Writing, work and darkness

CamusThere’s something I’ve found in dark, unsentimental writers (like Naipaul, Camus, or Orwell) that has been a great help and comfort.

To see the world as it is… as it really is, especially in the 20th century those guys wrote about, can produce fear, trembling, nausea, and dry mouth. Such darkness can make even the sunlit days seem like a cruel trick.

But there’s an countervailing force, especially in Camus and Orwell. It may be that work, just doing the physical task before us, is one way to counter this darkness within and without. If there’s a blasted chaos around us, maybe the best thing to do is to take one tiny action right now to build or repair what is before.

What can one do? What can one person do?

Take responsibility for one thing at a time, one moment at a time, on this day.

To craft something, make something tangible. Do something, anything. Make a commitment to something. Build or work on something, even if its made of nothing more than pixels, and know there’s an answer to emptiness.

Spring and summer are seasons as real as bleak winter and melancholy autumn. Life is as real as death. Beauty lives alongside decay.

To take action is to promulgate evidence of this truth.