Sunday, January 04, 2009

This Completion Thing



My favorite line to ever usher forth from William Hurt's lips in a movie is from The Big Chill. Playing a brilliant, drug-addicted loser, he interviews himself in a camcorder, a sort of Spalding Grey homage and he says, "I'm not hung up on this completion thing." Unfortunately, I am and have been spending much of my convalescence editing chapter upon chapter of my memoir. I don't mind revision, but the tedium of sentence after sentence where mistakes have come home to die does wear the mind a bit. The constant strain of looking in the mirror of one's text and thinking, how could I have fucked that up?

And as much as one is desperate to hurry the process, it resists any attempts at speed. Organic is not a word I ever want to hear except when it comes to writing, and I suppose that one must endure the organic nature of the task. I think of snakes shedding their skins or butterflies emerging from a cocoon. It's awfully dark in there and maybe they think they're dying before they become something beautiful and wholly different.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I sing to the realists; people who accept it like it is." Aretha Franklin

Cocktail Hour
Drinking movie suggestion: Slumdog Millionaire

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Sunday! I have some e-mail that I need to answer -- tomorrow is the day! Thanks for all happy wishes!

9 comments:

Scott said...

Michelle,

Hi! I hope you're doing well. I know what you mean...I periodically go back through my book in progress, and edit and change things. Sometimes it seems as if I'll never finish it...but the day will soon come. Then I just have to find a way to get people to read it!

Hope your weekend was good...you take care!

Scott said...

-p.s.-You never take a bad picture, do you? :)

the walking man said...

I would rather edit the writing of someone else than my own. Too easily bored with my own mind. I suppose that is an organic response to the compost pile of my self.

Charles Gramlich said...

It seems for me that every one of my manuscripts goes through a stage during editing when I loath the sight of it and want to take a stake to it's heart.

jodi said...

Hey Girl, Say hi to Mr. C for me. xoxo

R said...

Does completion exist? Maybe it's complete when we're tired of looking at it. :) I'm usually like the walking man, enjoy editing other people's writing, but I don't even have that after editing my daughter's grad school essays this past week. I am just too tired!

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