Thursday, October 6, 2016

Obscure Sorrows: Finitia

          Obscure Sorrows

          In the style of John Koenig’s “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows”

          fy-ny-tee-ah, fi-ni-sha:
The melancholy of completion

          To write is to burn with the fire of vision. The blank page roars in silence; it rages with invisible chaos. You need only touch pen to paper to make it blossom.
          Your creation starts out vague, awkward, unsure of itself; but soon it tells you the shape it shall take. The work gains momentum and your mood brightens. You give it your thoughts, feelings and memories; you forget your troubles; you abandon yourself to the flow of joy.
          Soon the gaps fill in, and you have a first draft. But you see its flaws too well; so you revise the work, and revise it again, impatient with its imperfections. You attack each draft with a red pen and a critic’s joyous fury. You cut and paste, add and delete. Draft follows draft, and faults fall away. The work turns transparent to your critical eye, and it begins to glow from within.
          Completion approaches, and the glow brightens to a beacon. You run out of errors to correct and things to say. The work says everything that you meant to say. Nothing more can be done.
          You are glad to see the work emerge, so full of light. Yet you are also sad, for now it is only one thing, and can no longer be anything else. It’s in order, but you miss the chaos. You battled and you won, but you are defeated by your victory.
The flow is over. Now your creation is what it is, no more and no less. It won beauty and it lost possibility.
          The joy was in the creating.

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