Shape is one of those words that we use with a preposition frequently — in shape or out of shape. From the choice of whether we make shape a positive or a negative thing, much can be revealed about a person’s confidence. With my writing itself, I find that the shape is always changing and evolving. In fact, I have as much of a love/hate relationship with the art of blogging as I do with the shape of my body (sometimes, if I’ve been on a careful diet and exercise plan, the shape of my body — and its willingness to conform to the shape of my smallest pair of blue jeans — can be a source of satisfaction; lately, when I have been undisciplined in my eating and careless about doing even the least strenuous of workouts, the shape of my body is yet another area in which I know that I have fallen short not only of society’s standards but my own).
With blogging, though, I find that the shape of things is constantly shifting and reforming. Yesterday, I altered the title of my other site a bit, because the shape of the shortened words fit better across my computer screen. Really, that seems silly now: shouldn’t substance matter more than style? Shouldn’t honesty matter more than appearance? But there is something more pleasing to me and to my daughter — whose appraisal of my efforts here becomes more and more valuable because of her honesty — about all of the title fitting neatly above the quotation.
With my posts itself, I have found myself thinking the name “Heraclitus, Heraclitus” over and over again, for, in truth, my posts are like the river that Heraclitus claimed was never the same river twice. It is so easy to correct errors, to adjust, to edit to please another’s conception of how something should appear or be. After an interval, I can usually resign myself to finally letting a post go–and therein comes the danger: just because I’ve finally decided to stop revising in no way means that the post is perfect or correct: no, the real reason for moving on to something else is that perfection is an impossible goal, in writing or in anything else. As I have heard my mother say — in regard to her quilting, but its truth can be applied to any project or effort or anything that we have undertaken to complete — “Done is an excellent concept.”
What is beginning to dawn on me — to spread like a shapeless blob of black ink, slowly but inevitably creeping and widening and taking over the clean white page in an unstoppable flow — is that this post cannot be edited or revised or reshaped, if I remain true to the stream-of-consciousness prompt that got me to thinking about shape in the first place. Can I silence my editor for once and post this ungainly, untethered stream of words that has no shape or goal but exists as a sound? And if no one reads this random meandering across 1/3 of a computer screen, did I write it?