Archive | November 2016

Winter

On Monday night, I took my son and a friend of his to the gym. Because I am out of shape myself, I chose to stay as well, do some cycling, walking and weight lifting. I’ve been a member of one gym or other since my 30’s and I have to say, the current one contains the fittest of the fit. It is a little intimidating and very strange. But that isn’t saying much as any gym is an odd place, filled will all sorts of people doing all kinds of weird things.

As I prepare to do my equally strange exercises, I people watch. Strangers walk down crowded isles towards the storage cubicles (where they stash keys and coats, phones, sweatshirts), the one working drinking fountain, and  I can’t help but wonder about their stories, backgrounds and motivations.

When they hover around machines, waiting for others to finish or their bodies to recover between sets, what sorts of things are they imagining, worrying about, pondering? My routine is to clear my head as much as possible, focus on the motion of my body, the tension in my muscles. I use this same technique while cycling outdoors, concentrating on the road in front of me, the approaching terrain. I am never as much in the now, the present as when I am biking, working out. I wonder why I don’t do it more.

Wishes and fishes, eh…

Contrast-

During the time I was in the gym, a winter storm that had been threatening all afternoon decided to strike. Several inches of snow covered the parking lot and visibility was reduced to less than 200 feet. I hate driving in the snow, well driving in the snow when there are other cars about. It takes a different kind of focus and determination. It sets me on edge, that sort of effort. By the time I made it home, my neck hurt and my fingers ached from clenching. Winter announced itself with a bang, and while I do find a snow covered landscape beautiful, it will be a very long time until the green leaves and deep blue sky return.

Here is an older photo taken after a particularly lovely winter storm and of Keyara making paths. That girl loved the snow so much.

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Tell me about your winters, your routines, your thoughts, if you dare.

 

Post Script- I’m still playing around from time to time at this lovely blog. https://onlyoneshoe.wordpress.com/

It is filled with images of found objects and short stories to accompany them. Check it out. Share it if you think its cool.

 

 

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Third

As the entire family is home today, I considered taking this week off. It is a holiday weekend, after all. Laziness is the word, the goal. Then I got to thinking, taking a week off three weeks into a writing goal is like taking a cheat day three days into a diet.

I am really good at cheating on a diet, in case you were wondering. If there were an award for it, I’d always be in contention for first place. Everyone needs a skill I guess.

I also wish there were an award for going to New York City.

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The wife and I will be heading back to our favorite place on earth in December. Part of measuring how much I love a particular city is visiting when it is either too hot, too cold, or both. I clearly remember walking down a frozen Boston street in early January, the wind whipping around my face, my friend and I wandering towards a fine watering hole for a drink or seven, and thinking how much I loved Boston.

Honestly, I already love NYC so much that I don’t think any weather or event would alter my opinion.

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We will be taking the Red Eye again (which we did last November), but this time have arranged an extra day at the hotel. Being exhausted with no where to sleep made for a rough morning, though it did give me opportunity to take some lovely morning images.

What about you? Where are your favorite places to vacation? Do you like visiting cities? If so, which ones stand out for you?

Week Two

Yesterday was my 46th birthday. The day was mostly uneventful and passed by very much like the day before and the day before that. I’m not complaining, really. Those I care most about wished me happy birthday, and I was able to spend the afternoon with the boys and the evening with Sheryl. I am a very fortunate person, could not ask for a better life or better people around me.

The weather has been fantastic all month, with temperatures hovering in the 50’s and 60’s. Yesterday was no exception. Today, the wind and rain have arrived. Snow will soon follow. I like to believe that Autumn hung around just to wish me a fantastic birthday, which I appreciated.

Winter will come. It always does.

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Forty six.

I’m not quite sure what to make of that, but I’m sure birthdays bring out the reflective quality in all of us. Somewhere along the way, the person I see in the mirror is not the same as the image I have in my mind. I am different in almost every  conceivable aspect. My 20 year old self would likely not recognize me if we passed on the street. Older, balder, fatter, all those things that we promise ourselves will never happen, happen. Luckily, aging is less traumatic than I expected, and while I have my melancholic moments, I do my best to look forward rather than wallow in what is gone forever.

