Lately I’ve been finding the things I’m writing and posting kinda sucky. Like, I don’t really like them. I believe what I’m doing is what is called in some circles “phoning it in.” As in I’m writing the things but there’s no heart in the things I am writing. I’m doing it merely to do it. And my sneaky wannaquit because it’s just too haaard brain is suggesting “this is why we don’t write every day. If you do something every day, it becomes a habit sure, but would you rather have a mediocre habit? Or write something truly inspired every once in a while?” Damn, I hate that part of my brain.
It makes a good argument, yes, that’s it’s job. It just burns me up that anyone hired it, much less allows it access to logic.
To be frank, I’m not crazy about any of the prompts this week. They are,
-find a picture on a social media site and create a story around it,
-take a broken book and, using a sharpie, black out words until you’ve created a poem out of whats left, starting with one page and expanding to five
-write a new ending to your favourite book or movie
I think it hilarious that I included the words, I’m not crazy in that first sentence. This is why. My brain, my lovely, creative, magical brain is finding that I am not stopping this habit of writing every day. This goes against the tide of do something awesome for 2 days and then get distracted and quit. And so my loopy, whimsical, overflowing with giggles brain is determined (for whatever reason) to find a way to sidetrack this habit I’m trying to cultivate with disdain for the work. While I have never, ever thought ‘I could come up with better writing prompts than these,’ I seriously haven’t, I have almost consistently thought ‘I don’t like this one. I’ll come up with some alternative because it doesn’t matter what I write, only that I do.’
Honestly, it probably really doesn’t matter if I do the prompts or not. No one is keeping track other than me. No one is judging, other than me. I’m not even sure anyone is reading on a regular basis and it doesn’t matter (it does a little bit) <-no. it doesn’t. (it does.) OK! Fuck. It’s really nice when you do something and someone sees it and thinks YEAH! or says YES! or just nods and makes a m-hm noise under their breath. That’s what being an interconnected social creature is all about, after all. But my point is, I believe that by skipping over, or saying I don’t like, or finding whatever reason to not do the daily prompts, it’s just another way I’m letting myself off of a hook that I find uncomfortable. Which actually sounds uncomfortable. There must be a better way to say it or feel it. Because that’s what I do. I put myself on a hook, I have expectations of habits I’d like to cultivate or behaviour I’d like to change, shift, evolve, whatever. I hold myself accountable but underneath, I’m secretly convinced that it’s only a matter of time before I fail, slip back into old habits. It was a nice experiment, but it’s become uncomfortable and it’s just easier to not write every day. Why don’t you slide off that uncomfortable hook and pick up that novel you’ve been neglecting? Or the internet? You love the internet. All those cats doing all kinds of things that you find amusing? Hmm? You love the cats (I’m typing this in the voice of the junk lady from Labyrinth, you got that right?).
So what is better than putting myself on the hook? I know it’s only a turn of phrase but it just calls to mind a scene from the texas chainsaw massacre (which is awesome, I even found things in the remake to love) and while I’ve never literally been on a hook, it does look damnably uncomfortable.
I just realized I could have probably typed this in third person and called it day 11, because I’m pretty sure this is what ‘illustrating aliveness’ is. Especially the reflection part. Though sometimes I feel like that’s all I do, is gaze into the reflecting pool. Writing like this feels very egotistical. A lot of the time, I am pleased with the forward movement, that’s the point of all this introspection after all, but there are so many times when it just feels like wanking (that is Australian for masturbating, if you didn’t already know that).
I do this thing where I write about all the folderol in my head, or bafflegab if you prefer. I most often script it like I’m having a conversation, even to the detail of adding you to the conversation, in word if not in actuality. I do consider that there is a strong possibility that you is still me, it’s good to be remain objective when talking to one’s self. But even if it’s not, how is this representative of a helpful tete-a-tete? It’s only a tete.
This roundabout my mind is currently on is brought to you by the letter Why? The number infinity+1 and the theory that I could stand to work on my listening skills. The line from fight club that resonated most with me was “when people think you’re dying, they really really listen to what you have to say, instead of just waiting for their turn to speak.”
I don’t know if it would matter to me if I thought you were dying or not. Somewhere in my mind head, I still think what I have to say is wittier/funnier/more poignant than whatever you have to say. It is a level of arrogance that appalls me. I’m not as bad as I used to be, because of that line from that movie. Perhaps this blog is my way of holding on to that habit. Here, I’m the only one who speaks. I don’t have to worry that I’m being impolite. Here, I am the most clever person in the room. It doesn’t matter that I’m the only person in the room. Except for Gala..and she’s way more concerned with chewing a piece of wood to bits on my fancy red soft shag rug.
