“Shouldn’t you be doing your taxes?”
“Then why are you writing?”
Productive procrastination? Is that a good reason? I never write enough, so I am writing now to avoid doing my taxes.
“But when you’re supposed to be writing, you avoid doing so by doing something else.”
“If you drew up a schedule, then you would find time to do everything you’re supposed to do.”
You’re right, voice in my head, but part of me resists schedules and time constraints and just wants to run wild and do whatever.
“So, you get a lot accomplished running wild and doing whatever?”
Look, I said that you were right about doing a schedule. Don’t rub it in. Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to find something else to do so I can avoid doing my taxes.
I have used my writing time trying to understand some mathematical concepts. Specifically, I am trying to understand some advanced concepts of Trigonometry. I got myself to the high-school level and am now attempting the college level. What a challenge!
I have borrowed the Dummies and Idiot Guide books from the library. They claim to simplify Trigonometry. Lots of times they introduce concepts that are not simple. Or maybe these concepts are simple, and I am dumber than an idiot.
YouTube instruction videos have helped. I google a concept that I don’t understand, and then watch the video a thousand times before I get it. Sometimes I have to watch a video two thousand times.
Too bad they didn’t have YouTube when I was in school. Of course, there were no schools on Earth when I was in school. I had to walk to Mars to go to school. Sometimes if the emptiness of space was nice, I would ride my bike to Mars. But that was rare. Mostly I walked. Kids these days don’t realize how good they have it by having schools on the same planet that they live on.
I still feel resistance to learning new things—especially when the concepts are difficult. What joy when I finally understand something I have struggled with! Plus, I do not feel so bad about not writing when I have used the time to wrap my head around sines, cosines, tangents, angles, triangles, degrees, minutes, seconds, circles, radians, vectors, velocity, and kumquats.
I know that kumquats have nothing to do with trigonometry. I love the word kumquat, and try to use kumquat as much as possible.
“So, what did you think about when you stared off into space?”
“Can you tell me some?”
Okay. Sometimes I thought about nothing. My mind was blank. Sometimes I thought about my brother-in-law, Don, and how I could not believe he was dead. He never liked discussing spiritual matters while he was alive. Does he like discussing them now?
I thought about my death. When would it happen? Will it be sudden? A long time ago a Ouija board said that I would die the first week of August, 2018. If this is true, then I have less than six months to live. Perhaps I shouldn’t borrow any thick books from the library. But maybe I won’t die in less than six months. Maybe scientists will discover that eating bananas makes you live forever. Then again, would I want to live forever while all I know passes away?
I thought about how my older sister said that I have “mental health issues.” She was serious. It was during a discussion (argument) over whether I was right to follow my gut feelings. I suppose she would know because “mental health issues” run in the family and—
“And you talk to voices in your head.”
True. As a voice in my head, do you have mental health issues?
“Of course! I wouldn’t be in your head if I didn’t.”
That’s nice to know.
“What else did you think about while looking off into space?”
I thought about writing. I thought about writing. And I thought about writing.
“Are you back now?”
I’m not sure.
“Where were you?”
I was off somewhere feeling some feelings and avoiding others.
“Why were you avoiding some feelings?”
Because feeling them meant facing myself on paper. I always feel good after I have faced myself on paper, but knowing this does not motivate me to apply my bottom to the seat of a chair and write.
Yup. What is funny is that if someone else tried to stop me from writing, I would fight to write. But I have no desire to fight to write when I stop myself from writing.
“You have too much freedom.”
Probably. It’s Parkinson’s Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. There were no dead tigers or deadlines where I was. I spent a lot of time staring off into space instead of facing myself on paper. I thought I had all kinds of time to write, and I did, but I did not write. I sat and stared.
“You’re facing yourself on paper now.”
“How do you like what you see?”
I don’t know, but staring off into space is a lot easier.
I couldn’t write because it was so cold my pencils froze. Is that an acceptable excuse?
The good thing about sub-zero temperatures is when the temperature goes up. Today the temperature went up to just above zero Celsius (32 Fahrenheit). Wow! What a heat wave! Zero Celsius is a heat wave compared to -35 Celsius (-31 Fahrenheit).
During the cold spell, I went to my high-school friend’s funeral. He had shed his mortal coil before Christmas, but the funeral was not until January 6.
(I have noticed a relationship between death and funerals. Almost every time someone dies, there is a funeral. This isn’t a coincidence.)
