Friday, February 5, 2010

Obsessions

 "I don't know why I do what I do. If I did know, I probably wouldn't feel the need to do it. ... Surely it is an odd way to spend your life — sitting alone in a room with a pen in your hand, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, struggling to put words on pieces of paper in order to give birth to what does not exist — except in your head. Why on earth would anyone want to do such a thing? The only answer I have ever been able to come up with is: because you have to, because you have no choice."

A writer named Paul Auster said this. He talking about creative labor. But there's more. He's talking about a personal obsession, something that basically takes possession of you. This kind of thing is really a state of mind, isn't it? Anything that pulls us in and keeps us swimming in that familiar pool. Who knows why we do the things that we love to do? Like me: reading all the time, this blog, playing chess, collecting stamps, and obsessing over the Texas Rangers. Somehow it's the way I'm put together. And you know what? I've always felt sorry for  people who had no discernible obsession. I think they are necessary to sustain sanity.
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