Patient Belongings


This is not where I am going to post the book. I will be putting it together elsewhere.

I write a lot about writing, about the process, my surroundings, the mundanely wonderful phenomena of whatever day it may be.

Words become so separated from the lives from which they spring. I suppose that might be the test of truly strong assemblies of words…if they, the written text, are able to take on some sort of life entirely independent of their author.

I would be a better writer if I could get past this miracle of me sitting on the couch with the window open, late-summer cool night insects sawing in the dark, chirring and chirping, urgent in the final days of their warm season life.

I would be a better writer if I could stick to the story, to the task at hand, if I could write more consistently for the reader.

In a way, I am writing for the reader – some imagined reader, some reader who thinks in splinters and tangents, and who really gets how wondrously absurd and big and old this world is, who can’t stop thinking about the ways things work, why things are as they are.

Think about that sort of thing long enough, and a person can lose their mind.

Maybe I am writing for that reader, the person who has lost their mind, or is in the midst of losing their mind right now. Maybe I’m writing to the person who has been to the hospital, maybe been a few times. The person who wanted to die, the person who almost died. The person who used to be a genius, sitting in a cell.

…but, I am also writing for other people. Not just the mad and post-mad among us.

I am guess I am writing for myself.

Maybe if I succeed in utilizing what I have learned about organizing creative projects and finishing things to completion, even if a busy week happens in the middle of the process…when I finish this book, I will be able to stop thinking about how I might write it, what it wants to be…feeling out the various directions, taking inventory of the resources at hand, the work that has been happening…the fodder of the past 7 years, pulling from the decades…maybe I will be able to find some peace with all this?

I considered simply changing the name of the Vitae page to Patient Belongings. I am going to have to mention my background. Offer backstory. Context. I will need to name and discuss things like cognitive processing and the river I grew up on, because these things have everything to do with why I lost my mind, and the particular way that I lost my mind, what I saw and imagined, what I remembered and realized.

This book called Patient Belongings is being built largely from selected writings and notes compiled in the effort to make sense of atypical experience, to figure out how and why I ended up getting sent to the hospital because I was trying to prove God with clouds.

How did that even happen, any of it?

It’s been 7 years, exactly, since I stood in my kitchen with armed police officers.

I am going to open a document and begin.

September 13, 2017

April 16, 2018

Two seasons have passed, and I do not understand how time can do that. Slip like that, entire lifetimes packed into the days and yet it feels like nothing, six months gone by.