Musings

[Blog] Close Your Eyes

For whatever reason, I’ve never really spent a lot of time “just” listening to music. I listen to it habitually when I’m doing something else, of course: working, writing, driving, drawing… I play it constantly in the background, and I’ve been derailed from one task or another countless times by watching this or that music video. But doing nothing but listening? Sadly, not so much.

So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself wandering Youtube and listening to some of my more recent favorite songs and just listening to them for the sake of listening to them. Eyes closed, moving to the beat, not doing anything else. It was a remarkably rewarding experience, and one I would whole-heartedly recommend.

Musings

[Blog] Wandering

I haven’t taken my camera out much since Armenia. It’s one of the dangers of having too many* hobbies and the same twenty-four hours in a day as everyone else. But last weekend I finally pulled it out of its case and wandered out to the park near where I live. And it was beautiful.

In other news, the night class (Interpersonal Communication) I’ve been taking this semester is just a few weeks away from finishing up, which will leave me with a bit more free time than I’ve had recently– which means, at long last, more writing. I. Can’t. Wait.

* There is, of course, no such thing.

Musings

[Blog] Rest

It never fails to amaze me how restful it is to come home. For various reasons, this week has been a little rough. Good as well, but definitely rough, and that partly because I didn’t end up going home last weekend–for fun reasons, but the point stands. And sadly, I didn’t even properly realize it until I was done with work and finally, finally, driving southwards and home. It was like I could feel the tension leaving my shoulders, my neck, my back, little bit by little bit, and by the time I pulled into the driveway almost all the frustration and borderline hoplessness that had crept up through the week had all but faded away.

Musings, Uncategorized

[Blog] Memento Mori

As sometimes happens with the company I keep, a recent conversation made its way around to the concept of memento mori, which in turn reminded me of the Freshman year English class where I first learned about it. At the time it was one of those concepts that I got the gist of without really understanding much beyond that. This is, I suspect, a fairly standard response for an eighteen year old: we’re old enough to know that we’re mortal, but a lot of us haven’t gone much deeper than that yet. Probably because we’re all still pretty sure that we’re actually invincible. Which is likely also why I found the idea more than a little unnerving.

Which is why it’s vaguely amusing that it’s now more comforting than anything else.

I’m finite. This life will come to an end, sooner or later. There’s a limit to what I will be able to accomplish. Taken alone, that’s more than a little hopeless. But let me frame it a different way: I’m limited, which means there is a limit to the harm I can do as well. I am not responsible for the ultimate fate of the world, only my own actions. I don’t need to carry a crippling fear that I’ll screw everything up while trying to do the opposite; I’m just not that big, and the one who is takes joy in offering redemption.

I’m not sure if that’s what the medieval Christian philosophers were going for with their own meditations on the subject, but hey. This is what I’ve got.

Musings

[Blog] The Unexpected

Earlier this week, I noticed that my normal parking spot was included in a stretch of temporary no parking Wednesday through Friday, starting at 7am and going to 4pm each day: as far as inconveniences go, definitely a minor one as I’m at work for most of that period. But while Wednesdays and Thursdays normally see me leaving before seven, Fridays usually have a little more leeway and I don’t leave until closer to eight, which clearly wasn’t going to work today.

Which explains where I found the motivation to head out to a coffee shop before work this morning to get a little writing done. It’s not a lot of time, a little less than half an hour all told, but that’s half an hour more than I’ve been managing to put in the rest of this week (being sick is so much fun). I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while, just to help get back into a proper daily habit of writing, but I’ve hesitated because I’ve gone off the assumption that I’d need an hour or so to make it worth while, and I don’t have the mental fortitude to get up that early.

But now that I know that a half hour is totally enough time to get a little done, I think that might just do the trick.

Musings

[Blog] Greater Love

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
John 15:13

The above has been my favorite verse for longer than I can remember. Spoken by Christ as he prepared to go to the cross, it’s clear that it refers to dying so that others can live. But for many of us, literal life and death situations are not a part of our day to day lives. I’m still mulling the idea over, but I don’t think I’m too far off in suggesting that the verse could also refer to living for others. And in fact, I’d go so far as to say that a life spent caring for the needs of others because of the love you hold for them is actually more difficult than the actions of a heroic instant. At the very least, it requires more stamina.

Thoughts? Arguments? Counter-examples? Drop ’em in the comments!

Musings

[Blog] On Poetry

For someone who majored in English Lit in college, I’ve always had a funny relationship with poetry. Specifically, and particularly in the past, I’ve loved the idea of it and certain turns of phrase or images will stick with me and lodge in my soul or my brain, but I would often feel like I didn’t “get” the entire poem, and that would drive me nuts. I wanted to completely understand each poem I read, and it bothered me when I didn’t.

Or, in other words, I rather missed the point.

But this past week, while hanging out with a couple of friends, we started reading poems out loud from various collections by poets including Mary Oliver, Seamus Heaney, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Nuala ni Dhomhnaill, I think finally began to understand. Or rather, I began to understand that it’s okay to not understand, and in fact that might be a large part of the beauty of poetry.

Maybe it was because I was with dear friends. Maybe it was because we were reading them to each other in a non-academic setting, with no grade to earn or paper to write. Maybe it was because I’m a few years older and a little more comfortable with the idea that I don’t, that I can’t know everything. I’ll likely never know for sure.

What I do know is that I have a far greater appreciation than I’ve had in the past, and I look forward to reading much more poetry in the future.

Musings

[Blog] Freeway Exits

Sometimes, when the freeway is open and empty and the night is dark and late, I imagine skipping my exit. It would be so easy; to go home would require a choice, a turn. All I would need to do is nothing at all. Sometimes I glance down at my dashboard and the lights that indicate the state of my gas tank, and I calculate how far I could get before I’d have to refill. There are beaches I could reach, the ones I’ve driven past a dozen times but never visited, the ones that I’ve seen from the window of a car on a stormy day when the waves crashed tall against ragged pillars of rock. Sometimes I tell myself that this is the night I’ll do it, and my hand slides towards the turn signal to leave the right-hand lane even as the sign for my exit passes green and white above my head, reminding me I only have a mile and a little more to make my decision.

Musings

[Blog] February 2019 Progress Update

This last week was… less than productive when it came to getting writing done, which was a little disheartening. That being said, I’ve had a chance to work on the overall structure, and while it’ll probably change again ten more times (at least!) I’m fairly happy with it at the moment. I plan to have ten chapters/stories in the completed novel, of which I have a rough draft of one, a good draft of a second, various bits and pieces of a few others, and at least a summary of everything else.

So! While I don’t have a new snippet for you all, I do have a table of contents. Take a look! It goes without saying that any and all of the titles could change, but for the time being, they fit well enough and along with all the notes I have scribbled for them in Scrivener, I know more or less where I want them to go.

1- The First Job
2- The Delivery Job
3- The Easy Job
4- The Track-down Job
5- The Ethan Lindsay Job
6- The Snatch-back Job
7- The Pro-bono Job
8- The Personal Job
9- The Rescue Job
10- The Dalton Job


PS: It finally happened. I missed a Friday update, and this is going up on Saturday morning. I’m backdating it so that it shows up where I want it to in the archives, but I definitely missed it. Alas.

Musings

[Blog] Driving in the Rain

Since I can remember, I’ve loved being in cars in the rain. The steady sound of a downpour. The rhythm of the wipers. The sense that there’s only inches between you and the wild weather outside. I think I enjoy the challenge of it, too: the knowledge that no matter how familiar the road is, you have to be on your guard. But maybe part of it is also how peaceful it can seem. It demands focus, and even a small storm can dwarf the worries of the day-to-day.