I think I have probably called ten or so posts "more than this" in my time of writing online, or maybe wanted to call them so and then said no, because (a) cliché (b) risk of people hearing Robert Smith in their minds instead of Bryan Ferry, not that Robert Smith is ever truly a wrong answer (c) "More than what, exactly, you never did say." The urge is back again.
A thing that happens when you neglect a blog for a year is that you have these ideas that maybe you could hang a post upon, and you tell someone I am having blog thoughts and they say, as is tradition, Good! or Nice! or Yes! or similar. No one is ever not supportive. But it's almost as though saying that deflates the urge to write the actual post, as if you have done the work already, and then you get busy with digging a path through three feet of snow so that you can get the recycling out of the house.
I read Life after Life years ago--while the blog was still being somewhat regularly updated!--saw this, and stowed a slice of paper there so that I could find it again. I told myself during The Dry Time that when I came back to writing here again, I would type it in for you.
"Fred Smith? What was he like? Do tell!"
"How? In bed?"
"Gosh, no, not that at all. I've never... like that, you know. I think I thought it would be romantic. No, that's the wrong word, a silly word. 'Soulful' perhaps."
"Transcendent?" Millie offered.
"Yes, that's it. I was looking for transcendence."
"I imagine it finds you, rather than the other way round. It's a tall order for poor old Fred."
"I had an idea of him," Ursula said, "but the idea wasn't him. Perhaps I wanted to fall in love."
"And instead you had jolly good sex. Poor you!"
(To have a friend like that is a marvelous thing.)
It's so naked, to admit "I was looking for transcendence" and, by extension, to admit you didn't find it. So much of what passes for the personal internet these days involves garbage inspiration and sunshine stupidity; I find it infuriating and wasteful, even though I know so many people respond to it. I wonder about the difference between life coachery, typeset shreds of text (I can't call them quotations because who says this stuff, I mean really) meant for repinning and regramming and reblogging, and a character in a novel admitting that she had aimed for a goal, failed to meet it for whatever reason (let's not malign Fred here just in case), and found herself without anything more than the ordinary.
It's possible that I keep wanting to use "more than this" as a title because I was looking for transcendence, too. I always am! If we could manufacture that shit we would all do it. And we would do it all day long like junkies and we would never do anything else. Who wouldn't want to freebase Life+? It's not practical but neither is so much of what we do, anyway, that we call living.
There are so very many exclamation points and italics in this post, possibly because I am not having it vetted by my own personal Millie. Possibly because it is wonderful--it is!--to write such a thing as this, without an answer, without Five Steps to Finding Transcendence, without any advice at all except to say that a thousand times a day, I am looking for it myself. This is how I know that whatever part of me did not want to grow up has gotten its way, and that I still live with wonder and expect to be amazed. I am on the lookout for more. I respond to the parts of other people that are looking for it too, and finding it in places I would not expect, and then writing about it.