Working with what you've got
Published on July 30, 2007 By Dan Kaschel In Personal Relationships
Ideas never come to me fully formed. I'm a comedian that only remembers the punchline, a musician that only remembers the final chord. That's all I've ever had: conclusions. For me, writing isn't really about expression. It's about connecting the dots between where I am and what I've already concluded. And, in case you were wondering: yes, that's what I'm doing right now. This entire e-mail is based off a single thought that flashed through my head: "conclusions are all I have."

It's little ironic that, when I write stories, it's always the climax that comes to me first. For me, every book is about a dynamic--it's about a tension. I would love to sit down to a cast of characters, the plot already laid and written, the stage already set. I would love to write the confrontations that capture the enigmas of humanity. Typically I would sit down and ask myself the reason for that, but the answer is abundantly clear: confrontations are my thing. I'm a fighter, and I live for conflict.

Sometimes my life feels a little backward. When I'm insulted, I absorb what I can and remove myself from the situation when I must. When I'm threatened, I talk my way out of it. The continuity isn't hard to find--after all, the battle to be the person I want to be is infinitely more difficult than some petty squabble--but however I justify there is always a part of me that feels unexpressed because I don't fight. The only other expression is competition, and there is precious little opportunity for that. And that's why I'm so competitive.

It's also why I'm so prone to "cracking." I am, by the opposition of nature and choice, constantly pressurized. When the pressure reaches a certain point, I often express that pressure in ways that don't relate to the source. It's a dangerous character flaw, and one that I keep in check much better than I did even a year ago. I hope I can begin another martial art in the near future so that I can express a little more and pressurize a little less.

But pressurization is a beginning. A motivation. I am filled, day in and day out, with a constant energy; a driving catalyst for movement. It is inherently negative, but changing the direction of momentum is much easier than creating momentum in the first place. And so when I have something to do, I use my energy like a gun on my vast store of apathy. I move forward when I might otherwise have stood still. It makes me think that pressure isn't so bad after all. I just hope I'm not like a balloon, shapeless and useless without pressure. Who am I, out of context? Who can answer that question?

As usual, the constituents of my purpose have been assembled. I have the beginning, the climax, and the conclusion. Everything is just filler, right? The substance and purpose of life, sure, but nevertheless just filler. The journey is what it's all about--to you. But in history, it's the finish line that is recorded. It is the date of victory that is recited. It is the term in office that is remembered. All the blood, sweat, and struggle in the world are condensed down to a 0-dimensional, meaningless point, theoretical and trivial. But all those point represent something. They are the dots to be connecting in a bigger story. They are the journey to a higher goal.

Maybe. Or maybe I'm just justifying the way I live my life. Like I said earlier, I don't have answers. Just conclusions.

on Mar 22, 2012

still reading, still amazed by you, assuming I always will be.