My name's Dave. I'm working on it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Pocky and Nag Champa

The full ensemble of candles surrounds me. Their lights sparkle with tiny universes and prop up my bones. Nick Cave weaves his magic behind me, and Warren Ellis’ sorrowful violin makes circles in a dirty pond. The smoke of my incense rises across my desk and I am looking at this screen, trying to make sense of everything I’m thinking and feeling.
I am against the idea of new years’ resolutions, as I’ve said, but this time of year does make me wistful and think of all the things I have to be thankful for. There is so much; I couldn't name it all if I tried. So many people who have helped me get to where I am, so many little things that have pushed me in the right direction. I am thankful for the friends I have, especially Ryan. I am thankful to have my strength, and for all the writers and musicians and artists who have sent their creations out into the world, year after year. I am thankful that I am sitting here at my desk eating pocky and drinking jasmine pearls tea while nag champa smoke floats in front of my eyes. That I again have a supply of my elixir of life in my cupboards. That I am content to live a simple life. That I am so goddamned fucking lucky.
I feel support from everything around me. All my music and books and candles and letters from friends. They sustain me and keep me going. Especially the books and records. I take them as signs that I cannot give up. Each new cd or book or painting is a push to me to keep on moving. For it goes both ways: they support you, in hopes that you will create things that will eventually support others. How many times has my life been saved by a song that could just as easily not have been written and recorded? How can we measure such things? I imagine all the things I might one day do, how they might do the same for others. It may be a bit overly simplistic, but I see all creative endeavors as working in this way: people helping each other survive. Those who create at once help me get by, and push me to contribute to the circle. Whether it is stated explicitly or just implied, every record I hear or book that I read is whispering to me: Write. Draw. Play guitar. Anything. Just do something. I feel I owe it to them, and to myself, to give something back to the world that has sustained me so many times. My first draft of a novel continues to collect dust, and I know what I have to do.
I am so thankful to have come to this point. I have a long way to go, but I am not afraid to throw myself into it anymore. I feel I have something to prove. I look in the face of each crazy, insurmountable task and grin. Whatever it is, I won’t back down. It will probably hurt like hell and I’m mad for even attempting it. But that’s the idea. How else can you approach life? It is going to kill you, after all. So strap on your boots and look up at the shitstorm flying your way and take a shot of New Deal and just savor the fact that it’s stupid and probably suicidal and there’s nothing you’d rather be doing.

I pick up my pen and prepare to fight.

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