I’m not afraid of dying. Pieces of me die all the time. – Sage Francis

I remember everything and I write everything down. Sometimes it rhymes. I am insatiable in mind, and in body. I learn from equanimity and grow by loving ravishingly. Don’t give me anything at all, if you can’t give it all to me.

To really know someone, you must have known them as a child. I was a Yankee who grew up in the southern boondocks. I rode my bike in the sand, stained my clothes with Georgia clay, and learned to be suspicious of the seldom vehicles that traveled down the country road in front of my home. “They must be lost,” we’d always say. I daydreamed of places I’d never been, of distinguishing myself from the rest of the world by becoming someone extraordinary, and made wishes to the southeastern night sky – and I was content to do it all alone. I never had an imaginary friend, but I talked to myself and was a pathological liar. I was needy for attention; I was greedy for a willing set of eyes or ears. I wore the phrases “look at me” and “listen to me” like I wore my Sunday dresses and Mary Jane shoes – proudly and unapologetically.  I stood out like a lone cranberry in a pit of peaches or sweet Vidalia onions. I didn’t belong like a sprig of mayflowers doesn’t belong in a bushel of magnolias or Cherokee roses. I excelled in school but was regularly reprimanded for talking too much. I received highest scores and awards in most subjects in all grades but was frequently disciplined and given detention for not following rules. I played instruments, danced, joined the drama club and was given leading roles in the school’s plays all the while being told to play fair, calm down, and why I couldn’t have it my way. With all this distinction, I got much of the attention for which I asked.

I still don’t know why I was asking for it. Back in those days, I had a recurring dream where I’d stepped up on stage and stood behind a podium. With the theatre lights warming me and both unfamiliar and familiar faces intent on mine, I didn’t know what to say. All the recognition that I ever strived for, I didn’t know what to do with it once I had it. It wasn’t like a nightmare where the dreamer forgot their lines or was overcome by stage fright – it was different. I wasn’t scared but was overwhelmed with everything I needed to say but didn’t know where to begin. I was slightly panicked that the audience would leave before they had the chance to hear it all, but I couldn’t form the words of what was so integral or of what was so important that needed to be said. Eventually the drive for attention faded as I grew older and figured out that well-timed silence can speak more than a novel’s worth of words and that, apart from poetry, it is not necessary to say something with five words when it can be said with three. I also subsequently started to realize that the craving I’d had for attention, to have eyes and ears locked and loaded on my words was not for the want of praise, applause or flattery in its own right. It was a pressure I felt, an ambition to give anyone who stood before me anything I had to give, to teach them anything I had learned, to have the right words in the right moment that they needed to hear. I still don’t know what it is that I feel I must say but I’ve discovered many more words in search of whatever that may be.

Poetry: Words that rhyme, and sometimes not. Uh, something, something, something, ought.
Melancholy: Blog, personal diary, narrative rants and resting place for random thought.
Sophistry: Short stories, flash fiction, fantasies, vignettes and such the other two forgot.
Vanity: Paintings, sculptures and pretty objects that I create or like a lot.
Serendipity: Places to spread the lifestyle sought.

My whole life is waiting for the questions to which I have prepared answers. – Tom Stoppard

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. – E.B. White

143 Responses to “by daily dying i have come to be.”

  1. Mmm… poignant and powerful. You spoke the right words to me :)

  2. Damien W. Green said

    A fellow greedy liar who craves the stage but begs for silence.

  3. Fred said

    Really well done. The ideas in here, do make one stop and think. The title instantly summoned thoughts of a phoenix, who cycles, burning bright knowing it must die before being born again, The piece though, while I can see some of that in here, is much deeper than a “simple” rebirth mythology, it’s very humanized in the way desires exist amongst questions, how satisfaction etc. is where. is how…Anyhow, really enjoyed this piece. Will definitely be following your work.

    Ps. I read poetry with music playing in the background. In flames, “borders and shading” played while I read this piece and the merger worked very well, anyhow figured I’d share:)

    • Fountains said

      Thank you, thank you! The phoenix is a very interesting take, and I like it. I looked up the song, and I agree that it somehow fits quite well. I appreciate you sharing very much. :)

  4. Tom Stoppard and E.B. White, excellent choices. I really loved your last long paragraph. I read it several times, and it’s still moving around my head.

  5. snapexforever said

    Wow, I was hooked from the beginning. You write just enough, and powerfully. I really get the sense for character here; I feel like I’m with you!

