“The text needs the paper,” says Hélène Cixous in Stigmata, one of my anchoring books. A book that lifts me out of whatever insomnia-induced-fog I’ve dwelled in, whatever black-dog-sitting-on-my-chest cloud that I’ve inhabited this past week. She says, “It is in the contact with the sheet of paper that sentences emerge.” It is THAT elemental, writing is.
Sometimes you think it has to do with another kind of magic, and maybe it does. But sit down with some paper, ink. Follow that. Feel that.
Cixous writes, “as if coming out with great wing-strokes from a nest hidden beneath the paper.”
“It is not written in my head. There must be the contact between my hand and the paper. I am not an intellectual. I am a painter. No computers. You do not paint with a computer. I paint, I draw the sentences from the secret well. I paint the passage: one cannot speak it. One can only perform it.”
I’ve written about my love of fountain pens and ink before. I recently indulged in another, this TWSBI Diamond fountain pen with a 1.1 nib. I need the 1.1, who knows why. I like the clear body, so that I can see the waves of blue ink.
I draw my sentences, great wing-strokes, I paint them.
I don’t mind that they’re unintelligible. They flow.
They’re blue, they’re birds.