Jul 13, 2004

Ambler Letters 2
Correspondance exerts from apt. c rear

If writing is taking a piece of steel and turning it into a blade, I'm always over-sharpening, grinding and grinding until I have not a blade but a neddle. Can't cut anything but give damn good tattoos.

A double fisted fear: On the one hand, my philosophy may stagnate. On the other hand, the more I push forward the less I can talk to people. I described the job of philosophy prof. to a 9-year-old girl the other day as “teaching people to ask questions.”

The Muse/Maid division is still in working order, since you’re wondering.
      I don’t even need to send this letter, but probably will.

If I wanted out of this I would become a priest. I would hide in some small town where only old women were pious, pretend not to be very educated w/ my library hidden away in an upstairs closet and live alone w/ a little woodshop where I carved icons. I'd spend a lot of time in a garden and keeping up the graveyard. I'd tell stories without points for homilies and become an old man, if not in peace then in silence.
      But I would know, whe a too-refined young man said too-comforting words over my dirt, when friends of friends commented remarked how well I was doing, when the closest to me thought I'd found finally safety, I would know I had abandoned my priesthood, that I had failed to bleed ink, that the tears and been stilled and the prayers cut off by the priest's collar.

Why am I here, you ask. I don’t know. I guess, because I’m waiting. I’m waiting for something to tell me it’s time to be somewhere else. It’s a wilderness, a desert, a waiting to find something or be found by something. I’m writing a little. Reading a lot. (87 pgs of Pound’s biography today). Reading things I haven’t had the chance to before and trying to write and starting to pay off the $5000 before they’ll give me transcripts. Thought these feel like wilderness work, rather than active preparations. Still, a man must choose his wilderness and this was far enough and strange enough. I don’t know what’s next. “My Life” has gone all vague, sounding more like something I’m telling people so they don’t bother me and less like something I’ll actually do. So I’m waiting for something to break, something to separate the present from the future. I don’t know, maybe it will be an offer, a book, a girl, something I’m writing…
      So I’m just waiting. I don’t know if I’m proving that you can’t run away or that you can. I don’t know if I’m learning more about myself or forgetting what I know.
      It is, I think, a time to break down. So I’m letting everything go to see what comes back. I’m shoving off.