Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Handful of Dust

"What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust."
--T.S. Eliot, "The Wasteland"

Coming out of the long sleep. Almost a year: I have not been literally asleep, rather in abeyance. The self that is me has been curled up tight, perhaps undergoing some kind of metamorphosis, perhaps only waiting for some moment in time, this moment. I think this moment, yet I have no idea what makes this moment different from any other.

I know dissatisfaction with my life. This is something I have not known for long and long, though I have not really had a life for the past year or more. Only a waiting, an existence. A space of time during which I have had the barest consciousness of myself and the world around me.

Now I come to myself and I find myself dissatisfied. I am bored, restless and cranky. I want more. Yet I still feel very little connection with anything. I reach for connection, and I know only the sickness of fear.

It started, I think, with the reading. At first I was glad to be reading, because I had not been able to do even that much for a very long time. Now I have been doing little but reading for several months. And I begin to recognise the old hunger. I am tired of reading, of being a witness to things in which I have no real part. I want to create again.

And so, I turn my eye to writing once more. I have spent the last couple of weeks reading everything I have ever written. At first I felt nothing at all. I saw dead words that did not move me. I scanned novels of a few pages or half finished, and did not remember what they were supposed to be about or why I should care.

Then I began to feel a stirring in my belly. Not inspiration: fear. A throwing up fear.

I do not know what this fear is about. It refuses a name.

I wanted to say more about this, but at the moment there is nothing more to say.

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