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, November 16, 2006

All Rise

I dreamt I was some kind of officer of the law, or an officer of the court. Something like a county sheriff. I had some people coming forward with documents indicating the guilt of others: arrest records, liens. Others were coming forward with other documents that supposedly established their innocence: motions, rulings of the court, restraining orders, approvals. And yet both sides were using documents that were old, processed under old rules, with old stamps and seals. The documents, in their current state, would not hold up. The supposedly guilty would wind up with clean records; the supposedly justified would have nothing to stand on.

And I was the sheriff, or baliff, or whatever, sorting through the documents, talking with plaintiffs and defendents. Somehow I knew that all these terribly important papers would not stand up. On the one hand, I was struggling to build a system that could handle the documents, convert them into something acceptable. And on the other hand, I was talking with the individuals involved, trying to get them to negotiate, to settle, to not let the issues comes to court at all.

Somehow the dream felt terribly significant, spiritually significant. In my own life, I am that baliff, struggling to set a standard for myself, to find an absolute point of reference from which to judge my life. But nothing is holding up. No accomplishment can justify my life. No sin or failing can withstand the grace of oblivion. I have nothing to go on. On the one hand I am hoping to find the standard, to set the standard, to make the Law hold. On the other hand, I am hoping somehow that the whole problem will just go away, settle itself peaceably and leave me alone.



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