In a way, I’m happy to see the resistance is back. It suggests that I’m still doing the right thing. I’m still scared of what’s going to come of this experiment…seriously though, why? What’s the worst that could happen? I could use my writing skill to engage, enliven, encourage and other things that begin with en? Worse case scenario, I use these one sided conversations to help myself grow into a more sane, non-judgmental, compassionate (with herself as much as others) individual who listens as well as she speaks and finds a delicious balanced ability to live in the moment, while embracing the future and learning from the past. That doesn’t seem like a bad thing at all.
Ok. Day 11. She discovered a delightful freedom when she stopped expecting perfection and just kept using the words to dance, because dancing felt good and that was the most important part.
Day 13. Every day he would walk the same route to work, past the shop on the corner with the large picture windows showcasing a variety of musical instruments. Shiny gold trumpets, sleek cat-like clarinets, all the brass and woodwind and percussion instruments one could imagine. But the centerpiece was the only thing he ever noticed. A brand new Steinway upright, all wood warmth mixed with a black and white austerity that belied the music hiding inside. His wife, with her perfect pitch and voice of an angel deserved to play an instrument such as this. It was difficult to imagine being able to save enough on his elevator repairman’s salary, but a man can, and indeed should, dream.
Ok, cheated a bit on that one. I didn’t get a random pic from the internet, that’s actually my grandad. I never met him, but my nana did have perfect pitch and he was an elevator repairman, but I don’t know what kind of piano they had.
Day 14 – Again, I cheated a bit. I couldn’t bring myself to black marker out any words in any books I have around the house, so I flipped open the dictionary (webster’s 9th new collegiate, though I have others too) to random page (608) and used inarticulacy to incessantly to write this;
articulate without expression,
conforming inaudibly to a beginning,
an auspicious natural incandescence,
a glowing zeal
power to manifest,
every important value
of divinity with humanity.
A passion aroused,
incentive to incite confidence
Day 15 – A different ending to my favourite book or movie. I can’t imagine Harvey ending any other way, I think they got it perfect. But I’ll see what I can do with harold and maude.
‘Harold drove faster, the tears running from his eyes unchecked as the jaguar hearse hybrid’s engine roared and leaped forward, as if distance from that hospital could erase the pain of losing Maude. Nothing else had worked, not prayer, not contrition, not begging, not anger. She had been thorough in her dosage, to ensure there would be no chance her time would be prolonged past her 80th birthday. The engine growled as he changed gears and twisted the wheel, causing dirt to spit angrily from beneath the tires. His mind flickered like a 16 mm projector recalling images of his all too brief relationship with the first person who took the time to see him. To recognize his pain and reflect it with compassion. Her smile, happy even when she was lost in sad memory shone forth brighter than a sunflower. Her words to him, gentle in contrast to the ambulance siren which screamed of panic and distress, the same panic in his broken, tear stained voice when he told her he loved her. “That’s beautiful Harold, now go and love some more.” He was beyond seeing now, imagining her the same way, his hands reflexive on the gear shift with little or no awareness that the cliff edge was coming closer. Oblivion beckoned and as his eyes closed in resignation. He inhaled. And felt his foot slip onto the clutch, moving into a lower gear, turning the wheel away from the trajectory that would lead him off the cliff and into the sea. The engine wound up as he let the clutch out and back down as the car slowed. He rolled to a gentle stop, popped the gearshift into neutral and exhaled. Opening his eyes, he saw that he was in a field of daisies, the same type of flower he had once wished himself to be, because “they’re all the same.” Even then, her wisdom has soothed the pain he felt at what he considered his anonymity within the grand scheme of things. “Oh but see, this one is tall, this one short. This one has many petals, this only a few, all kinds of observable differences. You see, Harold, I think a lot of the worlds’ sorrow comes from people who are this” pointing to an individual flower, “but allow themselves to be treated as that.” gesturing to the field.
Harold smiled remembering this, a genuine smile. He was becoming more accustomed to how it felt to actually do that. It felt pretty good. He would carry all the wisdom and love Maude had shown him and understood that things are incidental, not integral but still, there was no real reason to destroy such an awesome and well built jaguar hearse hybrid by driving it off a cliff. Harold turned and drove himself home, to go and love some more.
Honestly, I don’t know that is a better ending for Harold and Maude, because in my mind, it’s pretty much perfect, but it always made me sad that they killed the car. That’s about the only thing I could think of changing.
Ok, so all those days I skipped and/or was thinking about skipping done in one post.
HA! SUCK IT RESISTANCE!!!