don’t wait to be sure. move, move, move.
I’m finally learning to let go of things. I used to write everything down. I had paper bursting out of my bag, little receipts with indecipherable scribbles from edge to edge, and oh the To Do Lists. When I was six and in first grade I had what I think must have been my first To Do List that I posted on my wall, and used every morning so that I wouldn’t forget anything. It started like this: 1. Wake up.
I told some therapist once that I was so terrified of forgetting to return my library books on time that I would return them a week early, before I could even finish them, just to be on the safe side.
“What do you think might happen if your books became overdue?” she asked.
Well, I would have to pay 50 cents a day until I returned them, and I would be stricken with anxiety, and driven into insanity. Better to just stop all that free-reading, which is doing nothing for the economy anyway.
But I’m finally learning to let go of things. The things that matter are not forgotten, and if they are it doesn’t matter anymore anyway. I’ve never lost anything permanently, not anything I can recall.
I’ve been reading too much Bukowski. The problem with this is that I begin to write down snatches of poems, many of which have so many moments of lyrical perfection, and then I get worried that I might think that I actually came up with them. Once I copied that poem “The Waking” by Theodore Roethke into my journal, and later became so mortified that “someone” might read my journal and think I was trying to pass this famous poem off as my own that I added “by Theodore Roethke” beneath the last line.
I’ve been reading too much Bukowski and initially I was tempted to scribble down 20 lines an hour, so that I wouldn’t lose something like this, “and I was told by a very small man in a New York City pawnshop one afternoon: ‘Christ got more attention than I did, but I went further on less…”
But then after writing and losing and finding and losing again it seemed that with art and love it doesn’t do to wait by the phone, and staying still never did much for me anyway.