A sorcerous operation

It’s Saturday morning, a sunny, very sunny Saturday morning, when the sun is like a cat, licking you in the face way too early, and there’s no going back to bed. It’s a morning in Seattle where you breathe in the yet-still-crisp air, look at the snow-capped mountains and every cell in your body collectively screams, “Fuck yeah, Seattle!”, causing you to grin from ear to ear like there’s coat-hanger stuck in your mouth.

It’s a morning when, if you were to go outside and lay down on a wooden deck, stare up at the pale blue sky, hand brushing against tulip leaves, listening to the sound of the Puget Sound, a distant train whistling through the Elliott Bay, a sea breeze tickling your feet, you may very well decide that, this is good, this is really good, this life, this living.

And then the sun gets in your eyes, and you decide to go back inside, find something that’s not readily available at 11 a.m. on a weekday: your bed. You crank up some Sun Kil Moon, scoop some Greek yogurt, (but not too much because you’ve got some undiagnosed, unresolved, surely-deeply-rooted-Freudianesque dairy phobia), squirted out too much raw honey, and tossed in a handful of almonds, (the Fremont Troll’s definition of “handful”).

So there I am, eating breakfast in bed with the best intention of doing some serious writing (serious in the sense of quantity, not quality nor mood) while Mark Kozelek softly serenades in the background. But, as is often the case, I get lost in the multitudes of rabbit hole of the internet, foolishly justifying to myself that I’m “just doing research”, and “finding writing inspiration”.

Sometimes, in the meandering, one comes upon something that changes the course, such as clicking on a tweet that leads me to today’s HTML Giant post: Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted, quoting William S. Burroughs,

Every act of writing is a sorcerous operation, a partisan action in a war where multitudes of factual events are guided by the powers of illusion.

I’m caught by the word sorcerous, and not even the mellow, haunting acoustic of Sun Kil Moon’s cover of Ocean Breathes Salty takes away the agressive image of “a partisan action in a war”.

I’m reminded of Haruki Murakami’s book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, when he’s talking about the endurance, strength, and sheer will required to write. “People think if you can lift a pen you can write,” he said.

I liked the notion of writing as an endurance sport and all the associated pain that comes with it (I relate to it so very much). The creative endeavor has been seen as the war within for eons, from Arjuna’s anguish to The War of Art.

Fair enough. But I am now also seduced by the alchemistical image of writing as sorcery (alchemistical is a word, yes?). I mean, really, who isn’t turned on by the thinnest possibility that we can create magic as mere mortals?