Writing Practice 11/26/2019

Stories of Your Life, page 119: It’ll be when you first learn to walk…

It’ll be when you first learn to walk. Your drunken-baby steps, uncertain and wobbly, that lead you only a few inches away from the safety of the couch at first, then further and further as you gain skill, confidence, strength.

Or – maybe – it will be when you first ride a bike. That proud-parent-even-prouder-child experience, when you go zooming off down the street faster and more sure than I could ever be for you right now.

Or – maybe – it will be when you have your first sleepover party, that time when I will for the first time be unable to sneak in your room at night and just watch, just check, just to make sure, once more, that you are, in fact, still breathing and are, in parallel fact, still my little daughter.

certainly it won’t be as late as when you get glasses. That’s going to be in about fifth or sixth grade, if family history is any indication. You’ll be what – eleven? Twelve? So grown up, and yet so vulnerable still.

I won’t even conceive that it could be as late as your braces, those fences inside your lips holding back your “true” development, but, at the same time, driving you to a more secure, more happy, more healthy body image. I must admit – I never went through that phase. The one bright spot in my DNA, I guess, so I don’t know how to relate to that. I’ll just have to listen then while you hate having braces and hate the rubber bands and hate flossing and hate the checkups and hate everything about it, just smile and nod, smile and nod.

Perhaps it would be foolish of me to think it would be at your first date. Or when you’re driving to your job. Or when you’re moving in to the dorm, or moving out, or when you finally come back to tell me the fabulous news. Or when you’ve finally gotten that sweet little bundle of joy of your own, when you feel “complete”, whenever that is down the road, whenever you’re able to give me advice on finances, or memory, or organization.

I could be forgiven for hoping it will last that long. But I know it won’t. Someday, it will come, that I will realize you are no longer my “little girl”. And then I will probably cry. Laugh, too, and give you a hug, but, yes, without a doubt, I will cry.

Until that day, though, I will savor these moments. I will cradle you here in the crook of my arm. I will feel the solid weight of your head against my bicep. I will stroke your tiny fingers, one at a time. Then all at a time, with my huge fingers, my giant hand, my overwhelming love. I will bask in this wonderful feeling, and together we shall march, arm in arm, into the future, as one. Let’s go, my dearest daughter.

Let’s go.

Writing Practice 11/23/2019

Write without purpose. Let the words flow freely. Do not impede their progress, from Muse to brain to pen to paper, but let them allow them encourage them to express themselves in your presence.

Become their conduit, rather than their dam. Become a gate through which they flow, rather than a barrier blocking their passage from the universe to your audience. See yourself not so much as a writer, or artist, or sculptor, as if you have the power, as if you have agency over the final form. But, rather, see ourself as the liberator, the catalyst, the accelerator of the birth and emergence of ideas, which once were clouded in the obscurity of the quantum foam, and which, through you, have been able finally to find their true expression, their fullness of being, their own transcendence of the chains holding them back from their truest, fullest, most complete and satisfying existence.

For is that not truly what all things, beings, even ideas, want? To achieve their potential? To make as large an impact on this universe as they are called to achieve?

To be anything less, then, is to laugh at the judgment of those who designed these spaces, these worlds, these modes of expression, and to say to them, “Bah, forget you, I know better than you do how high I can rise, how complete I can be, how fully my heart can be, and, contrary to your exalted expectations, honestly, I must say, you were quite mistaken. Would that I could reach so high! Alas, it is your error in judgment, then, that we expose here today. You aimed too high for me. I, on the other hand, have achieved exactly what I believed, and, truly, know could be done, at the limits of my performance.

This is, let me remind you, absolutely not my failure to achieve the plans you have set in place for me and my benefit and my success and my happiness. Could I have more? Oh, if it were only so easy! But the fault, then, is clearly yours. Do you not see that in fact I have truly reached my limit? Fret yourself not over my ‘failings.’ It is not I who have missed the mark, but instead it is you, you power, you divinity, with your overestimation, with your naïveté to the reality of the situation, with your foolhardy expectation of a life that, clearly, I am not bound or able to live. Shall we all agree in that, everyone would be much better off.”

Do you see, then, how your arrogance plays out in limiting you? Turn not to your own small [illegible], therefore. Believe not the small, limiting voice in your head. Listen, instead to the wide, grand, aspirational call from afar, and seek and strive and achieve the great heights to which you are truly destined.

