This is my 500th post on Archetype. When I created this weblog in 2009, I had recently begun the dual English and Creative Writing graduate program at Chapman University and wanted to maintain a virtual writing workshop or MAB (multi-author blog) for artistic experimentation. At the time, I was immersed in the process of literary coursework, reveling in each newly discovered or rediscovered text and learning to conduct scholarly research and master’s level composition. And, most importantly, I was writing fiction again and risking what seemed the ultimate rejection and ridicule by (gads!) sharing my work with peers and professors. I was a first-year MA/MFA student, and I was terrified and exhilarated and self-conscious and buoyed. It was glorious.
My classmates spoke often of graduation, calculating with anticipation how much longer until they finished their degrees and could get on with their lives. I understood their eagerness to graduate; it is the objective, after all. But my situation was different. Pardon the cliché, but I was there for the journey, not the destination. For me, graduation signified the end of a creative existence I had spent half a lifetime trying to resume. I was high on academia, and degree conferral loomed like an ambiguous buzzkill. Consequently, I took my time through the program and didn’t think about finishing; I wanted merely to be in the moment, sitting in classes and attending readings and flying to conferences and looking for hidden treasures in the library and studying and writing in blissful perpetuity.
Just as I never imagined actually graduating, I couldn’t foresee beyond perhaps a year of posting when I launched Archetype into the blogosphere. I didn’t have a long-range plan for the site or even a vision of an audience; I simply wanted a space in which to articulate the moments of joy and angst I was experiencing and share the poems, passages, and images that have moved me in some grand way, a probable void accessible to everyone and accessed by no one. And here I am, over four years and five hundred posts later, both trapped and liberated by “an unseizable force” that impels some of us to observe and question and reflect and write in a silent abyss with no end in sight.
It is thus that we live, they say, driven by an unseizable force. They say that the novelists never catch it; that it goes hurtling through their nets and leaves them torn to ribbons. This, they say, is what we live by – this unseizable force.
~ Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room
Five hundred posts and counting…