal intricacies and a burgeoning social life. And it happens again, though now it is 'philosophy' which drags my mind away. I am realizing now that what I used to call philosophy is something utterly different. I made the student-mistake of believing that philosophy really was about learning to live one's life well. And I continue to make it every day that I maintain my distance from this field, every day that I maintain my skepticism.

And the great irony is that one can do this new philosophy 'well' and never for a moment assent to it. And this is why I now see my time here as professional training -- technical training. It will be learned, absorbed, made habitual and promptly lost. But I'm young still, and perhaps this is just necessary field work.