All night

Tuesday May 15, 2007 @ 12:11 AM (UTC)

Right now, I am not working. I am not creating, synthesizing, planning, doing anything that will help or advance the work I have to do before today. And yet, I cannot go to sleep, cannot watch a movie or take a bath, anything whole-heartedly self-serving, self-feeding. It is obvious that I feel, beneath the me that makes rational judgments, that these moments, these wasted moments on the path to work, are also work.

How so? Is it ground so thoroughly into my psyche that work is pain, that pain is holy, that self-sacrifice is holiest of all? So that when I hold myself away from the simple, ineffable pleasure of sleep, every second of that self-denial counts, somehow, on a scale I don’t even believe in? Another minute wasted, burned like an offering.

How ridiculous, this idea that work is pain. It can be, and is sometimes, even when you love your work as they tell us artists must. But when it comes to you, when you slip between the minutes and find your place, you are happy and productive and all-powerful, and you are both surprised and not when the car starts across the street and draws your eyes to the sunlit window, when you realize it is now today. Will this minute I have burned with you lure the work closer? Can I find a way to simply pull the state of work down on me, over my head like a quilt against intruding sunlight? Or must I always, as I do now, work ever closer to it, brushing away the minutes that lie between me and living?


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