Premature Magnum Opus

Nearly a month ago I announced a new project. I had been toying with the idea in my head for several weeks at the time, and finally decided to do it. I had a plan. I designed and wrote out the details. I never got the first piece finished.

I started it, but didn’t finish.

This actually isn’t very uncommon for me, but it was not supposed to happen. I know what went wrong, and now I’m trying to recover from the wreck that was my great project.

The idea was to interview people who I found attractive (not on the outside, but inside) and write about each one revealing their beauty in my writing. It pains me to remember that I had some wonderful ideas on how to do this. I had parts of the essays about certain people written already in my head. I had all of the details worked out for what the essays would be like. I should have written all of that down. Lesson learned.

I failed to write down those particulars, but I didn’t fail to begin an essay. The plan was to write essays about three or four people I already knew to get the project jump-started. Being the social klutz that I am, I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of my wife by leaving her out, and I really wanted to write about her anyhow, so I made hers the first essay. For fun, I went ahead and did the interview with her (so she could help me test the questions). I took notes. I got an idea. I started writing.

What I wrote was ridiculous. It was horrible. Here was my dearest, most beloved among all mortals, and I was writing an essay about her that even she wouldn’t like. What was I thinking?!? Where had I gone wrong?

Yesterday it occurred to me that what I was trying to write was my magnum opus. My wife is my eternal companion, my greatest lover, my best friend, the most beautiful, significant person in my life, and I was trying to put my thoughts and feelings for her into written language. I may write well, but not that well. Not yet. In my fear of offending her through omission in the project, I actually blundered the whole thing. I tried to do what I am not yet able to do.

Now, a month after the project’s inception, I have the beginning of an essay I can’t use and the train has wrecked. I have long since forgotten the taste of the project in favor of other, newer ideas. I already have plenty of troubles with the thoughts and ideas that race around in my mind, avoiding capture and dodging my view. While I don’t believe the ship has sailed for this project, it will certainly have to simmer in the background for a time while I attempt to let my subconscious reconstruct the ideas and rekindle the energy I’ll need to pick it back up.

When I do begin again, I will begin with someone I can write about at my current skill level. Perhaps another close friend, or a complete stranger. When I get the train going again I will be prepared to accept my limitations and there will be essays to read. I’m sure my wonderful wife will understand, and she will have something to look forward to down the road when my skills have advanced and I feel that the time is right. Someday I really will write my magnum opus. Someday those words will come. Until then, I shall have to write about people who mean much less to me; people for whom I have the words to write about them.

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1 Response to “Premature Magnum Opus”


  1. 1 Jessica May 28, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    This is such a great idea/project!


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