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19 February 2017 @ 04:43 am
periodic rise and fall  
my four-year-old niece navigates the fringes of that horrible realization waiting for every last one of us, whether we dare to approach it or not: there is no such thing as an assumed audience.

yes, there are always people around to care, but they aren't required to, and you might not be able to make them. people can take their audience away, and they can do it when you are breaking yourself in half trying to keep them. what's worse, many people won't notice that you are suffering because of this; many people won't care even if they do.

in part, it's awful: like an existential horror film where the vulnerable innocent is confronted with some monstrous allegory for original sin that they must accept as truth if they want even a chance at survival. even if you don't believe in the catholic presentation of it, original sin offers a profound insight into the canvas painted to match the world it conceals that is the human condition. you may not want this, but there it is. you know? i don't deserve such misery, and yet: clearly, i do. if not, what the fuck do i do with any of this? resentfully wallow in it for the rest of eternity? blast myself to bits over those catastrophic system failures that brought myself and everything i love into being?

in part, it's beautiful, and funny, and sad: because i've been there, and i am there. i'll be there tomorrow, as well as the day after that, and the day after that as well. all the days i am here, i'll be there. like falling in love or encountering true mystery, it's the stuff that binds us, that which cuts us from oblivion's swath and folds us back into it again. it's the world we're making, like it and not. it's the world we're making, 'til death do us part. it's that which does not go away.

i have no idea how to nourish that which does not go away, especially when i'm not really given any viable way in.

what about you?

what are you thinking?
 
 
music: pteranodon
 
 
 
[redacted]elsewhereangel on February 20th, 2017 10:42 pm (UTC)
I remember saying this once to a class -- that while they were in school, they could count on us to read to the end, but after graduation there was no such luxury and the goal was to make us want to. This news did not go over well.

selva oscuraanonymousblack on February 21st, 2017 12:23 am (UTC)
*sigh* see, it makes me feel that much worse about the national saturation of creative writing MFA programs, that this was obviously the first time that many of these students were hearing this information (even if they were undergraduates at the time.)

i figured that one out before my first significant creative writing class. i figured it out from dealing with my friends. the goal is to get them reading this because they want to read it, not because they're being nice. it's one of the first conversations instructors at entry level need to be having with their students: students! the reason you are taking this class is increase your chances of writing something a reasonable number of people will want to read all the way through. that is a valuable skill set, one you don't just suddenly have. in order to get it, you're going to want to do your assignments and get feedback on your work as it is, going forward; you're going to want to at least take my constructive criticism under consideration because that's educated insight into elements of your work that may need some tending.

that's what we're supposed to be paying for, with this kind of schooling, receiving instruction and guidance to increase the readability of our efforts. not so much so we can get a degree. but my impression is for that to more consistently happen, there'd have to be some significant changes made to the system, or, you know, an... underground... rebellion... in writing instruction.

hmmm.

Edited at 2017-02-21 12:27 am (UTC)
[redacted]: grammarianelsewhereangel on February 21st, 2017 05:59 pm (UTC)
I think it's important well beyond students who are interested in creative writing -- who doesn't have to email their boss? Knowing how to be clear and how to frame information is essential. (not to even start on what to reveal and when or how to convince...)

The system needs an awful lot of changes on almost every level. Which is why I stopped teaching and learned to sell the bomb :/ It's a thing that on paper I feel much worse about than I do in actuality. It's not the good, right thing, but it is the sane, survivable one.