    (p.s. thanks for checking out my little blog : ) )

  6. I’d like to see more. Show me something new, a bit about you. Tell me of fountains.

  7. Great read! Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  8. This is beautiful and your words don’t seem to need to rhyme to become a piece of poetry :) Definitely would love to see more from where this came from.I don’t think I need to state the fact that I absolutely adore this piece :)

  9. dsnake1 said

    with a title like that, i have to continue reading. :)

    enjoyed the read, thanks for sharing!

  10. Please join poetry potluck week 42 today,
    Feel free to submit random poems or poems unrelated to our theme.
    Cheers.
    Happy Tuesday.
    appreciate your input.

    keep up the excellence.

  11. hames1977 said

    pleasant fountain,

    i am drawn enigmatically to the beauty of your mind. i must say, i felt admiration, the first time i read about you. to me, you are the poetess extraordinaire. i think i have to dig your treasure trove of literary exploits, conjuring how beautiful your mind is. all the best.

    • Fountains said

      Admiration? Oh my. You should choose your words carefully, or else you just might make me feel special. ;) Think I might make some business cards just so I may title myself as Poetess Extraordinaire! I love that someone thinks my mind is beautiful, as most just think it’s a dark place. Hope you like what you find on the rest of the site, and thank you very much for your charming feedback.

  12. What up? Are you an X-Men fan?

  13. Jo Bryant said

    What an amazing creature you are. Reading this made the comment you left on my ‘small stone’ even more valuable – although I MUST disagree with statement you made.

    “Eventually the drive for attention faded as I grew older and figured out that well-timed silence can speak more than a novel’s worth of words and that, apart from poetry, it is not necessary to say something with five words when it can be said with three.”

    My poetry tutor – another amazing creature i’ve been lucky to touch as I pass – once told me that “in poetry – every word must EARN its place, or it does not deserve to be there – cut! trim! and then cut and trim more”

    I believe that especially in poetry – 3 words can and often does say more than 5. :)

    • Fountains said

      You know, I cannot argue with that. I myself have sat for long moments waiting on just the right word to come to me instead of using many to say the same thing. But I think a common and whimsical stereotype of poetry is that it is wordy, flowery, and overly-descriptive. Think of some of Shakespeare’s poems – dare I say sometimes he could have trimmed entire stanzas (if I were on stage, I’d expect rotten vegetables to be thrown at me right now :P). I believe I was implying the stereotype above without thinking much about it. You’ve brought up a good pondering, though – not only what is the definition of poetry itself but how different may the styles be and still be called poetry? A multitude of gratitude for sharing your insights and opinions.

  14. pmlevitt said

    I enjoyed this thoughtful read. I like the imagery of wearing lines. I also liked the idea about a well-timed silence meaning more than words. Beautiful.

  15. touch said

    Enjoyed this very much a great read, thanks for sharing.

  16. booguloo said

    I so liked this “… narrative rants and resting place for random thought.”

    Not used to that much honesty in one place, hard to comment.

    Looking forward to reading more.

  17. ~L said

    “to really know someone you have to know them as a child” how very true! Each layer from childhood to adult is who you have become. … to understand the adult now we must understand the child within to that has formed the adult now.

    Beautiful post. that line I quoted above has really touched me. Thank you.

    • Fountains said

      How gratifying it is to touch someone. Makes the words have even more meaning than just what their letters form. Thank you for the read and inspiring comments.

  18. Nice. Love the E.B. White quote. It strikes me that writers (and I include myself) possess similar personality traits – including a craving for achievement and attention! Wonderful personality traits indeed :D

  19. D.S. Jones said

    This I like. With tired eyes I took time to read it. Great pacing and tone. Reminds me of lazy summer days.

  20. Ravenblack said

    Very insightful and thanks for sharing this. I too have gone through some of this — from simply wanting to be heard to understanding that it’s not just for want of publication or fame or popularity but to simply share experiences. Finding the right words is always a challenge.

  21. Leo Fibonacci said

    Very Nice! I am captivated. Though the line about not being able to really know someone unless you knew them as a child, struck with discordance in me. The difference of who I am now and who I was then, makes childhood feel like several lifetimes ago. I will conceed that most of my childhood friends seem to have the very same thoughts rattleing around in thier heads today. But for me it seems, the only way you can ever really know someone else, is by first coming to really know yourself. :-)

    Love what I’ve seen of you. Excitedly looking forward to more! Hopefully much more.

