Solstice

Today marks the Winter Solstice, the shortest day/longest night of the year.  I would like to give credit to the ‘natural order of things’ for this pretty cool event.  What I mean is that we humans have been relying on the Sun for a time keeper for, well, as long as we’ve existed. The Sun has always been there, reminding us of the ‘natural order of things’.

It is quite comforting if I say so myself, to have an (almost) eternal source of light – Guiding us wherever we need to go when risen, and setting to tell us to seek shelter.  The Sun has given us a point of reference, a beacon if you will, to help map our surroundings.  I could go on for quite some time, but I won’t.

 

Something is telling me to go forth and get busy on the day.

A Minecraft Sunrise.  Enjoy.
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Re-Discovering New (Old) Music You Thought You Didn’t Have

About 18 years ago I started to collect albums.  It took about a decade, but most of my music I’ve ever bought was during my teen and early twenties.

Now, essentially 10 years after my collecting heyday, I rely on my memory to recall what I have in my physical stash.  I paw through my cd books from time to time, laughing at records I should be ashamed of owning – but usually pull it out and play it anyway.  Whenever I find a CD I forgot about, I usually upload it to my digital library, on my laptop.  I discovered iTunes roughly the same time I bought my 1st computer, so it was only natural for me to digitize my music then.  Now, about 6 or 7 iterations later, I have re-uploaded my music so many times I have lost track of what I actually (physically) own, or what is on my Macbook Pro (my current iteration).

An earlier post of mine discusses my current method of music-finding.  For the re-discovery, I usually find an album I had bought but never digitized.  This morning was different.

I found Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions hidden within my iTunes library.  It was a small miracle I even found it as most of the tracks were mis-labeled and out of order, let alone no cover art.  I knew I had acquired this either by a friend or via a fileshare, for I would never upload a record without proper ID3 tagging: Track No./Track Listing/Album/Artist/etc.  In any case, Innervisions has been on ‘album repeat’ for the last 2 hours.

God, I love finding shit I like!

Early Morning

Going to bed the same time as your kindergartener has it’s advantages.

5:30 in the morning isn’t a bad time to have the house to yourself – especially if the previous days were filled with non-stop chaos and general life frustrations.  I do believe that I will try and do this more often.  Upstairs, the kids and wife are soundly asleep, dreaming of who-knows-what.  Downstairs is quiet, save for the forced air heat beneath my cold toes.  Mmmmm.  A cup of Earl Grey to my right, half gone already; my laptop in front, its keyboard calling for the tips of fingers; iTunes playing music, Stevie Wonder seeing things no Air Force pilot could see.

 

Thoughts of breakfast break my concentration, but only momentarily.

Eggs, bacon, toast & jam: all good things.  Gotta make the coffee for my lover, my wife.  She likes it scalding hot with just a dollop each of creamer and milk.  My son loves pancakes, so I might just humor him and make a few.  The youngest of the bunch will just yell at you to share whatever you happen to be eating at the time.  Yup, breakfast time in this house can be fun.

 

Now I take you back to my regularly scheduled writing program:

 

Ah, yes, the early morning.  If I were a wiser man, I’d be doing this every day.  It feels wonderful to get your affairs in order before the rest of the timezone wakes up.  To arrange one’s thoughts and desires for the day before they get muddled up with the morning paper’s headlines; to gather personal resources together before they are stripped away by the rush to the paycheck dispensers; to do these things without interruption is sublime and comforting.

May your morning go as smooth as mine is now.

A CD Fair Adventure

Jon sat at the corner with Connie, his best friend, whom he has had quite the crush on for the past four years.  They were outside the community building, waiting for the Record & CD Fair to start.  Connie placed her head on Jon’s shoulder ans reached into her satchel.  After a curious look from Jon and a few moments of digging around, she pulled out her journal and flipped through it until she found a blank page.  Jon tried his best not to peer over and take a quick look.

Was she writing about me?  What is she saying?

He pretended to play with the hem of his jacket, feigning frustration that the fair hadn’t opened on time.  Connie gave a small smirk as she realized Jon was looking over her head.  She continued on writing, pretending she didn’t notice her voyeur.  Jon and Connie sat in silence for another half-hour before they noticed the OPEN sign out front.

Brightly lit and cold, the room the event was in gave the impression that it was storing old antiquities and not vinyl or compact discs.  Jon eagerly eyed the booths and its vendors, savoring every moment, for he knew he could only afford so much today.  Connie grabbed her camera and started snapping moments of time.

Will he like my photos?  Am I even attractive to him?

For the next hour, Jon and Connie meandered through the fair with a nonchalant aura about them, buying something only to let the other know what they liked.  Jon bought an original Nine Ince Nails vinyl, while Connie spent almost all her cash on the complete collection of Pink Floyd on CD.  Both of them touting that they each had the better deal of the day.

