I was contemplating using my invented phrase above as my own epitaph – a poetic tradition. Some day it will be true and remain true for eternity. As a writer I would do anything but write, that is until I begin writing and then inertia shifts and Frost’s ‘poem in its dawning’ idea kicks in. I mention that regularly because for me it really encapsulates crossing a cusp between perfunctory, performative and productive. Beginning really can be the half of a thing. Compositional techniques or knowledge work only when writing. So ‘starting’ is the initial difficulty.
My phrase ‘Behold I am procrastination somehow struck me as an almost paradoxical parody on J. Robert Oppenheimer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8H7Jibx-c0 ) quoting the Bhagavad Gita (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagavad_Gita) a deadly serious statement of regret for having essentially changed the nature of warfare and consequently possibly the entire fate of the planet. I enjoy comedic contentment in my understanding that my compositional output may never have any global impact or significance, yet like every writer I live in hope that my writing may make a difference to someone, somewhere, someday, then reality, humility, and death, those three great levelers, enter my infantile equation and I embrace my own transient nature, insignificance and the third almost unmentionable one.
Which is where my procrastinator paradox begins – there is a meditative tradition, whereby one contemplates and mediates upon, not only one’s own death but also the actual processes of decay of one’s body itself. Fun stuff that – do all my ‘ones’ in that previous sentence add up to three ways of my denying you your own opportunities for decomposition contemplation – nope give yourself a couple of seconds to embrace your rancid non-future replete with your maggots, flies and rotting flesh – or not as the case may be.
Like such a mediation, when after almost thirty years writing, I face up to the fact of my own (global literary) insignificance; it is very easy, one might indeed say compulsory, to be pessimistic and unproductive – a threesome with easy bedfellows beckons, self pity, disappointment and procrastination follow awfully easily. I am then an inverse of Oppenheimer – someone without impact with nothing to regret, no reason to quote anything, little motivation to persevere, whatever about not achieving a global impact – my capacity to make any kind of impact is restricted to my own work, writing and understanding of the craft – and only until the final arbiter intercedes - procrastination is usurped by determination.
Behold I am become procrastination ….. no more