After as long of a walk as I can stand in this cold, it's time to sit by the fire and read Pessoa. At random I open to section 152 of A Factless Autobiography where he begins, "I'm astounded whenever I finish something. Astounded and distressed."
Lately, I've been noticing a growing desire to write, and sometimes being satisfied with what I have written, but never being satisfied that it is enough.
Here's what I wrote last week about my writing practice: "It's an addiction, a habit. I don't feel complete if I don't write. That's why I do it. I never felt like I had something important I needed to share, but rather I've always been enchanted by the game of trying to distill experience into words."
And now I read Pessoa in section 152, writing in early 1900's Lisbon, "Writing is like the drug I abhor and keep taking, the addiction I despise and depend on."
Could it be that I open to a random page in a random book and read the author discuss the very thing I was writing last week? Or, did I, during the several times I've thumbed though the book since buying it in San Francisco, catch that passage (or a similar one) and reiterate it without realizing its source, like humming a familiar song without noticing it was the one playing in the grocery store?
Pessoa, I'm discovering, was always fretting about how he only writes fragments, how much he envies those who can complete things, though completing, it turns out, has its own set of anxieties.
I suspect that Pessoa (like Sei Shonagon of late 900's Japan), would have thrived as a blogger where every post both stands alone and is part of a whole, an on-going scroll, without a true beginning or end.