The accusation is that in writing about someone else, I make that person merely an excuse for writing about myself, that I have reduced them instead of illuminating them. This universal quandary goes back to conception and I will consider it that way right now.
Once the conceptsus is defined within the container of the uterus and attached (the first bonding) to the inner wall, it is developing something like music (a life -- music is an excellent metaphor for life) within the life of the living container. There is an interaction, a contention, a give-and-take, and some will say in a bellicose way -- a struggle between the embrace and the expanding creation -- each determined to have the resources it needs to go on making this music, playing this tune.
It is emotional, because the molecules at play are the essence of emotion, and it is structural/
interactive/connective because both molecules and perceived emotional music are made that way. Music, growth, emotion are rhythmic, timed, inevitable. The blastosphere is the potential of everything, the donnée, the form of a poem with no words yet. When it has ears, it hears. When it has a nose, it smells, when it has a nose it smells, but its eyes are closed. When it has a thumb, it puts it in its mouth because the mouth was there first, waiting.
The first body organ to develop is the blood, because it nourishes everything else. The first defined organ of flesh is the heart because it is the drum. "The first recognizable traces of the heart are present by day 18; the first traces of the brain don't show up until late in the fourth week. The first functioning organ in a developing embryo is the heart -- it usually starts beating in the fourth week of development."
If there is trouble, the story ends now. The writer can't keep a hold on the point or has no reason to go on. The subject is lost.
One interpretation of writing or any other art is that it is a phenomenon of meeting and even merging between two people, writer and reader. It happens in the liminal space between them where perceptions are formed, playfully abandoned in favor of other forms, and create themselves as synergies between two tunes, two instruments. To spin it out, there must be a spool to catch it. If the writer is cut off, turned away, dark and unseeing, then that's one thing. If the writer goes on spinning, like a spider who is building a web without a care for any Other spider, that's something else. We need more concepts, words for the process itself instead of categories of the product.
What does the one "written about" want, even need, ideally. It patterns after the gestation of a person. The one written about, written to, is trying to be born. Not every time, but in one way. That makes the writer a container, a womb.
As soon as the brain begins to form, it begins to feel concepts -- emotions, not thoughts. Think of music. Basic concepts of life are forming along dyads that keep the embryo and finally the growing baby alive. They form the limits of homeostasis, of the conditions of life itself. They are "baked in," defining the person and their life until the final Gingerbread Man.
and so on to
Too much this side and one dies; too much that side and one dies. Only a little out of the mainstream, and one is distorted, challenged, bent like a seaside evergreen. This is true of this whole list, including the emotional music of being loved or disregarded, which can become a compass needle.
Spirituality is feeling these wordless sources. When one reads about saints feel, they use these terms and often say they are feeling both sides at once: freezing but burning up, falling endlessly in the safe arms of a person. This is especially true in "religions" that are defined and policed by institutions, protected by but contending against government. Who gets to be the most important Other?
The writer is as much receiver as singer. The material culture strings the harp, keys the brass, shivers the violin with a bow. But one can invent profane and obscene instruments and pound out the drum of fucking or herald with bursts of farting. The limits are deeper than words or convention, but always embedded in the flesh of the writer. Each molecule inscribes the finished sonnet in tiny atoms, cell by cell.
"Structure. Each stanza ends in a full stop and tells a clear part of the story – but a lack of punctuation within the stanzas means the meaning is sometimes unclear. This gives the poem the feeling of a dream." The feel is in the mouth, the ears, the lungs, the heart, and the genitals. All their organic structures. A spine holds the organs in an orderly cavity, but the bone is jointed, possibly broken, and threaded with busy messages about how to hold the instrument. It is the granary of the material culture, filled with pellets of observation and memory, ready to be ground into editability.
I always try to write these essays (attempts) so they are a thousand words long, because I seem to run out of steam at about 800 words. If I go get more coffee and come back, I will know 200 words more.
This time I will leave you, the reader and possibly volunteer subject, to write the rest but not on paper. Maybe. This space is about you.