Skating along

June 7, 2008

It’s been awhile since I’ve made my way onto these pages.  I am reverting back to sponge, taking in the information around me and letting it ooze out through my pores.  Alas that expiration rarely finds itself being translated into written words and I continue the intake unabetted.  When I’ve convinced myself that now, this moment, is the time to sit down and write, I am overcome with everything else that I could potentially be doing.  While at home I open up the journaling notebook and remember that the dirty dishes are sitting in the sink and gleefully get up to attend to suds and scrubbing.  I open up Word and begin a few sentences and it occurs to me that the laundry still needs to be sorted and I bound up from the desk chair to search out the disheveled garments.  I am both compelled to write and repelled by my own yearnings to step away from the creative flow. A man and mind divided.

I just remembered that the temperatures are in the nineties today and I have yet to water the garden…I’ll be right back…*Runs to the freedom away from the words*

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One of the thankful recipients of the water.

Fearless

April 14, 2008

Clouds

If I were fearless I would walk out the doors right now and into the sunshine and spring goodness. I take a breath so deep my lungs inflate and my feet leave the ground. I float into the branches of the tree overhead and laugh at the leaves tickling my face and arms. Above the tree now the fear comes back and I flail my body trying to descend or at least gain control. I can do nothing and yet I rise.

My speed seems to be picking up the people into ants and the buildings into lego blocks. The air is cooler and I’m glad for the sweater. Looking east I see the Atlantic extending into blue brilliance and I stretch out willing my body to travel in that direction. But all I can seem to do is go up. Clouds obscure my view of the land below until *poof* back into view comes a snippet of green or gold. I’m breathing faster from either lack of oxygen or growing excitement. Will I leave the atmosphere?

I’m really high now. I don’t feel my body any more and the reflections of the sun off of the clouds is almost too much to bear. My eyes close and I float away, the space inside and out supporting me as the fear drops away.

Photo catch-up

April 8, 2008

The little girl is growing up–twelve weeks on this Saturday–so I thought it might be fitting to share a couple of recent photos. I am constantly amazed and delighted by the gifts of fatherhood and this from someone who was not too sure if kids were ever going to be a part of the future. Even the night time wake-ups or extra messy diapers offer a certain brand of joy when I stay in the moment and know that in that instant I am just there to help out a little being getting used to the feel of a new world. The baby smiles and coos are just the cream on top of this joyous feast.

May I have your undivided attention.

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Can you tell that I am smitten?

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Still cold enough for the occasional hat.

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Beauty! (But isn’t that what all fathers say?)

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Informational writing

November 10, 2007

I wrote a little over 2500 words yesterday.  Unfortunately they were for a school paper comparing two models of information seeking behavior.  I would have to be extremely creative to find a way to infuse those words into the NaNo project.  “Jim returned home after a tiring day at the office and sat down to write about Zipf’s Principle of Least Effort.  Here’s what he wrote [Copy and Paste]…”  I’m imagining this interlude would prove to be quite boring.  Unless you are a fan of Zipf.  Its quite possible he has a small but cultish following in the information researcher community.

A couple of things I discovered about my writing habits yesterday:

  1. It takes me a long time to process and then compose.  I started the paper around 9:30a.m. and did not submit until close to 11:p.m.
  2. Procrastination is my favorite dancing partner.  Yours too?  I will actively seek out chores that I have been avoiding for weeks when an assignment needs to be completed.  Yesterday I raked half of the backyard, washed clothes and attempted repair of a leaky hose.  I’m sure G would like me to work on another degree after I complete this one.
  3. When I finally manage to squeeze a few words out of my fingers the sentences are almost as good as finished.  I looked over my work after I wrote the last line of the paper and only needed to make a few minor changes.  Some may think this a blessing though the load is heavy to bear when creator, editor and critic all share the same space. 
  4. The internal struggle must be won to get this body and mind into creative work mode.  When the world is so vastly interesting I can always find something new that entertains.  Without a deadline writing becomes a secondary concern.

And yet I return again and again to the written word feeling the need to share and celebrate the vastness of life from my individual perspective.  Does self-expression need to be so hard?  I believe in my case faulty comparisons and perfectionism undermine my creative flow.  And I have been known to lounge excessively. 

I believe its time for a picture.  Last weekend and a few flowers still hanging on.

Committing myself to the task of one million words this month as part of a Novel march has sparked a couple of thoughts into this meager mind. Pushing myself to return again and again to words that I must pull out of the air with the skill of a back-alley magician has left me with the feeling of joyful nausea. Marveling at sentences that write themselves I also ride the roller-coaster down with plot twists that rip away at the academic decency of my analytical mind. Perhaps this is a good thing, I’m not sure.

I do know that I enjoy the moments when the critic falls silent for an instant and I can celebrate playful and silly word flow. Strangely enough I have penned about 95 percent of my NaNo project while on the information desk at the library. (Please don’t tell). Granted this time has only produced a little over two thousand words but in one week that’s not too bad for the downtime at work. Even if I don’t catch up to the billion word goal by the end of this month I could quite possibly get a novel written in the cracks of time that are always present at a public service desk.

You may be wondering about the title of this post and if I have deliberately ignored or typically forgotten my point. I have not. I found this bloom on my porch this last weekend.

Letting go of the Trail

November 5, 2007


Monday nights I’m in class online and often there is a downtime moment and I think to check out Writer’s Island to see about the week’s writing prompt. I just looked about twenty minutes ago and I thought, “Interesting, but I’m feeling pretty lazy at the moment.” Returning to class by way of a click on the browser tab I soon found boredom and hopped onto this here blog. I’d already decided not to do a WI post though wanted to put up something so I searched through a couple of photos and it hit me: *ton of bricks* I cannot forget about the Appalachian Trail!

Here’s the evidence:

  1. Numerous references throughout my blogging career most notably here, here and here. I counted at least two more.
  2. In both of my classes right now I am bringing in elements of my time spent on the trail. In one class I am exploring the information seeking behavior I engaged in leading up to my long-distance hike. In another I am creating a two minute digital story about (can you guess?) the life-changing events that occurred while I was on the blah-blah. These are some of the pictures from said earth-shattering occurrence.

Okay enough of the list. I have found the truly unforgettable in my life and (being serious here) do believe that it had a profound effect on this life. But sometimes my re-visiting of this time period makes me feel like a one-trick pony. And so here is my offering to the gods of the not-soon-to-be-forgotten: do with it what you will.

(I’m thinking some of this post has to do with NaNo and my propensity to use highly autobiographical content and then do a slight fictionalization. In this case it is a trip I took to Europe some years back-the AT hike of that time period. My word count increases as I exorcise the past.)

I must admit: I do look pretty content in the pictures.

The End of Phoctober

October 31, 2007

Thanks again to Maht at Moon Topples for graciously hosting Phoctober. Because of this international event I’ve seen storefronts in South Africa, gardens in England, murals in South Korea and bars in Chicago. I’ve also been exposed to a wide variety of flora and fauna: whales, flocks of birds, roses, dogs, action figures and many leaves of different colors. Simply, my world had been expanded and I’m thankful. So in the spirit of sharing I’m going to exhibit one of the most fascinating of earth’s creatures: the human being. Here are a few that populate my off-line existence.

Happy Halloween!