And Therein Lies Infinity
It's such a layered story, this memoir I'm writing. Like baklava.
Sticky and dense, impossible to tell where one piece ends and another begins.
I need to get grounded in the right intentions. I'm not doing this to write a book. I'm doing this to write a damn good book. One that sparks an awe in the unknown. I want to make readers feel the way I felt when I first read Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces. The weight of the possibility that all those stories might mean something more. That they might, in their interconnectedness and common themes, all weave a rope ladder to the infinite.
And maybe these simple human stories are the way we sanctify human greed, human cruelty, purify them with deeper meaning and make them work for the greater good.
So how do I dig myself out of all this past work and find my way again? Slash and burn. Keep only what I need to move the narrative forward. Put the other work to work in other ways: essays, blog posts, the like. Use them as beacons for like-minds.
I remember hearing -- I think in college -- that William Faulkner once tried to color-code The Sound and the Fury, to contextualize the book's sudden shifts in time and place. I think of this often.
"Part of the allure in reading him is the palpable confusion of memory," writes Jimmy Chen in HTML Giant:
"The contradictions, oversights, strange overlaps--as similar to the very way we remember, or misremember, our actual experiences. ... You have black and white words, the careful choreography of twenty-six letters, in staunch rows, one on top of the other, fraying downwards, until the physical end of its last page. The object of a book itself is a concession to its medium. And therein lies infinity."