Unborn Attitude

I was waiting to pour myself a cup of afternoon coffee when an unexpected sentence formed itself in my mind: I can’t stop writing. I was standing motionless, my hands unoccupied, when these words came to me. It was an unusual day for me in that I’d yet to write a single sentence. Yet it seemed as if sentences had been writing themselves in my mind all day, beyond conscious awareness. They’re sentences for the future. I wanted to write this last sentence down before I forgot it. Sentences for the future intrigued me. I left the kitchen with my cup of coffee and was about to start focusing on the editing work I had to finish before the end of the day when another thought arrived unannounced (I almost wrote uninvited): the sentences themselves aren’t important. The books that they’re leading you toward are what matter. I was more frustrated than I realized. My eyes told me I had a lifetime of books on my shelves. I stood in my office, glanced at hardcovers and paperbacks before I sat down and returned to work, and I thought: my reading future is before me. Then I was seated at my desk, editing words someone else had written, when a related thought came to me: the books themselves are less important than the new attitude I might develop from reading them. I didn’t have time to wonder what this new attitude might be. The words time and attitude seemed connected. Sometimes time brings us new attitudes. This was another sentence that seemed to say: I couldn’t concentrate on my work. Something else seemed more important, and that something else was part of my future. There was something in me, an attitude, that was unborn. Now I was ready to focus on the editing I had to do on the screen. Sentences might continue writing themselves in my mind. As a writer, I couldn’t complain about that.


2 thoughts on “Unborn Attitude”

  1. I like the way your writing unfolds itself – for some reason, this piece evokes in me the idea that Lacan talks about, and I can’t remember where it is, that the unconscious reveals itself in the future anterior. That because language occurs through time, that the unconscious will be revealed, or rather will have already been revealed in a moment in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much. One of my main goals in the writing I do is to learn how to listen to the unconscious. Your comment helps me to think more clearly about what I am doing on the page. Now that I stop to think about it, my writing process is all about the writing unfolding itself. Lacan has interested me for years. As with all of my psychological reading, I am in the process of reading him. I am curious: is the idea of Lacan that you refer to après-coup or afterwardsness?


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