October 2007

“Une memoire sans souvenir.” –Michael Foucault, on the texts of Marguerite Duras

I went walking yesterday. It’s something that I truly enjoy, something that I rarely do. When I was hit by an SUV last April, I could only walk and use public transit for a week (and using public transit in Atlanta requires walking– stations and bus lines are never close to anything…besides maybe the art museum). And it was so relaxzing. Well, relaxing in an “I look like a zombie because I’m missing half of my face and it really hurts to move my cheek” kind of way. But the weather was beautiful, the bus drivers fun to chat with, and my feet were free.

I sold my car in August 2006 and decided to ride my bicycle everywhere in an attempt to become more organically involved in the world around me. It worked for awhile, but I’ve realized that I get road-rage on my bike too and that I feel hurried as I pedal from place to place. I think some of this may have to do with the novelty wearing off. I’m entering my second winter without a car–and while that’s exciting, it’s also blase. Yes, it will be time soon enough to pull out my handkerchiefs for my face, my fingered gloves, my coat (which unfortunately lost its waterproofing…maybe it’s time to buy a new one). This summer I swore that I liked riding in the cold better than the heat. However, I avoided heat stroke this summer, but last winter I definitely picked up a nice case of strep throat thanks to my bike.

Note to self: stock up on tea for the coming months.

Even though I sold my car to be more involved in the environment around me, I’m realizing that I’m not. That’s why walking yesterday was so wonderful. Granted, I could only walk because I skipped class…which I did again today…but I needed it.

I dubbed yesterday my “worry-free” day and it was. I worry too much. I’m too stressed out. So I walked. I discovered. I snapped pictures. I talked with a friend that I don’t see often enough these days.

My neighborhood has some crazy quirks too. Like the man-made hill a couple of houses down from me. That’s where the gravel and kudzu and yellow flowers and broken fence live. I found poetry tagged under a bridge. I found gardens blooming and trees not changing colors yet–when will autumn find the South?

I also found some of myself. I took the time to think, to remember. Marguerite Duras said that “Memory, in any case, is a failure. You know, what I deal with is always the memory of having forgotten. You know you’ve forgotten, that’s what memory is.”

Forgetting…remembering…memory…I think she’s right. I know that I’ve forgotten Adam. That’s why remembering him, to the degree that I can, is so painful. I’ve moved on. I’m a completely different person than the girl he knew and fell in love with–and I always wish that I could tell him that.

So maybe being organically involved in the world isn’t necessarily the mode of transportation but the connection I have to myself. And that connection is outwardly manifested by my involvement in the world–either by walking or riding my bike. But walking, I do believe, is the perfect way to remember.

I failed at food blogging, it’s true.

And I don’t want a blog like the one before the food blog, one of poems and nothing else. That’s too pretentious. Or like high school. Actually, the blog I had in high school and the 1st year of college managed to get 700+ hits in one day–the day after my boyfriend was murdered. Thanks Google–I needed that many strangers reading my confusion that week.

So why “Writing the Water?” I don’t even live near water. I live in Atlanta, in the middle of a concrete jigsaw puzzle of mismatched streets and too much sprawl. I can’t even swim that well, so I guess it’s a good thing that I don’t live near water–although I’ve always wanted to go to a beach in January, preferably a gray, rocky, harsh beach with only two gulls sticking out the winter.


Water is everything, everywhere–anything living is made, to some degree, of water. Water is life, but water can also be death. Water is warm and cold and frozen and gaseous. Water is jumping off a cliff in a Pisgah Forest stream and the Amazon sunsets and not the cemetery in Wyoming.

Water must be read, must be written, must be used and saved and loved.

Yes, I love water.

So now, at the end of October, I’m starting this blog to make myself write. To write about the unimportant and the sublime and the harrowing, to write about life and death and the annoyances of school work. I’m a writer who has been in perpetual writer’s block…no, writer’s fear, for the past two years. It’s time for that to end.

If you stick around, I may write something that tickles your fancy. At the very least, it will tickle mine.

And I leave with this excerpt from The Sea by John Banville:

Night, and everything is so quiet, as if there were no one, not even myself. I cannot hear the sea, which on other nights rumbles and growls, now near and grating, now far and faint. I do not want to be alone like this. Why have you not come back to haunt me? It is the least I would have expected of you. Why this silence day after day, night after indeterminable night? It is like a fog, this silence of yours. First it was a blur on the horizon, the next minute we were in the midst of it, purblind and stumbling, clinging to each other…Send back your ghost. Torment me, if you like. Rattle your chains, drag your cerements across the floor, keen like a banshee, anything. I would have a ghost.

Where is my bottle. I need my big baby’s bottle. My soother.