A World of Speculation

If you looked at this space yesterday, you may notice a change.

I got tired of the orange in the template and changed it, and I changed the name.

As much as I appreciate the music of Jessica Williams (and if you haven’t heard her work, do so), I’m not sure she’d like being affiliated with me. And T.S. Eliot–well, I’ll wait for a letter.

The line “What might have been is an abstraction, remaining a perpetual possibility only in a world of speculation” is one of my all-time favorite lines from one of my all-time favorite poems — Four Quartets. He captures here the joy and torment, temptation and exploration of fiction. Many “might have beens” in many worlds of speculation. I’m someone who has always wondered about the lives going on under the lamplight in the houses that my bus passes at 50 miles per hour. Not knowing, I make a world, people it, learn about their struggles and sorrows and triumphs. Our lives leach across the membrane that divides speculation from reality, and questions and answers flow back and forth from their speculative reality to mine.

I appreciate Rollo May’s observation that artistic creation is a harrowing occupation. I don’t mean this as a “poor me” statement: I could quit any time I wanted to. Really. When I was a teen-ager, I wrote a poem describing the process of poetry. I described the pull to write as “the cable that runs from heart to hand, that bridges chasms, climbs rocky peaks above the eagles, where the cold, clear wind blows clouds around my head and my feet don’t know the depths below them.” It may not be good, but the fact that I can still pull it out of my head all these decades later tells me that it still feels true.