July has stretched on as one long day might; I see and speak to the same people each day, for hours, and I've never been happier. I always thought that given the option I would surround myself with only the people I loved, and for the last few weeks I've been granted that. I have had no physical contact with those who I wouldn't consider giving my life for this month. That makes me happy and content.
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I entered my first money-winning-poetry-contest-scholarship-thing and it makes me nervous. Is it possible to sell yourself so early? I decided to submit "Sawdust Stars" and "I Will Not Forget." My heart told me "Mad Girl's Love Song" and "My Calamity." My mind told me "The Rain in Eternity" and "Empyrean Lullaby"... I settled. They are all my words. None have any greater importance than any other, none have any greater truth... It's hard to explain.
Recently, Andy wrote a comment on one of my pieces and told my I had grown as a writer since I had come here. Usually, I hear these things and it seems wonderful, and I can believe it. Perhaps it was the source, but I felt as if something I loved had just died painfully in front of me and I wanted to cry. "It's all over," I told myself, and stared blankly at the page, not knowing how to respond. It's as if I had been telling myself that it was all a great charade, and that I only pretended to be a deep and eloquent writer when I was in this place, in front of these people, most of whom I could not pick from a crowd. The jig was up. The game was over. I was exposed by that statement as the child in her mother's clothing.
I don't know why. Sometimes I feel things that are inexplicably ill-suited to the current situation. Now, I look back and am sure that I agree with him. At that moment, those words frightened me in a way reserved for 2AM phone calls from dear friends.
I leave this place in two weeks, and it will be very bad for my writing. My most vivid and traumatizing memories are based here. I write them to deal with them, as I'm sure most people do here. Like any other memory, like any scar, it will fade slowly and I will be decorated with new things, hopefully more positive. Perhaps I will learn to write about love in a way that can satisfy me.
I've been reading nothing but Andrea Dworkin recently, and for those who have looked into Intercourse, or who have read Kobo Abe, I feel as if I am losing to the sand. Centuries before me survived, and I am losing.
She falls softly down from towering pedastools...