    • Fountains said

      Hmm… you make a valid point. A person really must know oneself before someone else may know them, yes. But are you not who you are today because of who you were as a child? What we experienced and who we were as children must undoubtedly affect who we become as adults, right? Although, as you mentioned, some people just grow into larger children… Hope you stick around! ;)

  22. hannah said

    the insatiable thirst to be noticed. it never truly goes away. as time passed, i learned we may no longer want it from the whole entire world, but then sometimes, the whole entire world may have been reduced to just one person alone. and that has its pitfalls probably deeper than clamoring for recognition from the rest world. great post. it made me think. :)

    • Fountains said

      Extremely good point, hannah. As children we want attention from everyone, but as we get older our efforts become more focused – usually craving the eyes and ears of just one person. Yes, what a pitfall that may be… you’ve made me think, also. Your subscription is quite encouraging, as well. Thank you!

  23. cinnamon blues said

    I enjoyed reading this. It puts a spotlight on a craving that a lot of people have. I especially identify with the last few lines of the second para. :)

  24. Consider me a fan. You won me over! Love your blog, its innocense, realism, humanity, tenderness and southern references of course ;) ill be back! Hugs!

  25. gorgeous writing. stunning, absolutely stunning <3

  26. I feel like we have so much in common in reading this just now. So very glad to have found your blog!

  27. This is an excellent write. I hope you expand it further into a novel. Thanks for the visit, so kind of you :)

  28. fiveloaf said

    tq for subscribing :)

  29. Life is all about learning. Living is the lesson. It sounds as if you’re like me, always seeking answers. If you ever meditiate deeply enough, we ourselves hold a lot of the answers we are searching for. This was a wonderful read.

  30. blitzken said

    A very distinctive presentation, including the humourous summation of Poetry/Melancholy/Sophistry/Vanity, plus some really great quotes.

    I myself teeter between optimism and melancholy. I like the E.B. White In that regard I like the E.B. White quote very much. I have often described myself as a bitter optimist, such as here:

    http://randommisanthrope.com/2011/05/30/pity-the-bitter-optimist/

    Thanks for sharing your writing, I look forward to reading.

  31. So honestly and lucidly expressed. It just flowed along like a singing stream.

  32. Nicole said

    This is amazing writing and your first line blew me away!

  33. No words can express the emotion I felt in your words. Thank you for stopping by also.

  34. Papo said

    i love the lines; ” Don’t give me anything at all, if you can’t give it all to me” and “All the recognition that I ever strived for, I didn’t know what to do with it once I had it.” that pins me down like a the man in the mirror trying to get my attention…

    i love your writing

  35. Russ L said

    I loved your “Daily Dying”, and in itself, your Gravatar makes me smile! Nothing grave in that! The world is a better place with you writing in it!

  36. Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry, stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie. -Shakespeare. This is my favourite quote of Shakespeare – often overlooked in favour of the classics. You cannot love language if you cannot see the beauty in these few words. Then….Then….Then…I read the title of the page and the Sage Francis quote, pass me my oxygen mask for I cannot breathe.

    Dave

    • Fountains said

      Haha. :) They are my favorite lines, too, needless to say. The poem they come from is also overlooked, and one that I very deeply relate to. I like that you recognize Roethke when you see him, and appreciate Sage Francis. You should stick around. I am nothing if not eccentric.

  37. Every time I read your words I fall in love with your mind.

  38. Won’t mind sacrificing light for superb creativity.

    Won’t mind sacrificing the sun for rest of my life if I get the joy Thomas Alva Edison got after developing the first light bulb.;)

  39. Tincup said

    Is this really your picture? It caught my attention and made me think of hitting the “stalking button”…rare that beauty and prose align themselves…so I will hit the “stalk” button merely for the prose…LOL

  40. Tincup said

    Wow…well…you have both outer and inner beauty…I guess there are still some Georgia peaches:)

  41. Tincup said

    “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

    My last stalk post on this post…here is the dilema we face…desire to make the world a better place for those now and those to come…and the feeling to say f_ _ _ it why not just live my short life…it s the question we have failed to answer…could the two ever be aligned??? I think they could…but several generations would have to sacrafice the here and now for generations far into the future. Not sure it is in our genetic make up.

