Dreams of an Ideal Life

Poetry was kind of the last stop on the line for me. Well, it's been a round trip. The first anything that was "out there" by me were two plays- one I directed (under admittedly false pretenses) and the other directed by the fantastic Dan Guyton.

I think that, in a way, fiction that derives from the biographical has the amazing opportunity to correct the moments in our lives that we might regret, or that didn't go the way we were planning. Writing allows for a kind of consummation that life does not.

I write a lot, I've noticed, about permutations. Mathematically, a permutation is a rearrangement- all the possible arrangements that make up a series of numbers, etc. I believe we do the same thing with memory, forcing ourselves to reenact, at least in our minds, the many ways in which any given situation could go.

And this has the ability to become compulsion- to become reenacted in thought so often that there are only a few outlets: insanity, of course; violence (which isn't all together dissimilar than insanity); and creative reconstruction.

I think creative- and perhaps more exactly- biographical reconstruction is a necessity of the human condition. I know other animals are capable of memory, but humans alone, as far as I know, have the ability to recall that memory and manipulate it. Again, this can be compulsion, but I believe that in the process of recalling is itself compulsory. The true shame, of course, is that as humans, we must eventually suffer from memory-loss, it seems.

In recalling and in manipulating is where I believe there is some desire to achieve an ideal, a version of the situation that best fits our perfect vision of it. This is, of course, entirely subjective, especially considering that different ideals permeate every person and every person in a single moment, and the way a moment plays out is a reflection of those ideals, by either meeting expectations or denying them.

The two plays of mine I'm referring to are certainly idealizations of moments that turned out less than perfect. This isn't a fault-based thing, of course, but rather a situational reflection: certain things just could not go the way I would have wanted, so as a result of recalling those memories, I constructed a creative method of dealing with the issues. And I'm certainly not alone.