“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.” ~ Franz Kafka
Too much ink has been spilled on the following topic: why do I write? Yet having been silent in this space for some time, I find myself asking, why do I not?
Actually, I’ve been writing a great deal, just not here. I have a job that requires me to write at least forty hours a week. (Should I taxonimize technical documentation as ‘writing?”…Certainly not with a straight face.) While work has knocked some of the intellectual and creative stuffing out of your humble narrator, it’s hardly an excuse to go quiet for months on end.
Maybe I had nothing to say…
Frankly, I feel as though my inner landscape’s frozen; too numb to spare a thought for an axe. Of course, Mr. K has a lot more to say on the subject than the fragment I just abused, and anyone who’s read a bit of Herr Kafka would have just cause to roll their eyes at my half-assed invocation.
They would, anyway, if I ignored his larger point, which is this – literary events should stun us like a disaster or death. For Kafka, anything less than a liminal experience was not only a waste of time and intellectually dishonest.
Of course, this particular point of view came from a writer determined to destroy most of his work before it ever saw the light of day; a tough bar to meet. Yet the spirit of this nearly unattainable ethos is admirable.
A tad dramatic, but it resonates with me. If what you consume or create isn’t dangerous and raw, than how can you possibly expect to crack those dark depths?
Let me go wandering in search of those narratives which make me grieve. It is time to threaten my comfortable isolation.
Let the waters run black until, once again, they pulse red.