Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Preface Mark II
It is naked will and intellect that spur me to self-expression: a masculine urge to assert myself in action, to inscribe myself on a clean wall like an obsessed graffitist. But what if I want to scribble a paean to the cleanness of the wall itself? What if I want to sing loud praises of silence?
It has been tricky trying to capture Soul. She hides, she reappears, fleeing through the woods in diaphanous robes, calling over her shoulder: “Catch me if you can!” Sometimes it required creeping out of bed in the early hours to transcribe some phrase that seemed to have been whispered by the Muse. Sometimes, in the second hour of a long walk through suburb or wilderness, the silence of Soul starts finding ways to speak in words, which must be unburdened then and there into digital recorder, till some narrative emerges, which may not encompass the feeling but perhaps gives the gist.
The pieces which follow are arranged in chronological order, each one faithful to the original blog entry. A link is provided so that you can compare. The text was pruned, as a gardener does it, to give space for the best live growth. Sometimes there has been rewriting, but as in a restored painting, the overlay may be worse than the original, so the draft remains provisional, in constant flux. This anthology represents about 25% of the text written in the timespan from April 2006 to August 2010.
As a reader of “A Wayfarer’s Notes”, you have helped shape it. As on the blog, your feedback is treasured. I hope to hear from you. It’s the intention to produce at some point a handsomely-bound hardback edition, at a price which will cover costs. Let me know if you are interested!
PS A little retrospect on the title “A Wayfarer’s notes”. Originally it was “An ongoing experiment”—an idea reflected in the very first post, below, and also in the url “perpetual-lab”. Consciously, its author didn’t know where the blog was going, but the blog itself did, like a horse faithfully bringing home the drunk who’s not in a position to drive the cart. Later, when its author thought he had an idea what it was about, he changed it to “As in Life”. I can’t quite recall when or why, but it seemed more definite. But I do recall the decision to give it the present name. It was in the spring or summer of 2007, when I was working full-time in “Babylon Town” on a computer project. To keep sane, I took an hour’s walk every lunchtime, and saw what it meant to enter a wayfarer’s world.
PPS So why these young bulls on the dust-jacket, you ask, besides being symbolic of “a masculine urge to assert myself in action”? Why the soul of an animal? I could say “Read it and see!” or, more courteously, that it was only the discovery of being an animal that led to my discovery of Soul. And that sums up the book.
Posted by Vincent at 2:32 pm