I'm writing this at 1:09 AM. I'm usually asleep by now, but due to emotional shit storm, am unable to sleep. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does it is fierce. I was just out on the back deck looking at the stars and listening to faint meowish noises that I think are raccoons.
I decided that since I can't sleep I might as well write to you.
I'm wondering if it is possible for me to take this emotional pain and transform it by using it in my novel. As a meditater. I know that I can and should bring everything to the cushion. To not deny any emotion or perception I have but to transform it into the path of bodhi, is a basic instruction.
The content of my anguish isn't of importance. I'm not going to air it here and I know that the content or the story that I tell myself about the content isn't the thing. The thing is that I know in a day or two I'll feel some relief from it. I know that every emotion, no matter how debilitating, has a beginning, a middle and an end. If it were elation I was feeling it would be the same thing - though probably I could sleep!
So if the content, the so-called facts, about my mental state isn't the thing - what is? Is it that I recognize that all over the world people are agonizing over lesser or greater situations? Or that by transforming these feelings as accurately as I can, to the page and to a different set of circumstances, I can portray an individual's pain in such a way that readers will recognize the truth of the portrayal and have some relief with their own particular sleepless nights? Or if not relief just pure understanding that we are all one - in our joy, our pain, our numbness?
The essence of pain, of suffering, is difficult to capture, to recreate, even to remember. I'm not sure if I can even think of it when I'm midstream. It is more a howl than words. Howl is what Allen Ginsberg called his most known work. Not to be too beat, too existential, but that sums it up for me right now. Howling off the back deck in the half moon to unknown beasts lurking in the trees.
a bit of Howl:
who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,
who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts, who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,
who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,