Forget texts, tweets and facing some online book – forget those distractions.
What about the other important distractions – bosses, employees, suppliers, customers, neighbours, friends, family, the rabbit browsing outside my window? What about those?
I think we need them.
If we plow through our whole day – one task follows another, we get through, get by, get done, get to go home early …
Start. Then finish. Is it not simple?
Will it then have beginning, middle and end – and will this column then be done – and what value is there in that?
What comes to life in me when I write it?
What comes to life in you when you read it?
What is next?
We need more whimsy – floating in window screens on autumn breezes, imagination floating around us, sounds piercing ears (or tune stuck in our head), a joke, a belly laugh, or a serious note.
Or silence of dark morning, a void to be filled. Or worshipped?
High note, low note, flat note. A keynote, a handwritten note. Things of note, must be important too, or are they just another in an endless series of distractions?
Please take this small diversion with me – right now, see if you like this distraction as much as I do because, sometimes an allowed distraction can produce profound surprise:
Part of my morning new-enforced morning rigor is to not read newspapers first thing in the morning (a 50 year habit / addiction I am struggling to alter) but rather to set them aside until later, so I can first be focused on my higher priority reading and writing regimen, my first thing in the morning routine, my new habit, my new way of life …
It seems, words on those newsprint pages do not change if I wait until noon to read them!
But, I do need some news to start my day – like a caffeine fix of sorts to start my engine.
I read the New York Times on-line.
I catch main headlines, find out of some part of the world is coming together, or apart. I often read an article or two. I also plan to scan op-ed pages for favourite writers, to see what they are up to.
I usually read one piece before moving on to next steps in my new morning routine. This morning I read a piece that reduced me to mush and left me inspired. A piece about Hemingway. I cannot imagine any writer not feeling their pulse race by reading his piece. I also realize Ketchum is not that far from Calgary. Maybe I will go there one day, maybe in the fall. I imagine, being in that place will stir me – as did this piece by Timothy Egan, as he describes how it struck him.
Thank you Timothy Egan. While I have read some Hemingway pieces I am by no means a fan – more so, I would say I am awed by his-story, his skill, his life and his tragedy. As a writer with ambitions it is daunting to see how spectacular writing and personal turmoil seem to be inextricably woven, welded and wedded as they were for Hemingway. Most poignant I think, is that he felt he could never re-create the happiness he so much missed.
I do not know where, who, when – but that need, ache, desire – is something I feel every day, down to my toes. No matter how much I yearn to write a great novel, I cannot imagine living life without a belief that those best-parts are still out in front of me.
I have a mental list, some of its pieces written down – not so much so that I will not forget, but because I want to do them. Not a bucket list. More of an, I really want to have that experience list, not exotic or typical. I am adding Ketchum, Idaho to my list …
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -2C/28F, clear, calm and cold - welcome to frost! … frosty grass is crunchy underfoot, Gusta seems to like the chilly-wetness on her belly. Quiet streets, early …
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