Or: an essay moves forward by moving sideways.
"Sound paradoxical? Welcome to the essay." David Lazar
"Writing is not, as I first supposed, been a remembering of a concluded period in my life, but merely a constant pretense at remembering, in the form of sentences that only lay claim to detachment." Peter Handke
"The person who interrupts instead of unquestioningly accepting and categorizing is slapped with the charge of intellectualizing as with a yellow star; his misled and decadent intelligence is said to subtilize and project meaning where there is nothing to interpret. Technician or dreamer, those are the alternatives." T.W. Adorno
"...memoir is an assaying of ideas, images, and feelings. It is, in its best sense, an impulsive exploration. It is not storytelling. It is not moralizing. It is not knowing, learning, nor even theorizing. Etymologically at the core of every memoir are anxiety and wonder and doubt." John D'Agata
"We build the corral as we reinvent the horse." Stephen Dunn
Later in the dream I'm looking for that place on the wall where you push gently and the hidden room is revealed. When I wake I think that the best word in any essay is "but."