This is a struggle. Writing is a struggle. We write for writing’s sake, and by the end of the adventure of each text, imagined and transcribed and edited, we hope to leave some sort of impression. We will recite the refrain again and again that “writing is its own reward,” but without eyes and minds to fall upon it and read it, how can it make an impression beyond the tiny mind of the writer? If an essay falls in a forest, and no one is there to read it, does it still make a sound?
P. S. Here is a poem from Charles. Plenty of forest scenery in which an essay could hypothetically fall and make no sound.
“A Wilderness in the Vicinity of Chicagoland” by Charles
The landscape changes now.
The highway cuts through.
These trees leaved in a frozen firestorm of colors
Trunks snaked with granulated red fire,
The autumnal ivy creeping up their hard skins
Some creation yet to emerge from its curtain.
Bucolic bovines unseen in the fields
Low growing crops: wheat, new corn, alfalfa
Red ferns that look murderous and bloody on the edges
Fences rolled from hay beside the big red barn
In the farmyard, fat black hogs.
A narrowly sloping country, an edge country
A borderland to metropolis, to the suburban conurbation
Near invisible lines for power stretching across
the state line and
the city limits.
Occasionally, an overpass or a towering steal pylon,
as a memory or a premonition of something
Something lost; or, something yet to come. . .