the seeds, the trees

"But once in a while there's a great dynamite-burst of flying glass and brick and splinters through the front wall and somebody stalks over the rubble, seizes me by the throat and gently says, 'I will not let you go until you set me, in words, on paper.'" – Richard Bach

Tag: writing


Monsters are simply beings that are unknown and large. We grow obsessions with them. We don’t mind small things we don’t understand. We can live with those. The mysterious virus that laid us in our beds for a day. The thousands of species of insects we will never find. The tiny community of people far up the mountains of Switzerland who speak a language no one else understands.

But the great, gaping chasms of the Earth – we will not rest until we have measured the depth of every ocean; we will not sleep until we have named every star in the sky; we will not stop until we have caught every monster in the sea and cut them into pieces; we will not say enough until we have hung the heads of every great beast on our walls and ground their bones into powder; we will not dream peacefully until we know what dreams are; we will not die until we know why we came; we will not leave until we know what is next.

We will illuminate every darkness and predict every storm and we fear it all. We will not cry out success! until everything has been proven. We intrepidly and blindly seek so many answers we forget to ask questions and become angry when no one replies. We refuse to believe our flesh and our bones are that of animals but we believe in gods we have never seen or heard or touched. We deny ourselves the joy found in the inevitability of death but believe in the joys of a tomorrow that might not come.

Only in death do we feel the emptiness we have carried with us all of our lives. Only then – between our very last single breath and a complete stillness we have never known – do we realize our mistake. Amidst everything we have discovered and gathered and kept, we stand undeniably alone in our cold homes. And in this tiny moment, we awaken before the deepest sleep. By then, it is too late to tell the others. They will find out in their own time. The curse beneath the blessing of a self-aware life.

Mr. Marinakis

Mum told me last night that I didn’t have to be famous. “Oh, you’re so immature,” she said, she cooed, feeling so sorry, after I cried and told her what’s the point of being creative, what’s the point of not being normal if you’re not recognized for it?

What is the point of my lifelong-mental twistedness, my turmoil, my singular tragedy if it bears no fruit? I asked. Except I didn’t say “singular tragedy” or “fruit” because no one speaks that way. It sounded more like, “Why do I have to deal with this shit in my head that supposedly makes me a writer if no one reads or wants to read what I write?”

And that’s when she said, sorrowfully, and a little smugly now that I think about it, “You’re so immature.” Then she said, which wasn’t very helpful but admittedly made me feel less alone, that several months ago she would have said, “Come on, let’s go jump off a bridge together!” She was ready to “check out” in April, she said, but then she saw this man who…I’m not exactly sure what he does, but I think he’s some kind of homeopathic mood doctor. She said this guy – this Mr. Marinakis – completely sorted her out, completely. She always uses lots of adverbs when she talks. That’s all she said. Completely. I let my mind fill in the details.

I see a stocky Japanese man, short but not small, the physique of a Japanese man who has lived in America for a long time and forsaken his traditional diet. He’s wearing a white lab coat (How original, my mind) and a blue, cashmere sweater; gray-black, knit slacks (So specific, my mind!) His office – or where he meets with his patients – has light, wooden flooring, reminiscent of bamboo (Well done, my mind. Use stereotypes. It’s easier.) There’s a few glass vases filled with colored Mancala beads.

When he looks at me, I can’t tell what he’s thinking. He can see through my skull at my beating brain and my brain is blue. He doesn’t seem to have anything in his pockets, not even a pen. I don’t know what his voice sounds like because so far we haven’t spoken. He touches my head without touching it. He talks to my brain. I remember the acupuncturist I saw more than five years ago. I was depressed. She made  a map of my organs with needles in my back. She said, indifferently, I had a wounded heart that would never heal. It made me sadder. Mr. Marinakis doesn’t say anything about my heart. I can’t see anymore. All I know is that Mr. Marinakis is probably not Japanese. “Marinakis” is Greek. His first name is Peter.