the bends

Something in that recent interview of Dave Eggers caught my attention.

“Writing is a deep-sea dive. You need hours just to get into it: down, down, down. If you’re called back to the surface every couple of minutes by an email, you can’t ever get back down.”


Isn’t that the truth? Deeper and deeper and deeper on down. It’s like self-hypnosis too. But I like the diving metaphor. Except that sometimes you step off the boat and find the water has turned solid, concrete molded with ripples and waves and painted blue and green. 

You smack it with your hands, bang on it with the shovel, but the briny deep is solid rock. Then what? Lie down with your back against a swell and wait for it to soften up. Reading helps. 

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2 thoughts on “the bends

  1. You know, if water is winter, you simply drill. If you've never experienced being frozen in place leagues below, I highly recommend it. ;-)One of my favorite singer-songwriters said it best:Under IceIt’s wonderful.Everywhere, so white.The river has frozen over.Not a soul on the ice.Only me skating fast.I’m speeding past trees,Leaving little lines in the ice,Splitting, splitting sound,Silver heels spitting, spitting snow.There’s something moving under, under the ice,Moving under ice,Through water,Trying to get out of the cold water.It’s meSomething, someone—help them.Its me.Kate Bush

  2. Kyle, I LOVE that metaphor of diving. One of my writing mentors said to me one time that I should "dive deep" in the writing, and it's stayed with me ever since. But Eggers elaborates on that idea and it makes so much sense.It's why I've had some difficulty writing here at home – the distractions are so much more potent than email – horses, donkeys, cats, dog, teenagers who used to be babies.It takes me longer to get deep here, but it's magic when I do.

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