Writing Practice 11/14/2019

Today I will do all of the things…

Today I will do all of the things. All of the love things, the work things, the fun things, the careful things, the reckless things. I will turn myself into a paper boat and fly into the sunset. I will wear a hat made out of marbles. I will watch seventeen movies in a row, and write two-star reviews of them all on Yelp.

I will run with the Wolves, and I will sit with the Kings and Queens. I will listen for my name on the draft board, and I will play the trumpet for Taps, signifying a well-earned rest for the men, women, Venusians, and Tau Cetians under my charge.

I will dance in the moonlight, wearing a six-piece suit (pants, shoes, shirt, vest, tie, jacket), and I will carry a cane and I will insert my monopole into my left eye, and I will dash my hat (my tall, black top hat) just to the side, just a little bit, and is ill, wearing my six-piece suit and top hat and cane, I will sing “Singing In the Rain,” and I will do it with an Australian accent, and at the end, when I’m finished, I will dance a little jig and kick my heels up and tap them together, dance-jump-tap, dance-jump-tap, alternating sides for just a few seconds, because I don’t want to press my luck, this has been going on quite long enough now, and I will take a bow and doff my cap and sweep it low towards the ground, and I will say “M’lady,” and I will stand once more erect and proud and congratulatory, congratulating myself for a fine performance, a fine performance, that, and I will wish you all a good night, and I will turn smartly on my heel, tamp my cane on the sidewalk twice, tap-tap, and step off, prim and proper, into he night, disappearing into the fog, lit only by the moon behind you, so your shadows stretch out, reaching for me, begging with me to come back, return, please, just for one more song, and I’ll turn down an alley you cannot see and I will spend my evening in the company of my good friends, my true friends, one from Mr. Daniels and other other from Cuba, and after we have throughly refreshed our relationship I shall take my leave, excusing myself to the utmost of exhortations to stay, stay, just a bit longer, only one more, but I will be off, I have much to do before I sleep and far to go, so I shall, so I shall, so I shall.

Writing Practice 11/4/2019

Please stop…

Please stop at the next turn sign up there.

There? I mean, here?

Yes, there. Now. Turn left. Yes, that’s good. So, have you been practicing long?

About six months. I had license in my old country, you know.

Really? Fascinating. Turn left at the next opportunity.

Yes, it was much simpler there, though. We had no road test, only parking lot. Road is not good here, because there are so many other cars! I don’t like it.

Well, that’s fine that you don’t like it, but we do require everyone to be competent, and safe, behind the wheel before they are allowed to drive on their own.

It is just so scary! None of the cars in old country were even nearly so big.

There to the right, please, and watch your speed. You are entering a school zone.

Yes, thank you. Do I need a signal for this? It’s a, what you call it, a traffic circle? Run about?

Roundabout. no, you do not need your signal to enter, but it is a good idea to use one upon existing. Do that now, please.

Damn! Missed.

Not a problem. We’ll go around once more… There, turn out there.

Oh, I have it now!

But you forgot the signal. In the exam the instructor won’t like that.

Perhaps I can give him big smile, he will think I’m pretty?

Yes, of course, he will think you are pretty. Everyone thinks you are pretty.

Oh, stop! You make me blush.

No, it’s true! All of the instructors at the school hope to be assigned to your car when you come in. Today is my lucky day. Don’t forget to slow down over this… Ouch!… speed hump.

Sorry!

Next time be a little more careful.

I will!

your test instructor on the action test, your evaluator, I mean, will instruct you to keep both hands on the wheel at all times, so, in the interest of practice, please remove your hand from my knee.

Sorry!

It’s all right, dear. As I said, that is still a very enjoyable situation. however, it is totally inappropriate for our current session.

I’m sorry again! What can I do to make it up to you?

Nothing, except continuing to drive carefully. No, don’t turn in here, I need you to continue out to the highway. Today’s practice is all about highway driving.

I’m sorry, I just need to stop and pull over for a moment.

Well, okay, but… what are you doing? No, stop! Put that back on! No, madam, I think you misunderstand what’s going on here!

This is not how to get good marks on the driving test?

This is most definitely not how to get good marks on the driving test! Madam, i can clearly see your breasts. I am going to exit the vehicle, and shall not continue until you demonstrate your commitment to ethics and professionalism.

Sir, perhaps you do not understand. This is ethics and professionalism for me.

You’re right, I don’t understand. What are you talking about? Hey! Put my zipper back up! hey! My wife won’t like this.

No, but you will! I have a 4 point 9 star rating!

On what?

Trickr!