    • Fountains said

      I agree. I am not sure we’re made for any sacrifice at all, let alone ones we will not benefit from directly. All sacrifices are done at a present loss for a bigger payout later… maybe there really is no such thing as sacrifice after all. But yes, this quote continuously haunts me every single day.

  42. I didn’t get past the second paragraph before I had to leave a comment for you, and it took me five minutes to read that much, to savor every morsel, to feel every syllable in my mouth as if I were chewing something very tender and very juicy. I try not to be like the usual liberal arts major, looking for every little nuance in a writing, whether it’s there or not, whether intended or not, but yours seduced me into straying, and so I stay.

    I’ll continue to read for this morning, and in time it becomes obvious I will get to know some of you, the part you’ll elect to show us, the eloquent and provocative part, the part that is most likely endearing and a little sticky-sappy-sweet, but entirely yours alone the seven billion souls that walk upon the earth and make the floorboards creak with every step.

    Please allow me to use this blog as a guilty pleasure, and please allow me to tell you so from time to time.

    • Fountains said

      This blog is here for those seven billion souls to interpret and do with what they choose. Though I must argue that if something brings one pleasure, it ought not to make one guilty at all. You will undoubtedly get to know me more intimately than those I share my life with, as this place has become a Pandora’s box of my secrets and emotions and yes – many of them are sticky-sappy-sweet, but many are also dark, disturbing and downright unflattering. But just the thought that you find them eloquent and provocative assures me that good things will come from me airing the most private parts of myself in this lonesome little place. Thank you for taking the time to read and leave such thoughtful comments. I’ve enjoyed you.

  43. Your work is inspiring and I can relate to the struggles captured by your words. I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Please visit this page to see what it’s about:

    http://francoisbergh.wordpress.com/the-versatile-blogger/

  44. Enjoyed your narrative very much. Your reflections come alive from your use of language. Thank you for sharing it.

  45. Like this … like leaves falling up … like words that wish like love to make a mark …

    “Poetry: Words that rhyme, and sometimes not. Uh, something, something, something, ought.
    Melancholy: Blog, personal diary, narrative rants and resting place for random thought.
    Sophistry: Short stories, flash fiction, fantasies, vignettes and such the other two forgot.
    Vanity: Paintings, sculptures and pretty objects that I create or like a lot.”

  46. It appears the such rich honey attracted a lot of bees, wondering why it was not already in their possession?
    I enjoy your inner struggle, is that right? Is that correct of me, I don’t know.
    Your intellect is your shield but the inner curvature is so highly polished it is also your mirror!
    I kiss your hand
    x

  47. I have nominated you for “The Versatile Blogger Award” congratulations
    Hope you accept my nomination , check it out here:

    http://aslankanshaw.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/the-versatile-blogger-award/”

    Thanks!

  48. very excellent. I dig it immensely.

  49. keep writing keep sharing. bests

  50. IoannesP said

    nice n powerfull influence you have got!

  51. Skyorphan said

    “It was a pressure I felt, an ambition to give anyone who stood before me anything I had to give, to teach them anything I had learned, to have the right words in the right moment that they needed to hear. I still don’t know what it is that I feel I must say but I’ve discovered many more words in search of whatever that may be.”

    Resonant

  52. typing on ones knees is difficult but may I link this on my Facebook timeline?

  53. I will link it as private until I hear from you !

  54. Rachana said

    Its just a pleasure to read whatever you write… intrigues the mind… makes you think… that you can think differently…

  55. I read it out loud in an US accent! It works, my life however is waiting for the answers for questions I have not prepared.
    X

  56. akindeleoyeyemi said

    I was in search of something and I Stumbled on ur blog thanks to google…

    Everyword, each line, paragraph has its meaning… It speaks, struck like a bee’s sting…echoes of the past, light on the present, forecast of wht can drive the future..
    Love ur words, ur lines and I love u for it…simply u the best!!!

    Keep the flame on

  57. Happy holiday,
    Once I worked in ‘the gods’ in an old theatre with manual electric spotlights, it was so old the residue of lime sticks could be scraped off the ceiling of the ‘light box’ or room. If I had control of such limelight there is no doubt I would find you on the stage with a ‘marker’, a tiny light stream with mechanical iris almost closed, then flood your stage with a spotlight of perfect and mobile perfection to enhance your performance.
    Why?
    It would be your Christmas Gift.

  58. “stray lower.” seriously got myself simply addicted with your site!
    I personallywill certainly wind up being returning considerably more regularly.

    Thanks ,Bobbie

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