Fragment 1: A Meditation on Work

Reads: 244  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
I had been reading a bit from The Book of Disquiet while also putting off studying for a midterm. Those two accidents combined to form this weird strip of pseudo-intellectual prose.

Submitted: October 13, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 13, 2014

A A A

A A A


In some romantic understanding of my functionality, I imagine my own mind to be the author of my work. The process is direct, undiluted. There is some transition between my mind at rest and my mind in practice, and the product is, as far as one may casually investigate, the demonstrable progeny of what I have undertaken to do. It is as a broken streetlight, producing itself in fits of genius: stages of bold and inspired illumination, betrayed by moments of unexpected cessation of purpose, and a weak half-light which attempts a pitiful marriage of the two. But this description begins to feel artificial the more I think about it and knead it into my understanding. It seems an art of epic convention: the mind is a demigod, or a deranged hero prone to an indecisively destructive personality, fighting itself for its own success. Bah, a contrived art! that should paint my work as a trophy, call it a true recompense for struggle. It is supposed to be an alleviation of the guilt of this struggle, so that I should not fear and preclude the next task I shamelessly and unrightfully volunteer to be an expression of my adroit mind.

As I sit in the stasis of my living room, interrupted every so often by the soft clap of hands against a wooden desk or a gentle whisper of fingertips on the walls (is it the sounds themselves in their contrary nature which allow for my perspective?), I recognize this conflict of mind that troubles my work. I see it in the lights as they crusade against each other for a presence about me. A sallow and stoic moonlight creeps furtively against the windows, as the dully proud lamplight screams like a marauder into the corners of the room, wresting control from the meek, unimposing lights of a neighbor’s home, and all the while a ghastly serenity hangs over them all--a formless glow of satiate reds and pinks, borrowing its brightness by swallowing itself, chewing the blues and greens in its cords (they barely make it past the bulb). These colors vie for some kind of shape, an Expressionist’s impotence, and I see myself not in the struggle but in the existence and form. They are locked by my own decision in their plight, they do not choose their merit. They do not ask to be made alive and vibrant, to clash unapologetically against themselves. So too my mind.

A mere function constructed: old bulbs blink in and out, a process of accidental succession and sedition. I do not begin my work with the thirst of mind, but in the want of thirst. It necessitates a period of beginning-to-work, of moving until I feel moved myself. I eat the words of Pessoa and Elliot, even Milton on a strange night, and the ingestion is a birth to something which is not my control. Words fall to paper like loose pines in the breaking autumn--absent, directionless, but intentional. My mind is not a conglomerate conquest of lights but a light in itself, blinking fruitlessly against a garden of suns. I am eclipsed by my own devices. And some nights, I must cede my thoughts to paper, or to the pillowcase. The choice never quite seems my own. I do not deserve the derivation of my work.


© Copyright 2019 Kean Flynn. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments: