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Writing & swimming & singing & more

“When Anthony feels his own reason to stay, it is like swimming. And it is the rhythm of the swimming itself, not how far it takes him, that gives him certainty.”
— Charlotte Wood, The Submerged Cathedral

OK, not, ostensibly, a quote about writing, but it works that way for me. Also, it reminds me of this comment:

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”
 — Gloria Steinem

And in searching for accuracy on the above quote, I came across this:

“The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.”
—  Gloria Steinem

In fact, you should probably check this entire page.

Steinem’s comment on writing (above) was the first time I ever really felt my desires to write fully encapsulated, fully expressed. I fussed around the edges of it for such a long time, trying to understand myself why I wrote, trying to explain it to some friends & justify it to others. And then I read Steinem’s sentence & thought, ‘oh, that’s it, it’s all so simple really’ & I put my worries away.

In other news, I’ve gotten into the habit of buying birthday presents months in advance. For myself, I mean. And this year I bought myself a ticket to the Sarah McLachlan concert at the Opera House. You know the Sydney Opera House, right? Beautiful on the outside, pretty crummy acoustics on the in-? They say those audio doughnuts hanging from the ceiling are meant to fix this, but I’m not buying it.

On the bus into town I saw a teenager in a grey hooded jacket with red lettering. Either he was wearing the World’s Greatest Hoody or he had the World’s Greatest Woody, I can’t be sure. That all-important letter was obscured by a pole.

Which reminds me, heading to the shopping centre this morning, the guy walking in front of me reached into the butt of his black tracky-dacks, rummaged around for a bit, and came up with — I kid you not — his credit card. Now, I can’t be sure the credit card wasn’t in his hand when he went *in*. I mean, I wasn’t really paying attention until the rummaging began. But either way, guy, gross, seriously. Gross.

Anyhow, the Sarah M concert was great, though not as great as the one she gave at the State Theatre last year. Now *that* was really something special. *That* concert made me want to turn right back around & see it again the next night. Except her shows were already sold out. Also it made me want to dance and to weep. Sometimes you come across someone who reminds you why some talent is called a gift. And you’d covert it for yourself if only it wasn’t already so beautiful that you just know you couldn’t do any more with it or get any more out of it if it really was yours. There’s a tension between wanting it & being happy only to be able to enjoy such a gift that leads to a resounding bittersweetness.

And gratitude.

“Writing a novel is like making love, but it’s also like having a tooth pulled. Pleasure and pain. Sometimes it’s like making love while having a tooth pulled.”
— Dean Koontz