Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bottling Bitter, Part II

Quite recently and quite pleasantly I came back in contact with a French writer and translator with whom I had collaborated, by airmail, on a few poem translations back in the late 1980s. Whether we will pick up the activity again is something for the future to reveal: I would enjoy it, since such work is always mind-exercising, in a way different and apart from other kinds of writing. Our notes of re-acquaintance broached the subject of depression -- which subject-broaching, in truth, turned me toward the notion of bottling bitter being a nice phrase for a natural writerly activity. I could say of myself that I was depressed for years or decades even -- and I could say with equal accuracy that I never have been depressed because of my constant effort to internalize -- with internalizing being an activity in which I have been engaged for as long as I can remember. Or, as my old college friend Brian Klein long maintained, and I imagine still maintains, the state of depression is itself normalcy. Any reaction to the world besides depression is irrational. I think he partly holds this point of view because it is is funny, in a depressing sort of way. At least I always find the truth behind his observation to be depressingly funny -- and I agree with it to its full depressingly funny extent.

And it is, of course, depressingly funny that I am, unavoidably, a part of the world which provokes his rational response of depression.

It seems valid to regard despondency as a natural reaction to external events -- so much so that I am tempted to stop referring to wines and beers as "aging" and instead to view them as going through their despondency. Once uncorked or uncapped, they will cease being despondent: and I will them regard them as ...

Well, "open" and "cheerful" are often used together, in referring to personality, are they not?

Which leads to the interesting thought that bitter must be left in despondency for a time. True?

Cheers ...

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