Sebastien-Roch-Nicolas Chamfort writes in his The Cynic’s Breviary (a title for which I might have been tempted to give a few months of my life in exchange for the privilege of having thought of it): “It is when their age of passions is past that great men produce their masterpieces, just as it is after volcanic eruptions that the soil is most fertile.”
To which I reply: How cruel of Nature to bring the Muses to a man only after he no longer cares to steal glances at their legs or fondle their breasts.
Yet, I am beginning to understand the experiential logic of this maxim. For me, Catholicism and age are now the two greatest reins to the reign of the passions. Per Catholicism, I paraphrase a comment made by the enviously gifted but extremely unpleasant Evelyn Waugh: If you think I am bad now, just imagine how worse I would be without Catholicism. If it were not for Catholicism, I would deliver myself completely to drinking, fucking, and pretending to read literature. Per age, this should be obvious. Even if I wanted to give myself utterly to my debased appetites, I no longer have the energy to pursue them like I once did. As it now stands, an early bedtime is much more tempting than fornication or keeping an all-night vigil with a fifth of bourbon.
Now is the time to pursue, without hesitation, with the energy that still lingers, my work. I dare not imply that it will be a masterpiece (or that I am a great man); rather, it will serve as my manifesto: a collection of short fiction, poetry, and essays. With this in mind and in heart, I must treat this blog as a more generous form of Twitter. I still plan to post regularly, but unless I am experimentally essaying a piece for publication, my posts will consist only of brief observations or quotations that have delighted me.
As far as I have been able to gather, my vocation is to write. Thus, I plan to treat my writing in the manner that a priest or religious would prayer: to submit oneself to a non-romantic, regularly-timed, and evenly-paced regimen, even if the inspiration is lacking. I offer this as my not-so divine office.