The Mortar Between the Bricks
I have been writing less and less, and not just in this space. I used to keep hand-written notes littered through my pockets and in bags and inside books. I've often blown my nose on napkins I found in my coat that are scribbled with lines of poetry or notes about thoughts I was having over coffee. Now it has been months since I found any notes to myself.
My brain is usually a whirring and engaged thing. It sees, it narrates, it folds things together. It puts two seemingly mismatched ideas next to each other to see if they can find some surprise magic. Lately, though, it's tired.
I think I might be depressed? This could be the thing. It feels bigger, though, like I've moved on from some place (X), and now I find myself at a new place (Z), and it feels like I've been somewhere in between one end and the other of this journey (Y), but I can't rightly recall or find the shape of Y, let alone put my finger exactly on where X was or what this Z place is about, and I need a longer alphabet, because I'm still moving.
I thinking I'm stuck in what I think of as a storyteller's dilemma. I not only want to tell you about X, Y, and Z, but I also want to be able to tell me about them. I want to narrate them, package them, stick everything in its place so that I can point to the rising action, climax, and denouement and sail in quite tidily to some kind of resolution.
A traditional storyline would make it easier to tell. It would make life easier to understand. Finding that storyline would allow me to turn my experiences into a quantifiable equation. This + this ÷ that - something + whathaveyou = the wherefore of my existence.
I'm pretty sure this is unhealthy.
Life is circular and multi-spiralled, the mortar between the bricks, the stories that build the helix we call Meaning. The stories themselves are not linear, and no absolute truth can lie on a plane, but we use this blunt arithmetic of language and grammar to create an alchemical shift which allows us at least a peek, some kind of sensible entrance, to the love and the meaning held by this fathomless universe.
I was digging through my archives recently, cleaning out the detritus of ten years inside this blog, an activity I am now pretty sure I should have hired a therapist to walk me through, and I wondered where my stories went. I felt like my heart dropped deep when I couldn't point at when this happened, or why this happened.
It's not just being tired, though. It's also not knowing what can be told and how to tell it. Over ten years, as much as I have laid many things bare, I have kept much more close and quiet. My truest stories, the deepest of both the lovely and the dark, are still untold. The things that have most moved my existence and informed my decisions remain still, caught on this side of the keyboard.
Knowing this made my archives look, to me, like a laundry list of symptoms all circling points I would not, could not, should not talk about, at least not then, at least not yet. My archives looked like an absence of story to me.
This is not the truth of the matter, I know. There are stories everywhere. I have told some of them.
No absolute truth can lie on a plane.