Man is equally incapable of
seeing the nothingness from which
he emerges and the infinity
in which he is engulfed.

Blaise Pascal,

April 15. Tuesday.

At least, when I look back at some of the writing that I have done over the past 5 years, much of it seems somehow deeper, more meaningful and far far more entertaining than the stuff I have managed to squeeze out over the past 2 years. I wonder if it is just a function of practice, I mean when you look at the volumes, my productivity has dried up like the visitor lines at a Toronto Hospital. Not only has my journal writing shrivelled but also the rest of the site (yes, there is other stuff here too) has remained pretty much static since 1999 sometime. It started around October of 2000 and by February of 2001 I had all but stopped writing here. I know full well what was going on in my life back then, but I am hard pressed to find an adequate explanation for my retraction from the habits I had worked so hard to form. Not only that, but strangely enough the main motivating factor for much of my writing back then was drama in all it’s forms and certainly at that point I had plenty going on.

1998 105 entries in 180 days or 58%
1999 221 of 365 or 61%
2000 119 of 365 or 33%
2001 41 of 366 or 11%
2002 43 of 365 or 12%
2003 27 of 105 or 26%

The numbers don’t lie. Even now that I am making a conscious effort to get something down, I am still flagging behind disgracefully, and the quality for which I have no measure thankfully, is far below any acceptable standard in my humble opinion. I can recall writing about this before and claiming that the lack of ‘pain’ in my life was the reason. I am still partial to this explanation, knowing that I feel a great deal more passionate about what I write when under emotional duress. However, it would make sense that I would be able to write about the things that make me angry, sad or whatever at any time if I were able to tap into those feelings. But somehow it isn’t the same. Maybe I am just not paying enough attention to my reactions to my environment, or I am insulating myself from it for some reason. That would not explain though how come I am just not as funny as I once was. This factor could be explained by the simple fact that nobody who writes on a regular basis is able to accurately critique a newly created piece of work. Maybe it is our emotional investment in it, maybe it is because our creative process secretly knows that changes are still possible and that the work is still in progress. Whatever it is, on reviewing much of my work here I have concluded that I am becoming far more boring than I once was.

Then there is the pain. These past 2 years have seen me tolerate physical pain that I would not wish on anyone and that in itself has stripped me of much of my humour not only in writing but also in real life. Happily now there is light at the end of the carpal tunnel and the pain should be far less frequent if not gone altogether fairly soon. It really is amazing the emotional weight that certain things put on a person, things specifically like physical pain, problems with creditors, crappy work environment and so on. Thankfully most of these problems are in my past now, having struggled through, caught some very lucky breaks and been given the help and support of wonderful parents and loving girlfriend. So I suppose that the emerging realization of my failure to maintain my personality is a sign that having emerged once again out onto the sunny sidewalk of life I am now realizing just how dark things really have been.

How’s that for a positive spin?