Requiem for a Notebook

My Writing Practice notebook is filled. This one is, at least. I will start a new one tonight when I sit down again. Yesterday I wrote to the end of the current one and, because I was curious, I decided to do a review. Here’s what I found:

There are 100 sheet / 200 pages in this notebook. A few of the pages are covered with other writings, so they don’t count. I filled 191 sheets with my scrawl. The first 4 sheets had 197, 190, 170, and 167 words on them. I’ll estimate all those 191 sheets have 175 words each, for a total of 33,425 words, which would be about 135 pages when printed. That’s a long novella. Not bad.

My longest streak was 13 days in a row, starting July 2 and going through July 14. The next longest was 11 days from 8/4 through 8/14. Hm, something about the 15th of the month that I don’t want to write?

I did a 5-day series early in July on “Describe sex…” The first few lines of each are as follows:

7-3-18 This is a strange one. Because most other phenomenon a will be described by their physical properties – the game of baseball will be about… ; sex, on the other hand is more likely to be described in emotional terms.

7-4-18 It’s a physical status and a physical act. Status – male or female. Act – penetration, intercourse interaction.

7-5-18 “Sex is natural, sex is fun. Sex is best when it’s one-on-one!” “Let’s talk about sex, baby, let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things, that may be.”

7-6-18 Sex is power. Sex is control. Sex is authority. Sex is “top” and “bottom”, sex is “giver” and “receiver”. Sex is “fucking” – an active verb, an authoritative act – and it is “getting fucked” – a receptive, passive, dominated, submissive state.

7-7-18 Sex is biting nipples. It is stroking shoulders and grabbing hair, but not by the ends, to pull and to hurt, but close, at the back of the head, right by the name of the neck, just to get a feeling of control

I had “lose control” experiences on 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/16, and 8/18. These are times when I stop thinking, stop getting logical, and often my pen does not even make words any longer. It looks like this:

7/22, at the end when I’ve completely lost control

On 8/4 I ended with “I come in the whirlwind.” I liked that line so much that I started my writing practice on 8/5 with that same line.

On 8/20 I ran a pen dry. This is always a satisfying experience. My topic was “Write about background music – “. I started and as I noticed that the pen was close to exhaustion, I promised myself I would keep going until it gave out. 6.5 pages in, the ink finally finished and I quit.

On 8/22 my topic was “Write in incomplete sentences.” It looked like this:

This will be a challenging for ________.

I don’t often ________.

In the middle of my sentences I usually ________.

Somewhat _______, but there’s this cute girl at the ________ that wasn’t immediately rejecting me last time I ________.

On 9/9 I ran out of space. I had no more empty pages. But I wasn’t done writing for the day, so I turned the notebook 45 degrees and wrote over the last page a second time. If I try reaaaaaally hard, I could probably decipher what I wrote the first time and the second time. I don’t want to try that hard.

I wrote on 60 of 83 days available during this period. I had one long stretch at the beginning where I missed 7 days in a row (I must have been doing something else the 3rd week of June), but for all the rest I usually only missed a day before writing again. My next notebook I’ll aim for 60 days of 70 (skip one day a week, on average).

I’m pretty satisfied with this one. Now it goes on the shelf. Will it ever come back off? Not likely. But still, having that tangible reminder of what I’ve done is always valuable to me.

Writing Practice 12/6/2017

Write about birthdays…

Birthdays are about time. About impermanence, in the face of remembrance. Birthdays are about celebration, yes, celebrating another year older, but, too, these are, in the words of the beloved dirge, “Another year older and closer to death!

Birthdays have no significance other than what we attach to them. Summer and winter solstices mark patterns of being much greater than ourselves. Sunrise and sunset, full moon, new moon, eclipse. These events mark our experience in this world as transitory – temporary – fleeting, for they exist without our experience.

Birthdays, like any other anniversary, require a sentient mind for their existence, their remembrance, their celebration, and thus are dependent on our civilization for their very existence. We are their god. We are their creator, their destroyer, we are their rule-giver, their death-bringer, their resurrection. We are their memory-makers, their legacy takers, their purity definers.

We are their essence of being, so without us they do not exist. Shall a sheep remember that on the seventh full moon after the solstice his mother birthed him from her womb? Shall the shark take the time to recall that it was the fourth new moon and three days since the vernal equinox when she calved, three large, thrashing, vibrant pups into the suddenly blood-filled water?

Shall there be a historical celebration of the turtle at turning fifty, or of the ant to achieve the monumental feat of surviving a whole year? Does the redwood, having stood for three and a half centuries, scoff at the gentle oak reaching skyward for a mere decade?

Shall they all humble themselves in the face of the desert, who has been growing itself for three thousand million years? And what of even that can hold a candle to the Sun, or another Star, having burned twice or thrice as long?

So, what of birthdays? Why bother? Because we cannot comprehend the imaginalities outside of ourselves? Because we cannot imagine the comprehension required to wrap one’s head around the scope of the solar system, much less the galaxy or, Heaven forbid, the Universe? Because we cannot condescend to deign to think of the Planck scale or the Heisenberg atom or the miniscule of miniscules? Because we cannot reconcile the large with the small, the infinitely vast against the infinitely small?


And no.

Because all of those things.

And because … cake.