Friday, May 04, 2007

One Perfect Thing

I used to believe I wanted to write one perfect thing. The perfect poem, the flawless novel. And while I think it's important to work at improving one's craft, I think I wouldn't want to create that one complete work.

If by some miracle or aberration, I was able to create that shining piece, then I would never write again.

Each word is a step toward that outcome, even as I know I cannot ever reach it. The ultimate in zeno's paradox. Each step I take enables me to write something closer and closer to that ideal.

Each step is necessary and each poem or story the right one for that place and time.

And there is something to appreciate in each one. Some facet of that ideal that is only a model, an avatar--an incarnation of an idea.

A piece of a holographic whole.

Even this is part of it. And it is just right.


  1. In fifty plus years of writing, I have a few times written something that seemed to approach that "perfect" spot, and it just made me either more confident about trying something tougher, or blocked me, once for four years. But I have never stopped writing; I don't think you would, either.


  2. Douglas--thank you. Words have always been sacred to me. Through all the parts and roles in my life, writing has been a constant companion, the place I come home to even after brief times away.

    I think there are people who write and there are writers and this intense love affair with words and the drive to write them are hallmarks of the writer.