Before we get to today’s programming, some clarifications are in order. My last update promised an issue of Notes Of A Storyteller. Events conspired against me. Starting today, I am preparing a doubleheader edition for this Friday for your entertainment. In case you’re wondering about progress for The Stand, things were rough the last few days, but it’s a new week and I’m writing some critical chapters for Arman’s character.
Now to the real fun. Enjoy some melancholy guitar plucking, and the longings of Ivan from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.
SONG OF THE WEEK
“Night’s Sorrow” by Becoming the Archetype
Despite what the album cover in the video may lead to think, this is actually an instrumental for acoustic guitar. It is dark and beautiful. If Peter Jackson ever puts The Silmarillion to screen, I want this song in the soundtrack.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“With my pitiful, earthly, Euclidean understanding, all I know is that there is suffering and that there are none guilty; the cause follows effect, simply and directly; that everything flows and finds its level- but that’s only Euclidean nonsense, I know that, and I can’t consent to live by it…
I must have justice, or I will destroy myself. And not justice in some remote infinite time and space, but here on earth, and that I could see myself. I have believed in it. I want to see it, and if I am dead by then, then let me rise again, for if it all happens without me, it will be too unfair… I want to see with my own eyes the hind lie down with the lion and the victim rise up and embrace his murderer. I want to be there when everyone suddenly understands what it has all been for.”
A personal reflection from my Tumblr…
“This morning, I discovered my little sister lying on the couch. Apparently, she had thrown up the night before, and wasn’t feeling that spiffy.
“You want a glass of water?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said.
I found one of the tallest glasses in the cupboard and turned on the faucet. It ran my finger through it, to make sure it was nice and cold. Then I filled the glass to the brim and added a straw. My sister thanked me and I walked away.
It took a while before I realized something. That glass of water is more important than anything I might write this week. I’m working on my second novel, but even if I win a Nobel Prize for it, it will never have the same impact as that act of kindness. It is not with the pen that I make meaning out of life, ultimately, but my heart.”
This is a message worth sharing with writers and readers alike. There are only so many words we can use before making ultimate sense of life. Books cannot be the whole of our discovery of existence. It must be acted out, each and every day. Take some time every day to withdraw from words, and find something nice to do for someone. We writers find that difficult sometimes, but I promise that it’s worth it.
From the Tumblr…
“Yesterday, I sat down with my youngest two brothers for a Winnie the Pooh movie. Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin, specifically. I was enjoying myself well enough. Then something happened.
Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear were sitting on a tree, talking. Christopher is going to school the next day, and he knows he’ll miss being with Pooh and his other friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. Here’s a piece of that dialogue.
Christopher: “I wish it could last forever.”
Pooh: “Then we must do it again tomorrow, and the tomorrow after, and the tomorrow following that.”
At this point my eyes went wide open. I believe in such a thing as eternity. I also believe that what we do right now counts when we die. If we want to be happy forever, we should probably start doing the things that make us happy right now.
I was a little speechless for a while.”
I had a rough morning. I told some college friends I would wake up bright and early to exercise. My alarm blared at 5:30, and I mindlessly slept in. In my stupor, I lifted my head and 5:55 and decided I couldn’t get to the rendezvous in time.
Grunting, I translated some Latin and got on with my day. I returned to my laptop, prepared to stay on top of my coursework. A cloud still rumbled in my mind. I was frustrated. I like my days to go the way I plan them. The fact that I had chosen to derail my day was frustrating.
I don’t even remember deciding to write but I did. I kid you not. I’m not writing this to make you keep reading, or spice up my prose. My fingers instinctively moved to a short story I’ve tinkered wit now and again. Several paragraphs later, I breathed and felt slightly more complete. I still felt in a funk, but I also felt like I had done something good and natural. We’ll see how good and natural that story looks when I dive in for an edit, but I’ll dive later. I feel good.
What’s the lesson, then? Frustration, whether with little things or great, can all be pent through writing. But not pent completely. You still have to do the work to put a smile on your face and spread it around your world. But the pen is a wonderful place to put those anti-smiling forces to rest.
Time can be a source of deep sorrow or burning joy. I hope, at the least, it is a source of any emotion besides apathy. Writers of the world, think about that today.
SONG OF THE WEEK
Where will you find a more poignant expression of time’s inevitable mark on a family?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.”