Good lord!!!

Writing Practice 8/10/2019 – Can I have a bite?

Can I have a bite?

Please? Just a little nibble. I promise, I won’t take much. You’ll still have most left over after I’m done. I’m ever so hungry, and you, why, you have the most delicious looking spread around…

Why, I apologize. Certainly, I must beg your pardon. In no way did I mean to imply that I think of you as food. I admit, my choice of working was in poor taste.

Oh my! I’ve done it again. Once more, mister Bluebottle, please accept my apologies. It is in my way my intention to continue to suggest that you are mine to own, to taste, to eat, or anything of the like. How should I, a poor Trapdoor Spider from the wrong side of the room, ever even think to presume that I would ever rise to your level? You, Sir, are clearly the high of the society, and it should be, as you say, quite forthright of me to make such a presumption. I was only begging your forgiveness for my earlier outburst, which, too, presumed much too high a status and standard for myself, and far too low a social status for one so esteemed as yourself. For that I must beg your pardon, and I dare ask your forgiveness once more. Should you deign to grant me with such a blessing, I would, no doubt, be in your debt, for all of the foreseeable meals of the future.

Oh, my! I’ve done it again. Dearly, truly sorry, I am, I continue to put one or the other or yet another of my legs in my mouth, cumbersome and clumsy as it may be to do so, and I would not fault you, dear and good sir, were you to take your leave this very minute from my presence. The fact that you continue to stay does indeed warm my heart immensely. I shall, certainly, hope to find some time to repast you…

Goodness! Would you look at that? Now I’ve done and gone and done it again! Dear me, I don’t know what has come over me. I simply cannot get eating off my mind. You know how it is, my good sir. You must have had a similar occurrence at least once in your good life, of months and months long it is, such that you, too, recognize the futility of attempting to avoid the topic which weighs on your mind. You try, and try, and try, but every time, try as you might, you cannot eliminate the thought pre-occupying your spirit. For, it is as if an invading army has taken camp within between your ears, and their buglemaster continues to play the same chorus, over and over and over, incessant, such that you would rather poke the insides of your head out than listen to one more repetition. So it is with my own experience at the moment, I am afraid. “Eat him,” comes the though, and I do my best To punter, No, he is much to special. “Eat him!” No, I cannot do that to a member of such an esteemed family.

“EAT HIM!” The voice continues, pounding a drumbeat that bounces of the inside of my skull and ricochets across my eardrums, that sets up a chorus line and the buglemaster not only plays, he has recruited half a dozen others to join him, so that there is no more space between the words, it is one perpetual burden, one incessant command, one impossible to ignore dictum –

EATHIMEATHIMEATHIMIAEATHEIMEATHIMEATIHIEIATHEATIMEHIMEATHIMEATHIMEATIEAHTIMEIAHTIEMAHITIEMATHIEMEATHIEMAEATHIMEEAHTEIAEHAIEMAETHIMEHAIEMTEIHAEIMETH.

So, my good sir, what would you do, if you were me? Would you, if it could possibly be, eat yourself? or would you walk away from such a lovely, tempting meal, on a count of social status, and privilege, and power?

How should I decide too? I must admit, watching you struggle these last minutes with those bonds I strung not half an hour ago has certainly whetted whatever appetite I came to you with.

And, while this has been an interesting excuse for a conversation (I must admit, you’ve been awfully quiet this whole time, wondrous thing these silken gags I’ve learned so weave, aren’t they?), I must say, I do believe that they time has come to move our relationship forward. No longer shall we be equals, you, over there, helpless before my strong web, and me, over here, helpless before the grand insectual society. No, the time for parity has ended, and thus, it is time for me, and my kind, to regain our position as primary in the elite world of the dirty, dusty attic rafter. With that, Sir Bluebottle, I wish you good day.

May I have a bite? Don’t mind if I do.

A Philosophy of Life (unrefined essay)

Writing Practice 7/25/2019

My philosophy of life is…

My philosophy of life is still evolving. It’s never going to be completely static and arrived. That would be a naive way to view the world, as if you had arrived and had all the answers. We’re not Budhha over here. Which means we will constantly need to adapt our philosophy of life to new situations, new experiences, new people, who come into our lives. We need to recognize this dynamic nature, so that we don’t consider ourselves stuck, or stable, or solid, and get so entrenched in those ways, and so enamored with our own selves, that we cannot do any kind of modification at all when the time necessary for adaptation emerges.

