This is my open letter on the New York Times.
To tell them I’d accept if they’d inquire.
I’d write for them a weekly column, at the normal rate, and with the normal prestige.
I need the money and could use the discipline and the feedback/reality.
And I firmly believe that I could stand the rest. The name in lights; the accolades and criticisms from strangers who may or may not have read with understanding and sympathy; the few impressed enough to be fans and the few worried enough to say I’m a waste a money; the political corrections and missed connections; the discipline and the feedback/reality.
What should my column be about?
Pure Love — that eternal spiritual Love through which all mundane loves draw their breath to the extent that they truly Love — ?
The Hurt — that lonely splintered sharding explosion of shame, sorrow, betrayal, and confused panic — ?
The Loneliness — that sad bashful little kid watching the Hurt bleed everywhere while Pure Love envelops, coddles-in, and love-lifts the whole mess?
I guess we’d have to relate our themes to current events, however fleeting, boring, and illusionary such things may be.
Oh New York Times! All the pretty colors and entrancing shapes! How they kaleidoscope! How they twist and turn, fall in upon each other, fall out of each other, recombine in new crystalline patterns and then move again.
Oh New York Times! What’s the point anymore?
Thanks for sticking up for democracy.
Thanks for pushing back on Trump.
I understand if you can’t hire me.
I understand if you’ve no time to talk to me.
but i couldn’t help but see
that you’ve got no column
that’s really just a poem
that’s really just a wander
in the cool April rains
as the muck seeps into white sneakers
that had seemed eternal just the other day
but that now we know just aren’t at all.
Another theme for the column: Something Deeperism — both the philosophical justifications for a belief in True Goodness shorn of other religious and metaphysical details, and an inhabitation of a stripped down mysticism (the Light shines through everything, including each conscious moment; we should work to better and better organize our ideas and feelings around the Light).
Maybe we could start with a series about Julian of Norwich and the Buddha. Like we none of us at Skullvalley After Whistletown or the New York Times can imagine how either one of these metaphysical luminaries could be wrong, and yet in some spots they seem to disagree: How to smooth over those apparent conflicts? This would be another way to angle in for a stripped down, barebones, essential kind of mysticism.
I don’t think the New York Times has a columnist doing the kind of work I’m here proposing. Maybe there’s a real need.
Would there be interactions with other columnists?
I would maintain that they were all both crazy dogmatists and hopeless nihilists.
My logic would be that they believe in what doesn’t matter, and as such they are both hopelessly wayward detailists and believers in the essential meaninglessness of everything.
These attacks would be delivered with the light hand of one with nothing to prove, nowhere to go, and nothing to say. Since, of course, I can’t really feel anything excepting the wind buffetting and the rain splattering my tall lonesome loomingcity-facing windowpanes.
Author: Bartleby Willard
Editor: Amble Whistletown (he comes with the package!)
Copyright: Andy Watson (his existence is disputed)