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Positively Desirable

Posted Dec 12 2009 6:20pm
"Pleasure is in no way something that can be attained only by a detour through suffering; it is something that must be delayed as long as possible because it interrupts the continuous process of positive desire."

I wonder, really, what is "positive desire" for me? For so long, extrinsic forces have pulled and pushed me, arguably shaped me in some way. I feel numb, empty, anhedonic, now that I am without my sources of suffering, and without external demands. Every morning, I wake up, follow a routine, or try to, and these are just motions. I feel as though I'm drowning. There are no more racing flights of ideas or alcohol fueled nights of excited writing or exercising. The empty space I am left with, perhaps is clarity of mind, a semblance of normality on a MRI or EEG, but I am almost mourning the death of someone I'd once loved and never given a chance to bid farewell to.

For now, I've just been maintaining what I can of my life's normalcy: eating, sleeping, doing chores, etc. The free time I have ends up being filled with distractions, bare pleasure devoid of purpose. What is it I desire? I know I want to be well enough to go to an MFA program in Fall 2010. I know I want to exercise more. I know I want to write freely and start more projects without fear of failing at them. I know these things, I desire attaining all of them, they are hardly positive in my view. The process of attaining these things seems all but a terrible, excruciating experience.

For so long I've taken that detour through suffering. Ironically, a cashier at a local market asked me when I told him I was applying for MFA programs in poetry if I was going to be one of those "desperate" poets or "positive" ones. I could only smile and say, "well, I've had my fair share of times of desperation..." I wish I could have said, "I write poetry that is uplifting." The hope I have though, is that I can push through this doubt and numbness and find some commonplace joy. Do I really like being miserable? Of course I don't.

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