Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

"Pfennig" for 94 points

The problem with having an obscure and nerdy pasttime is that there is absolutely no one who will appreciate your triumphs. I imagine that there are philatalists who marvel at some rare Belgian stamp, in spite of their kids' vigorous disinterest, who feel exactly the way I do when I open a Scrabble game with the name of an obscure German coin. The only thing to tarnish the thrill is the realization that absolutely nobody cares, and to try to explain it would only make it more embarrassing.

Oddly enough, this does not diminish the enjoyment of the feat. I tell myself that the accomplishment is no more or less arbitrary than sinking a 30-foot putt. Both are equally useless, valued only by those who happen to enjoy doing such things. Why such arbitrary feats should seize the imagination is beyond explanation. I think Augie might say that they are valuable precisely because they are arbitrary -- "I do this, not out of necessity or utility, but merely because I will it." It becomes the expression of the individual will, manifested solely from the self, independant of circumstance, as useless and glorious as art. Reason not the need!


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