So, the following is a post I have come across which shook me to my very core in a profound and inspiring fashion. Written by Bonnie Kozek, a published author, it basically embodies my fears, preoccupations and self-prophecies pertaining to the life of one who lives by the written word. Bonnie also shares my love of words and seems to display the same notions of scripturiency, but perhaps in a more tactful way. Please enjoy her post, I am including the first portion of it, click the link afterwards to view it in it's entirety on her site.

Bonnie Kozek--March 2009

The writer suffers. London, overdose. Woolf, drowning. Mattheissen, leap. Hemingway, gunshot. Plath, gas. Berryman, leap. Inge, carbon monoxide. Sexton, carbon monoxide. Brautigan, gunshot. Levi, leap. Kosinski, overdose. Gray, drowning. Wallace, hanging. Mishima, ritual suicide culminating in assisted beheading. This accounting, even in the extreme, barely skims the surface.

The American psyche has long been acculturated to the idea of the “suffering writer” – the “mad artist” – the connection between creativity and insanity. Moreover, American writers, as referenced in the above abridged list of suicides, have substantially contributed to the incontrovertible nature of this broadly accepted “tradition.” Indeed, beginning with research first conducted in the 1970s, the scientific community has attempted to explain the phenomenon of the “suffering writer.” In her book, Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, Kay Jamison, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, reports that writers are as much as 20 times as likely as other people to suffer depressive illnesses. Why? There appears to be two principal reasons: First, illness brought on by individual biology and/or traumatic experience, and secondly, a predisposition by way of birthright. Couple this with the inherent downsides of the profession — isolation, loneliness, rejection, financial insecurity – and the glamorization of the suffering writer – so prevalent that it has engendered a kind of “suffering competition” – (Upon learning of Plath’s suicide, Sexton is reported to have said covetously, “She took something that was mine! That death was mine!”)— and there you have it: A foregone conclusion

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Thanks Bonnie, for making me feel less crazy. With any luck, we'll find out that we're not simply both crazy.  

writing under the influence,