At one time in my life I remember thinking that there was just no point in writing at all if I couldn't be the best writer who ever lived—that uppity upstart Shakespeare included.
Now, I think, I hesitate to write if I can't be as good as myself at my best. I've started finding what I write derivative, repetitive, and uncooperative, before I've even given it a chance to live and breath. I know I'm just being a writer's blockhead, as they say, and every day I put it off the words get shyer and harder to capture (like crickets in jars, summer and nightsong caught in glass, the last days back in Santa Fe before college, the so-elusive trail of memory leading through Chinese poetry and translations by Kenneth Rexroth in the slender paperback with the black-and-white cover I read first I don't know when). The few I do manage to get into their paper cage seem poor imitations of the things they're trying to tell, for which I'm also sad.
So I've been off wool-gathering or sheep-unravelling without yet getting to the sheep! (And can only say, with Sandra Boynton, "baaaaa humbug.")
image: gathered wool,