My friend’s funeral was mostly nice, but the presiding minister ruined the mood by carrying on and on and on. This is common for religious leaders to use a funeral as an opportunity to preach to the heathen. Why can’t these religious leaders realize that funerals are about the deceased and not about God? People come to honor the deceased. They do not come to hear how great God is, or how they better accept Jesus as their savior or else it’s Hell for Eternity.
My friend was the star of the show with God and Jesus having supporting roles. But the minister ruined the show by making God and Jesus stars and giving my friend a supporting role. The funeral was upbeat and moving with several people speaking words from their hearts. Some read from The Bible. Amongst the speakers were my friend’s son and daughter who gave a wonderful loving tribute to their father. What a positive note the funeral would have ended on if it had ended after the son and daughter’s tribute. Nope. The minister started preaching about God and Jesus and God and Jesus and God and Jesus blah, blah, blah . . . She had forgotten that people had come not to be preached at.
And while the minister went on and on and on, I wondered whether my friend was watching from above and thinking, “Is she going to stop soon?”
(I would have posted this blog yesterday, but the Toronto Public Library’s Internet had not thawed out from the cold snap.)
My father could not sit still. He was always busy doing something. He was at a loss when his work, Gray Tools, gently forced him to retire. He had worked there for over 48 years. He had trouble filling in his days.
My grandfather could sit still. Dad said that his father would spend his entire three-week vacation sitting on the front porch.
“Pop,” said my father, “you’re on holidays. Why don’t you go somewhere instead of sitting on the front porch all the time?”
“Son,” said my grandfather, “each day I have to get up early and go to work. In the winter, I am the first one making footprints in the snow. Now I don’t have to go to work. Now I don’t have to go anywhere. I am happy to sit here all day.”
My father could not understand.
I take after my grandfather. I can sit still. I am not afraid of silence, and I have no problem filling my days.
I don’t know what my grandfather thought when he was sitting on the porch. When I am sitting still, I explore the world of ideas by thinking, reading and writing—more thinking than reading and writing and, often, lots of thinking about reading and writing.
I haven’t gotten bored so far. I can play with myself. I enjoy playing with myself. (Get your minds out of the gutter!) I don’t need anything outside of me to keep me occupied. Take away the book and the writing materials and I can still sit alone in a room and stare off into space.
To others, it seems that I am doing nothing. Far from it. I am exploring worlds beyond worlds beyond worlds because imagination is limitless. There is never enough time when I crawl inside my head.
Here are some things that make my life worth living:
Books: I love books. I love the feel of books. I love the smell of books. I love being surrounded by books and books and more books. I love when I am reading a book and I cannot put it down.
Silence: I love silence. No background music. Just silence. (Hard to find these days.)
Solitude: I enjoy my company. When I am alone, I crawl inside my head and play with the ideas there. These ideas come from books, and The Beyond. I never get bored.
Writing? I have a love-dislike relationship with writing. I love writing, but will find any excuse not to write. But if I do not write, then I do not feel good.
I do not have to force myself to read books and find silence and solitude. I have to force myself to write. I understand what Dorothy Parker meant when she said, “I hate writing; I love having written.”
“It’s about time!”
I know Blog. We last met on August 24th.
“That’s over three weeks ago. What were you doing for the past three weeks?”
Thinking about writing while staring at a wall.
“What? Were you in jail?”
“A mental hospital?”
“You just stared at a wall?”
Yes, I do that sometimes when I brood.
“Where was the wall?”
At a place where I was staying.
“And what were you brooding over?”
How I should be writing. The more I did not write, the more I brooded over how I should be writing.
“Less thinking and more doing might be a good plan.”
Yes, it would be.
“Well, I’m glad we finally met today. I was beginning to feel like a single woman at a gay male bar. When will I see you again?”
Soon, I hope, soon.
Every year I go back-to-school shopping. I’m not at school, but I like to buy paper, pens, pencils and other writing supplies and more paper, pens, pencils and other writing supplies. I must make sure that I never run out of paper, pens, pencils and other writing supplies.
Imagine that I am writing up a storm. The words are just pouring out of me. I’m in the flow. I can’t let go. And then suddenly I run out of paper, pens, pencils and other writing supplies. What a tragedy! My work of genius lost because I ran out of paper, pens, pencils and other writing supplies. This will never happen because make sure I have backup supplies for my backup supplies for my backup supplies for my backup supplies, and then some.
Do you think that if I didn’t spend so much time buying paper, pens, pencils and other writing supplies, I would find more time to write?