When I strip away my dreams, what I imagine to be my potential, all the things I haven't said, what I imagine I feel for other people in the absence of my expressing it, all the rules I've made for myself that I don't follow-I see that I've done as little as anyone else in this world to deserve the grand moniker I.
Sholem [a painter] was saying that freedom, for him, is having the technical facility to be able to execute whatever he wants, just whatever image he has in his mind. But that's not freedom! That's control, or power. Whereas I think Margaux understands freedom to be the freedom to take risks, the freedom to do something bad or appear foolish. To not recognize that difference is a pretty big thing. [... ] "It's like with improv, " Misha said. "True improv is about surprising yourself-but most people won't improvise truthfully. They're afraid. What they do is pull from their bag of tricks. They take what they already know how to do and apply it to the present situation. But that's cheating! And cheating's bad for an artist. It's bad in life-but it's really bad in art." -p.20-1, How Should A Person Be
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I hadn't realized until this week that in [Moses'] youth he killed a man, an Egyptian, and buried him under some sandI used to worry that I wasn't enough like Jesus, but yesterday I remembered who was my king; a man who, when God addressed him and told him to lead the people out of Egypt, said, 'But I'm not a good talker! Couldn't you ask my brother instead?' So it should not be so hard to come at this life with a bit of honesty. I don't need to be great like the leader of the Christian people. I can be a bumbling, murderous coward like the King of the Jews.
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I remember very vividly a little plaid dress on which my father sewed all these hanging beads, little horses and stuff. It was my favourite thing ever. I had it when I was four, and I kept it until I was 12, when I gave it to the little neighbour girl. For years, I regretted giving it to her, even though I had no use for it.
I remember going over proofs of this book - my first book - back in 2001, in a bar in Toronto called the 'Victory Cafe', and thinking sadly to myself, 'This is a very good manuscript but not a very good book.' I don't know what I meant by that, but I was pretty heartbroken and sure it was true.
Writing, for me, when I'm writing in the first-person, is like a form of acting. So as I'm writing, the character or self I'm writing about and my whole self - when I began the book - become entwined. It's soon hard to tell them apart. The voice I'm trying to explore directs my own perceptions and thoughts.