* The Beatles: I Me Mine from the album Let It Be
It is easier said than done. What is? It. The damned thing. "And that's the damned thing!" Like my teacher Ira says his teacher Carlo used to say...
OK. Fine. Good. Then what is the damned thing? – "It depends." Which is what the clowns in Slava's Snowshow said, says Ira. But they were talking about something else, the show, the thing, not the damned thing.
And yet, of course the show depends on that. The damned thing. There's the thing, and then there's the damned thing. That's the damned thing. It all depends.
"It depends." – What? On what? Yes yes yes we know, we know – well, at least I do: there's nothing new under the sun. But it shines on, having no alternative. It's the Bible and Beckett. The Ancient Testament and the nothing new. Christ, it's obvious!
The divine individual, I recently heard someone say. Somebody? I hope so. I could be you, I could be me. Je est un autre. Rimbaud and all we really need to know about otherness. Know or recognise? Knowledge or recognition? Universe or plain verse – a song to myself?
What man? This man, that man, woe! Man. (OK man, we get it.) The damned thing, it depends. On you, me. I. Easier said than done. But I understand.
Really? Well then do it! – What? The thing or the damned thing?
The thing. You can only do the thing. The damned thing is something else. It depends on you. It is you. The thing is something else. It's just a thing. It's not you. It's something you do. You're not it. You're not what you do but it depends on you. You're not the damned thing but it's something you do. The damned thing is you when you're doing what you do. The damned thing is what you're doing when you're you.
And if you're human it's nothing new. It's you. And it could be me. Car je est un autre. And that's all for now.
I am writing this way too early in the morning of the last day of the year. Too early? Earlier than I would have wanted to. Would have wanted? I didn't want. And I didn't not want. I just woke up and started thinking.
I've lost too many thoughts to the night and to the early morning. I've lost them by not writing them down. I've lost too many thoughts by writing in my head only. Lost? Yes, I think so. Thoughts irretrievably gone. Sometimes I've thought to myself: "If I can't remember them, they can't be that important." Or: "Surely I'll remember this, it's so good."
The truth is that I don't know. I don't know the value of the thoughts I can't remember. They all came from me somehow, and perhaps that is all that really matters. They happened. But did they make a difference? Would some of those thoughts not have been good to think again? To be developed? To be taken further? To be shared with others? To see how they would fare in the world?
This is why I am writing now. And as always, what I thought I was going to write, is not what I write first. That, by the way, is a good observation for creative improvisation: knowing what to do, or start with, allows me to start with something else, but which is still connected with that something that I am going to do. I start just a little bit off the mark. Then I work around the mark, under it, over it, etc. The initial inspiration, the idea, is often just that: the initiation to something I did not have a clue about before I actually started.
So what was the thought that sparked this writing that I'm doing now? It was a series of questions I jotted down in my notebook:
Hvordan spilder jeg min tid?
Hvordan taber jeg min lyst?
Hvordan taber jeg ting på gulvet?
Hvordan får jeg ikke ting gjort?
Hvordan får jeg ikke skrevet?
Translated into English, that would be something like:
How do I waste my time?
How do I lose my desire?
How do I drop things on the floor?
How do I not get things done?
How do I not get anything written?
The questions were followed by an instruction (rather than an exhortation):
* Finde ud af dét, og gøre det stik modsatte. *
* Find out how, and do the opposite. *
And that's exactly what I'm doing now. Instead of losing the momentum, I'm using it. To write. To develop thought. To think further. Which is what writing is to me. Practical thinking.
Now what is going to happen with this? This that I write right now. This that I just wrote. This that I've been writing for the last... 20-30 minutes or so? Will I save it as yet another text file and lose it among a hundred others? Isn't that how I have dropped things – thoughts – before? By just adding them to the pile, thinking that one fine day I'll get back to them?
"One fine day I'll go through everything, pick out the jewels, dig out the gold..." That's how I've entertained a fantasy of writing. But that is not writing. That is scribbling. I've been an outstanding scribbler for too many years. It's time to write before I'm forever lost in dabbling. It's time to follow my own instructions. It's time to take myself seriously.
This is it. Instead of just putting this away in a folder somewhere on my computer (and rediscover it in two years, then forget about it again), I will make this my very first blog post. I dare myself to do it. For my own sake. To start taking some responsibility for the things I write. To see how my thoughts develop and fare in the world. In the minds of others.
As I write this, I almost cringe by the thought of actually doing what I just wrote. To publish this – THIS! – online. To make my thoughts publicly available. I do it as a provocation to myself. To get going. Or I fear I never will. Get. Going. Anywhere. Just stay here in hiding, wherever that may be – right now: my bed, actually. How fitting.
If this is the inaugural post of a blog – and it'd better be – then it will set some sort of precedent. This is the beginning of me taking responsibility of my desire to get something written. Not just to write. But to write SOMETHING. Not this that I'm writing now. But something else. That is the purpose of this blog. To keep track of where I'm going with this, as I'm going... because I won't really know until I get there. (And then what? Where do I go next?)
My blog should function like what's implied in the name. It's a web log. A captain's log. Instead of trying to write a series of perfect articles, which I have fantasized about for years, and which gets me exactly nowhere, I will use this in a very pragmatic way as "an official record of events during the voyage of a ship or aircraft" (Oxford Dictionary) – events here being significant thoughts, and... my own person being the vessel.