Late

December 19, 2008

I’m late
To find out where
I need to be.
Can you help me?
 
I’ve forgotten
What I should know
To get me through
This day.
 
So
Tell me what you know
And I’ll look within
To see what jibes
 
Don’t worry
I’ve been late before
It’s my usual
State to be in.
 
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I knew instantly

December 13, 2008

I knew instantly when I saw the SS prompt that I would mingle a personal anecdote with a few witticisms and slog through a paragraph or two telling about some event that grew less interesting the more I wrote about it. Then I would try to re-energize my typing fingers by inserting an interjection of madness into the stream of thought and then scramble about attempting to survey the new landscape while still trying to figure out how to make a complete whole.  I give up that fruitless attempt, bang head against the nearby stone pillar and confusedly stare at the blinking prompt.  Next I look around frantically for something, anything to read so that I do not have to spend even an instant more in this sucking void of creativity.  Must become sponge-like, give me already written story.  Snap back into writing mode, smooth out the creases in the brow and try and remember why this paragraph began in the first place.  Oh yeah, me.  I knew, though it took more than a few moments, that I would be spinning wildly into this writing space with nothing on my mind and attempt to stroke from the threads of this particular consciousness something resembling coherence.  Have I failed?
 

Life living

September 15, 2008

My dear friend Michael has brought to my attention words that I had written some time back and with the revisit I can feel the bubbles of lifeexpansionfreedom well up inside of me.  I am in my last semester of graduate school and feel the closing of an era that began with a plunge into the standardized test of the GRE and will now finish with the search for that first job at the professional level of librarianship.  I feel unsatisfied.  I have projected a life path that includes the safety of government work and am close to acquiring a degree that will strengthen my ties to career that has moments of satisfaction but still leaves me yearning for more.  I’m sure that I am the first human being to ever be in this predicament (Ha!).

In that first post written a year and a half ago (referenced above) I was struck dumb by the words of a YA author who let go of the known and plunged into the churning rapids of the yet-to-be-determined.  In his story I saw my own life and eventual future of chances not taken, fields left unexplored.  So I mustered up enough gumption to write my blog post to the world and then dutifully returned to the writing of a paper dictated to me by an educational system that encourages well-thought-out passive responses to pre-fab questioning.  And I received an ‘A’ on that paper which made me feel quite good about myself, like I actually accomplished something substantial rather than demonstrating what a nice obedient puppy I truly am.  I’m a smart doggie.

Zoom to this moment and my dogness (no offense to you canines out there, I appreciate a good fetch session) has become even more ingrained as I take the next step of holding up that piece of parchment that proclaims to the world, “Yes I am ready to join the working ranks of those that have chosen security over risk.  Please welcome me with open arms, um, how many years until retirement?”

I admit that I’m allowing drama to infuse this post but I know that there is a ripe kernal of truth at the heart of these frolicking words.  I’m already looking ahead, glazing over the process inherent in the now, trying to find that job description that I can match to my perception of me.  There is a certain thrill there, the chase of that elusive next job that overshadows a deeper longing for a life purpose that will remain unfulfilled if all of my days are restricted to the library field.  I know this to be true.  And yet one must work and financially it makes sense to try and move up the career ladder.  Blah.

The difficulty of my situation is that my dreams are cloudy unformed things that are elusive and cause me to shrink back into other more comfortable arenas.  I consider writing for a bit and then sit down with a book.  Or watch a movie.  I’m fascinated by the creative process and then abandon it personally to become one of the audience.  I read about the lives of authors and calculate their life trajectory with my own.  At time I’m a pathetic silly man surrounded by books yearning to be on the other side of the words.  But to this point the insistence of the dream comes in spurts and I can placidly go about my life for weeks at a time with only a faint recollection of what it is I truly should be doing (At least that’s what I suppose, I am welcome to life injecting an alternative purpose).  The beauty of modern life is that everything is so busy and one can easily be submerged into the flux and forget what it is one ought to be doing.  My yearnings get caught up in this flow and the cloudy dreams easily disperse to reform in a different day’s sky.  I’m conflicted and know it and these words attest to that fact.

Yumminess

June 18, 2008

I’m holding my hugs for a second longer looking at bewildered eyes as the embrace loosens.  My smile comes quickly when approaching a stranger the beauty of changed expression alight on their face.  I scan for bright flowers while walking the neighborhood, look at that purple, orange or pink!  I’ve noticed that this thing called life is at once immense and at times intmate enough to feel the light breeze upon my eyelashes or hear the soft coo of a babe resting in arms.  Marvel.

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You are what I am sensing within myself at this moment and I am that to you as we shadow dance in mirrored reflection.  I want to help and know that the only way is to be a better light by examining my own wiring.  My hurdles are intertwined with yours though our roles may play out differently.  We are both, together, moving towards understanding but these words I use are only pointers towards something I find difficult to describe.  Youmeness.  Yumminess.

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.

Dear Grace,

Even though I cannot represent all of humanity I want to, for this moment, act as a speaker for the human race and apologize to you and all future generations for the harm and havoc we have reeked upon the earth. I have looked deep within and I do not think we truly understand what we do. We pour chemicals into the ocean and forget that we are poisoning the very water we drink. We slaughter animals by the millions in a genocide of epic proportions to provide flesh wrought by violence that clogs our arteries and stills our beating hearts. We clear cut ancient forests and Amazonian jungle, extinguishing all manner of flora and fauna not realizing that the diversity of life supports our very existence. We tirelessly run machinery and factories which support our lifestyles and produce noxious fumes which suffocate our fleeting breath. We started doing all of this many years ago and now we do not know how to stop. We are caught in the rut of habit, attached to that which makes us sick.

Grace, we need to remember. We are inextricably connected to this earth and will share in the fate we are helping to bring about. We used to be more in tune with the natural processes and we have since moved further and further away from the flow of life. We have put birth and death behind the antiseptic walls of institutions and forgotten how important it is to witness these sacred passages. We have ignored or kept hidden parts of existence that may seem painful or unwelcome. We are fragmented and so think that there is an “other” with which we must struggle.

Grace, I do not know what the answer is but I do know that there are many good folks on this earth trying to bring about change. I hope that in my own life I can tread a little more lightly upon this earth and learn to live more in concert with the ebb and flow of life. I will continue to look within and explore the stillness that extends over this mysterious planet. I will do my part to re-member and find inside my heart that connection that binds us all together.

I love you,

Your Dad

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.