And I'm tore down a la Rimbaud
And I wish my writing would come....
--- Van Morrison, "Tore Down A La Rimbaud," from the album A Sense of Wonder (1984)
It seems I'm forever making apologies on this blog lately, but I guess yet another one is in order. The past few weeks have been chaotic and silly (and even a bit moribund), and now I'm hip-deep in end-of-year grading which includes both essays and examinations. I'm pretty sure a few of you out there are at least slightly miffed at my recent lack of communication, and for that I am sorry, except to say that sometimes discretion is the better part of dolor. (Boredom and business, I'd hasten to remind anyone with doubts, are not mutually exclusive.) I haven't even had the energy to remark on the typically silly trials and tribulations that hang, perpetually, from me like pubic hairs from Pamela Anderson's teeth. Even the latest Van Morrison effort, the country album Pay The Devil, has gone entirely without remark here, which is perhaps the clearest testament to my general indifference to expression. Email has gone by the wayside, except to deal with matters directly related to work. It has, alas, been one of those spells. I should probably not even be writing here now, marking beckoning me like misery to Mr. Beckett, except that guilt still can get the better of me. Oh, and temporary procrastination, too. To leave that out would be utterly dishonest.
There are, alas, also a number of things on the radar that bleat more than they bleep. So much to do, so little energy to do it with. (I'm temporarily allowing myself to dangle that preposition.) Worse still, I find myself more and more with less and less to say, or at least less and less anything that will either (a) matter or (b) at least seem worthwhile. These problems have tarnished my creative and critical work for some time, but they seem now even to be daunting my other forms of communication. Beyond immediate conversation, I can feel myself drying up like a worn-down rag. (Make your own wet-blanket associations as you wish.) "I've cleaned up my diction," Van Morrison once sang, adding that he had "nothing left to say." Increasingly, I am understanding what that might have meant. After all, I've been saying less and less for years, though usually in far too many words. "There is nothing new under the sun," says the Preacher from Ecclesiastes. He, of course, neglected to note that the sky was perpetually overcast. (Once upon a mid-lilfe dreary?)
This probably sounds depressed, which is by no means how I intend it to sound because it by no means reflects whatever the fark it is I'm "feeling" (G-d, what a dreadful word that has become!). The French word blasé perhaps sums things up best. Discretion, I know, is not the better part of dolor-- but what else is there when one senses there's so very little left to say? After all, didn't Mr. Beckett say it all?
And yet, knowing this, some of us still do not move.