Things change. That’s a constant, probably the only one. People change. That should go without saying but it needs stating anyway as humans are always thinking of themselves as being outside of the general realm of “things.” And yet we are all part and parcel of this constantly changing world and there’s no escaping that. This is about change.

 

As a writer (or so I sometimes think of myself) I am also a reader. The Internet is, in Hemingway’s words, a “movable feast” of reading material. But it is a virtual feast and in that experience something always goes wanting, though there’s always something to move on to. That’s part of its allure. One link leads to another and a change of scenery is just a click away. Life isn’t quite like that and I sometimes wonder if I don’t spend so much time on the web because of that almost uninhibited virtual existence. Still, it breeds a certain skittishness, a kind of anxiety about staying too long in any one place until it becomes an effort to spend time on a site that may just be worth the spending.


One of the things I love reading is blogs. A blogger I read daily took some time off recently and handed it off to some posters to fill in. One was the single mother of a handicapped daughter who was finally out on her own and the mother, after years of struggling for both of them, decided that it was time to go to school. She wrote of her decision with that direct simplicity of someone with no ax to grind, no impression to make, no point except that she was a person with a point all her own. Her friends questioned her wisdom in such hard times. You can’t make much money with an art degree, can you, they said. She answered with all the courage of someone with nothing to lose:I can’t make much money without one, so, whatever,” she said.

Was that courage, or just a sudden attack of clarity? Sometimes there’s little difference in a world that doesn’t have to be as complicated as we usually make it. “I’ve been working hard most of the last 35 years,” she wrote, “and I figure I can go through school and be broke just as well as I can not go to school and be broke.” No argument there.

One of my favorite bloggers disappeared back in March and it has set me to thinking, (as almost everything does).

 

She called herself the fat lady. She was a fantastic writer and like many, her best subject was herself, her horrendously dysfunctional family, life in the theater, thoughts on art, culture, and what it means to all of us, and finally, her illness and struggle for decent health care. She was in deep pain and once she wrote: “I wonder what will happen when I reach the point of no endurance.  When the pain drives me so crazy I’ll do anything to make it stop. I’m afraid of that.” A few months later she signed off and went silent. I miss that voice. There were few as good.

I once posted on her site that it was one of the places I regularly stopped to find whatever it was that I was searching for on the Web. I couldn’t say what it was but I knew it when I saw it, or read it. I read it there. It was something honest, something genuine. I was too filled up with the virtual. I needed the real.

And now I’m ready for a silence of my own. My only excuse is that I’m simply tired of what I’ve been doing. I used to enjoy writing and I told whoever would ask that I wrote for two reasons; ego, and to get things off my chest. Now something has changed and the writing I’ve been doing no longer excites me. I haven’t been proud of anything I’ve written for at least a year. I seem to always have something to say on everything but putting it into a finished piece takes more and more effort. I’ve begun to repeat myself, a sure sign that I’ve run out of anything original to say. I need a break from all the sound and fury of what passes for political life in this country. I am tired of wrestling with the small of mind, the narrow of spirit, and the pridefully ignorant. Maybe it’s the times or maybe its age but I have the constant sense of having heard it all before even from myself.

I still enjoy writing. I still like to see my thoughts strung out on the page in front of me. I am still amazed at the apparent sense they make when written, sense that seemed lacking in my head. I am still at a loss to explain just how they grow and develop once I finally force myself to begin, and how even the most jumbled mass of thought can be spun out into whole cloth, a complete and seemingly logical statement when read from beginning to end.

I will continue to write, but I will let my thoughts develop according to no one’s schedule but theirs. I will submit what I have written to who ever will publish it, whenever they choose. The web has endless options.

Once a companion on VillageSoup described himself as more a writer from the heart rather than from the head. So I felt myself to be, once. So do I hope to be again, in time.

Ron Horvath lives in Camden.