On the Need to Resurface

(UNDER Water) When I was thinking of images that could go with this post, the only artist I could think of was Dave McKean. (Illustration by Dave McKean and sourced from Richard Dawkins' The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True.)

(UNDER Water) When I was mulling over images that could go with this post, the only artist whose work I thought could capture the atmosphere was Dave McKean. (Illustration by Dave McKean and sourced from Richard Dawkins’ The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True.)

Hello there.

It feels like I’ve been away a long, long time.

(Scratch that. I have been away a long, long time.)

This time, the silence wasn’t intentional. Oscar Wilde once said that “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” The latter “tragedy” (though I’m not inclined to mourn) is what’s led to this recent hiatus. Put more simply: a lot of things I’d begun preparing for began happening before my preparations were even properly underway.

Which is how for the last few weeks life’s been an unending series of teaching, studying and writing stints (my hard-won weekend afternoons were the first to go).

Again, I am not complaining. My dear friend J., whom I managed to see the other night (at the rather inauspicious occasion of her grandmother’s wake—but the only occasion I could squeeze out of my impossible calendar) remarked that what I’ve been doing lately seems to be the culmination of all the things I love to do (and which I therefore do well). I wholeheartedly agree, and I think that the quiet, if somewhat frantic, happiness generated by these recent pursuits has gone a long way in mitigating the dismay provoked by the loss of blogging time.

And it’s a bit of a pity, really, because there’s so much to write about. Other people would perhaps insist that there’s a time for living and there’s a time for writing and that one must live—in the bustling, pedestrian sense of the word—if one is to have anything to write about. It doesn’t work that way for writers though: unmediated living doesn’t feel like living at all because our sense of reality is the one we fabricate through the structure of our words. My life doesn’t feel real to me until I write about it. Until the moment of reflection, existence literally occurs to me as a dream.

(So yes, the last few weeks have felt incredibly surreal.)

If I’m writing now, it’s not because I’ve suddenly found the time, but because I need to break away from the current of my life—rise above the waters, fashion a raft out of words, pause, take a breath, take a look around, take stock, remember and comprehend—before the undertow takes me again. I don’t know when I’ll manage to resurface after this, but at least at this very moment, I feel real to myself once more.

It’s enough.

For now.

2 thoughts on “On the Need to Resurface

  1. Eena says:

    Dear Eileen,

    Do come up for breath more often and fascinate us with more tales of your fabricated reality.
    In the meantime, I’ll see you wherever the current takes us.



    • Eileen says:

      Dear Eena,

      I do miss coming up for breath—especially since surface time is when I get to read your blog! Hope you’re feeling much better; we missed you last Friday!



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