Not to say we adjust according to every whim, every new fad in society. But we do recognize that there may be times when what we previously thought becomes insufficient to comport with the whole of the world presented to us, around us, beside and above us. We must, therefore, continually test and evolve to and refine our philosophies of life, even if those refinements are no more than to say, “yes, this philosophy also works well in that new situation.”

For us to wholesale, grand scale, top-to-bottom and soup to nuts try to remake our philosophies, though, is too large an undertaking. We shall be in a state of constant adjustment, whipsawing back and forth between extremes, with no real progress ever made towards the goal. And, since each philosophy of life shall have a different goal, one will hardly ever have the chance of Obtaining it, and either finding it a worthy goal or finding it wanting, should we continuously choose to bounce, to alternate back and forth between such options.

It is for this reason, much like the coxswain in the scull, that I advocate smaller and smaller steps of change each time, moving approximately half of your deficit each time. So, for example, suppose you’re starting out at the origin of a plane. You have two axes, the X and the Y. You decide that your best philosophy of life is designed to send you as far along the Y axis as possible. As much “UP” as you could go, as it were. Suppose, then, that you stat out living life, and find yourself traveling, or even just pointing, “EAST”, along that X- axis. Do you, immediately, slam on the brakes, and try to come to a full and complete stop?

Well, you could. Or, you could take the same energy you would use to stop, and you could simply apply pressure in the “UP” direction. Yes, you’d still going east, somewhat, but you would also be now heading more towards the UP than you were before.

Suppose it works. As it should. Eventually you may find that you have overshot your Y-axis, and are now headed a bit WEST-UP, UP-WEST, UP-LEFT, whatever. At this point, do you once again apply so much UP-RIGHT pressure as to continue to go back and forth across the axis?

No, if you are smart you will, after the first overcorrection, go less-right and more-up; if as, to be expected, you overshoot once more, your error will likely be less than it was originally. Continue to aim for your target, but with smaller and smaller corrective actions, and you will eventually eliminate your overshoots, and you will start to simply approach your goal, to be lived however and whatever and wherever it becomes you.

 

 

Paint Me A Picture

Writing Practice 7/5/2019 – Paint me a picture…

Paint me a picture of the sunset. Use red, and orange, and yellow, and sunflower, and orange-red, and burnt sienna, and pink, and pink-grey, and blend the colors together with the last few clouds of the day, and have them standing in stark contrast to the deepening blue of the sky, as the sun sinks lower, becomes larger, swells with its pride of having performed well for yet another day.

Streak the solid blue sky background with the white-blend-grey tops of clouds filling the vision, hanging there suspended as if on strings, or a scaffolding, fixed, waiting. Use the leftover melds of yellow-orange and orange-red and yellow-red-burnt sienna to color the undersides of the clouds, creating that stark contrast between day and night, below and above, the opposite of the way we normally think of the setup. Day is below the clouds, now, at sunset, as Sol has burned himself out once more, performed admirably yet again in bringing heat and power to the world, as she has given of herself to the surface, has divested herself of all that stored potential energy she has, and, instead of keeping it for herself, instead of maintaining herself on it, instead of restraint and inhibition, she has blessed us, with abundance, with abandon, and in so doing she has exhausted herself, like the fat sturgeon fighting the currents to get to her nesting station, as she has deposited her brood in their rightful place, as she, then exhausted, collapses under the weight of the biological urges within her, and dies, to drift back downstream in renewal and in anticipation, in foreshadowing the life of her offspring yet to come. She is the embodiment of self-sacrifice, of service, of giving of oneself for another, and we see the parallel in the sun in the way that she, too, like that mother full of futures, has been filled with our futures, our possibilities of the day, and she, in her infinite patience, has disgorged herself for us. Has given us of her energy, her power, her life-blood, so that we may live, and breath, and drive, and fuck, and we repay not but what we ineffectively, insufficiency, proclaim of her beauty when we write an essay such as this, when we paint a picture such as that, when we sing her praises, insufficiency, inadequately, imperfectly, yet, we still do, we say thank you, we appreciate all you do for us, we spend our time as we rest in the evening with gratitude on our lips and in our hearts and in our notebooks, and we, then, refill ourselves, even as Sol has gone away to fill herself one more, to drink of the eternal spring of Natural Refreshment, to be the way of renewal, to capture and store up, for us, to build up a huge, vibrant, dynamic reservoir of power, and warmth, and inspiration, that she, in her infinite patience and goodness and mercy, will, with the coming of the dawn, once again choose to bless us.