I’ve seen what living in the past can do to someone. Watched as they’ve tried to relive and recapture emotions, events, that they somehow think are better, more important than the hear and now, often ignoring those around them who they profess to care for, love. The isolation. The self deprecation.

I’ve spent too much time doing that myself, seen years slip pointlessly by pining for people and things, places. It is soul crushing. Climbing out of that hole was hard and painful.

There are better things ahead of me, I know that. New York City in December, for one. More time with family and friends, vacations, parties, graduations, weddings– The list goes on.

 

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I got records (vinyl) and a clever new laptop for my birthday. And also, if you were wondering, you didn’t get me anything–so you are collectively the worst friends of all time. *wink wink*

 

Wednesday Morning- 10:30

The sun came up this morning. Not surprising, but still a good thing. Right now (late morning), the sky to the west is a lovely deep blue, and a light breeze is blowing from the south east. Autumn is usually my favorite time of the year. This one has been vexing.

I sat out on the porch, sipping coffee and watching the cars pass (people on their way to wherever, whatever), taking in one of the last warm mornings of the year, contemplating.

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There is much to think about.

Today, I am grateful for small things because the larger context of the world feels overwhelming. I am thankful for my family, for friends, who mean the world to me.

I love them

I am also missing my two girls, which isn’t a new emotion, but very near the surface today. I love them too. Dogs are the best. They love regardless. Always, unconditionally. They have much to offer and teach us.

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Some days are harder than others, and some events more poignant and devastating (which is of course a matter of perspective, a point of view, but that doesn’t diminish their affect). Yet after each one of those difficult moments, the world keeps spinning, offering us another chance to make a difference, continue fighting.

Maybe this time, this today

Someplace to start, at least. An opportunity to recommit, determine to love more fully, work harder and make my small corner of the world better.

I can control that, at least.

IWSG-November

Welcome to the November installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group monthly blog hop. Once again we gather to discuss our writing successes and failures, our moments of joy and our deep dark fears. What a roller coaster ride of conflicting emotions!

If you want to find out more about us, or how to join, click this lovely link

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

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For the second month in a row, I’m choosing to answer the suggested question. I’m starting to see a trend. I go to the dentist (cavities this time, what a world), then the next day, I’m all about rule following. My guess is there is something in the fluoride.

November question- What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

Some things come to mind: Being able to create people, events, worlds which did not exist before I put them on the page (what a powerful feeling). Finding ways to make sense of the emotions, events, people that make up my daily life (It is so damn cathartic). Sharing stories or swell blog posts with like minded people (people with minds like mine? Shudder)

All those things are wonderful, but the thing I love best about being a writer is the intimate connection I have with words and language.

I feel fortunate to think, write, read, understand the word through the English language, which is among the most vast languages in the world (containing over 1 million words). Of course there are things one cannot express very well in any language which are unique to cultures and regions, but a visit to any English thesaurus will show the flexibility and diversity of my native tongue.

Having a multitude of ways to express concepts is a priceless treasure for a writer (a thinker, a human being in general). The more words at my disposal, the more complex and diverse ways I can understand a concept, theory, etc. Language liberates my mind, gives structure to my thoughts, creates order out of chaos, and most importantly, allows me to communicate with all of you.

I’m rambling, but you get the idea.

Next month, I should write about the ambiguity of language, the arbitrary nature of meaning  and debunk this entire blog.

What about you clowns? What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? Another option- write my language counter argument for me by defining the word meaning. 

Layers and layers of analogy, people.

An aside- My October experiment was not successful. The story I chose fell apart after about ten thousand words. I’m letting it sit for a while, and am moving on to a different project. I may or may not do NaNo. This afternoon’s effort will decide my fate.

Down the rabbit hole we go…