When someone says something pithy, when life’s colliding moments give us perverse giggles at someone’s misfortune or undeserving good fortune – we smile inside. We don’t tell others because, though acknowledgment takes only a moment, the explanation and backstory could take an hour (if you don’t count sidebar diversions and interruptions) at which time you likely get blank stares because that person you just told didn’t get it. More important, often, realization they never will, which is not to discount their worth or brain quality. Well, actually, it is …
Of course we all have eyes seeing different things.
Everything seen, we see differently.
I was watching a YouTube interview of one of my favourite writers. He was being interviewed by a very credible interviewer who was horribly intellectually mismatched with her subject but she soldiered on until she asked the proverbial softball question every writer is asked, “how do you deal with writer’s block?”, as if to assume all writers suffer from the ‘blank stare at an empty stair’ without a clue what to write. To my surprise, he answered admitting he finds writer’s block happens – he doesn’t have an ongoing list of ‘things to write about’ [this gave me great relief/identification with my own method] but then he admitted ‘what he does’ when he can’t find an inspiration for a column. Really? He only writes two a week – what’s his problem? I write seven columns a week and some days I want to write three [on which days I write a few sentences and save that idea so I can use it, morph it or discard it on some future low-energy day]. And then, he gave a gift I’m happy to pass along. He told of two ‘aggregator sites’ where he goes for inspiration: https://thebrowser.com/ and https://www.aldaily.com/ . The addition of two more things to read/do every day poses a challenge however. These sites, by the way, are fantastic so I’m very grateful. But now that these will consume a piece of each – I must ask, “what will I give up to make room for them?”. I’ve got a deeper question of which portion of my day should I modify to give me 15-30 minutes, or more, each day. I can’t take it away from sleep (still struggling to get enough), exercising (ditto), domestic chores (that’s already bare-bones but I can always vacuum next week – but I have no idea what I’ll do the week after), take away from work time (can’t spare that) so I’ll take from my ‘time already wasted’ column. Surely I can spare some of that.
That interviewer, Katie Couric, her interview subject was New York Times columnist David Brooks. Somebody posted that interview online. The interview, mostly things I knew or had gleaned before from his writing or heard online, but his ‘gift’ of those two sites is a treasure: (a), it taught me one of my most admired writers is ‘no different than any of us’ in the original thought department; (b), I was reminded that sometimes we need to listen (or read) for an hour or more to find one gem in the pile of coal; and (c), watching intelligent things online is a great alternative to watching mindless drivel on TV on solitary Saturday nights.
I also publish FACILITYCalgary, a weekly newsletter, free every Tuesday: to sign up, CLICK HERE
If you liked any Musing column, it would mean a lot to me if you would respond. Comments are welcome, so please contribute to the discussion. To reply, use: firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also connect with me on LinkedIn . You can sign up your friends here at MarkMusing.com . This site is updated daily, each column is retained in the archive when the next day's column is loaded ...