Connie took her last shot of the day;  It was dusk, Jon was crossing the street ahead of her, the light from the streetlights and the bar from across the way lit up his butt quite nicely, so she snapped a memory.  Jon liked to cross the road before Connie.  He felt brave and curious, making sure cars and trucks would be at a full stop for her.  He took a glance back and noticed that Connie was lagging with her camera – most likely taking snapshots of the lights.

***

Back at Connie’s house, Jon had put on his record while Connie told her parents that he wasn’t her boyfriend, but “just a friend.”  Jon swallowed it whole, a lump in his throat wedged tightly.  He pondered whether it was now worth it to tell Connie how he actually felt about her.

Connie came into her room after she argued with her parents about having boys over, a scowl angrily etched on her face.  She quickly changed it to a warm smile after Jon gave her a worried look.  She did not want him to get the wrong idea.  Connie like him.  A lot.

Pink Floyd and Nine Inch Nails filled the small room as the two lovebirds considered their choices.

Short Story

When you sit down to write a few words, you don’t think about what they might mean out of context.  For instance – if you write, Things that I need to get done:, followed by a haphazard list of grocery and household chores, you wouldn’t think about the order of the items/chores and words you scribble upon that coffee-stained sheet of notebook paper you stole from your son’s school workbook.  But somewhere, someone is stuck on an idea,  unable to continue with a derailed train of thought.  They are scouring their thoughts for any words or ideas that will fit their story.

Your to-do list just might have what they seek.

I noticed this phenomena when i saw one of my wife’s many lists, (this one was a shopping list for yarn, I believe) and came up with an ending to a poem I was trying to finish.  The list had some fancy-sounding colors and yarn names that struck with the theme of my prose, so I went with it, and allowed myself to use that seemingly inconspicuous list as a source of inspiration.

I recall this because I want to start a longer project.  Prose and poems are great and all, most of which I think were fairly good when I wrote them.  I guess I want more out of my writing.  Depth, character, and bilding a landscape with just my words, among others are what I want to push myself to discover within my creative writing.  I think I might need a lot of “lists” and other such inspiration points to help me through the process.

Now all I need is an idea to get started.

*looks for an old notepad*

A Trip To The Hospital

So it’s a cold December night and I write this from my son’s hospital bedside.  Emmylou Harris playing on his iPod – a soothing voice to lull him and keep him asleep.  It is dark in his room, with just the nurse’s chart lamp on its dimmest setting.  It leaks a deep orange hue over the eastern wall of the room, creating a warm, inviting space.  This is nice.  I like the feeling that my son is in an environment that he can trust and feel comfortable in.

My wife is laying next to him in her own recliner, reading up on some such internet meme or fail.  A nurse by trade, mother to our handsome boys , she is the light of my life.  She is soft to the touch, giving her warmth to whomever may need it.  Empathy flows from her like the sun’s life-giving rays to Earth.  Ever-caring, always there, my dear wife is amazing.  My son thinks her workplace is a nice place to be if you are sick.  I agree wholeheartedly.

It’s 9:30pm and I weave a tale of fatherly concerns and such using the tools I have.  My Macbook Pro treats me well when I need it to.  The keys responding to my thought proces as if it were hardwired to my brain.  just-so lit, it calms me just a bit to see that it will run on without being tethered to the grid overnight.  I am grateful for the ‘things’ I have acquired over the years.  But noting that they are just things and not of any true value, I take them not for granted, but as tools.  Treat them as you would your child, and they may outlast even your own expectations.  My son loves to play Minecraft on mommy’s iPad, and is learning to play it on his own laptop.  I like teaching him to use the tools around him.

The cold air from outside the window can creep up all it wants, but it shall not enter this warm, safe room.  With the nurse and aide just outside, mommy beside him, my son, my firstborn, I may rest a little easier this evening.

In theory.

Distractions Abound

The Wife.

The Kids.

The Internet.

The Television.

 

All of these are my regular diversions from my creative process.  Breaks from creation are crucial to one’s muse-inspired musings.  As no break from ‘making’ things will get one into trouble.  Usually with your own thought process.  Take a break and divert your attention to loved ones, chores and an occasional mind-numbing show or movie.

Let yourself become too distracted and you have a problem.  You will tend to dismiss the creative thoughts as wayward ideas, and not to be taken into account.  Let your creative side take too much of a rest and you will become stagnant with apathy and malaise.

 

What you need to do is balance the distractions and your creativity.  I tend to do a lot of both – getting caught up in the moment of an idea or thought process without regard to what is actually going on around me, or engaging myself in life without reprieve to let an idea out and explore it.

I need to work on balancing them more effectively.

Anyone?