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"That's not writing; that's just typing." –Truman Capote

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inspired

Ken Robinson on Creativity

Education Paradigm

And So It Goes

Another year comes to a close just like last December and the Decembers prior and the Decembers yet to come…well at least until 2012 I’m told. I think we at least need to get to 2015 so we can see if we really do end up with hover boards and flying cars like in Back to the Future: Part II. Great Scott, I digress.

Normally this is the time when people decide to turn over a new leaf, to reinvent themselves, to make plans for the next year because it’s going to be different. They’re finally going to do all those things they’ve been meaning to do for the past 12 months (and probably 12 years). As cynical as this is beginning to sound, I don’t think making resolutions is bad, it’s just that we reflect on our failures and vow not to repeat them and then we do just that: repeat them.

I guess it comes down to etymology.

Resolution
noun
1 intention, resolve, decision, intent, aim, plan; commitment, pledge, promise.
2 motion, proposal, proposition, resolve.
3 determination, purpose, purposefulness, resolve, resoluteness, single-mindedness, firmness, firmness of purpose; steadfastness, staunchness, perseverance, persistence, indefatigability, tenacity, tenaciousness, staying power, dedication, commitment; stubbornness, doggedness, obstinacy, obduracy; boldness, spiritedness, braveness, bravery, courage, pluck, grit, courageousness; informal guts, spunk; formal pertinacity.

So, what, we try to do something or not do something this time around? “Oh, well, at least I tried.” Or we are resolved, determined, we are pledging in spirited, spunky boldness to stay true to our commitment to do or not do x, y, and z. But what of our failures and why at this time? New year. New you. But every Monday marks a new work week; every Friday marks a new weekend; and every dawn marks a new day. Sure, make a resolution, or ten. Give it a good shot. Make some improvements for the better, there’s honor in that. But in March when the commitment fizzles, remember that you could just try again the next week, the next month, the next day. There’s no need to leave all of our resolving for this one 24 hour span.

Do I have resolutions? I suppose I do. They’re the same things that have come up at various times throughout the year, throughout the past years. Those “I really oughtta…” things. Are there new ones? I don’t know yet. Let’s see what comes up in March.

We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.
We forget the loves and betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, we forget who we really are.
–Joan Didion

Normally I agree with you, JD, but I don’t know about this one.

The World is Just Awesome

I like this

and this

Voice

I’m borrowing this piece from Inward Bound Poetry

THE VOICE YOU HEAR WHEN YOU READ SILENTLY – Thomas Lux

The voice you hear when you read silently
is not silent, it is a speaking-
out-loud voice in your head; it is spoken,
a voice is saying it
as you read. It’s the writer’s words,
of course, in a literary sense
his or her “voice” but the sound
of that voice is the sound of your voice.
Not the sound your friends know
or the sound of a tape played back
but your voice
caught in the dark cathedral
of your skull, your voice heard
by an internal ear informed by internal abstracts
and what you know by feeling,
having felt. It is your voice
saying, for example, the word “barn”
that the writer wrote
but the “barn” you say
is a barn you know or knew. The voice
in your head, speaking as you read,
never says anything neutrally–some people
hated the barn they knew,
some people love the barn they know
so you hear the word loaded
and a sensory constellation
is lit: horse-gnawed stalls,
hayloft, black heat tape wrapping
a water pipe, a slippery
spilled chirr of oats from a split sack,
the bony, filthy haunches of cows…
And “barn” is only a noun–no verb
or subject has entered into the sentence yet!
The voice you hear when you read to yourself
is the clearest voice: you speak it
speaking to you.

Fear.

Fear is an odd thing. It’s terrible and wonderful. It can motivate us to do things we might not otherwise do, but it can also keep us from doing things we should do, things we need to do, or things we want to do.

I hate going to the dentist. HATE IT. I’m going today, and I didn’t sleep much because of the fear and anxiety that accompanies this fateful day that has been postponed a few times since December. I don’t know exactly what I fear about it. Well, that’s not entirely true. I fear the blinding pain of a root canal, the discomfort of the drilling, the pinch of each novacaine injection, the unbearable tension that seizes every muscle from head-to-toe. But I’m just going in for a cleaning today…that’s what they say anyway. That’s how they get you in. Then they scold you for drinking coffee, and not flossing, and not doing everything like a dental hygienist would. Sorry, ma’am, but I’m not a dental hygienist. You all have perfectly curved bangs, too much eye makeup and gleaming white Chiclet teeth. I don’t have any of those traits nor do I want them. Well gleaming white perfect teeth wouldn’t be so bad. Probably not in the cards for me though.

I just want to maintain oral health like everybody else. I brush my teeth, I even floss regularly, and I use a stupid mineral-building Listerine fluoride rinse every night. I’ve been told that my teeth are pretty white and appear quite healthy. Sadly though, lurking beneath the surface is Evil. Pure Evil. Dramatic? Yes. But seriously, my mouth is just cursed.

The hyperventilation and panic attacks should set in around the end of 4th block. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the coffee sitting on my desk. I will sip it all day just to spite my dentist. Oh, and this doughnut Mr. Guerin just gave me? I’m all over it.

Of course I will repent and go brush my teeth a little later. That’s what fear does. Fear of worse damage is what will force me into my car this afternoon and make my foot nudge the gas pedal enough to get to Eden Prairie; what will allow me to catch enough of a shallow breath to exit my car, walk through the door and half-smile at the receptionist with the perfect cavity-free mouth. It’s what will compel me to actually open my mouth when prompted and allow the mean lady to jab at my gums until they bleed. It’s what will help me endure the verbal bashing of that mean lady and the dentist himself when they tell me I should be flossing ALL DAY LONG to avoid any further tooth decay. Really? I mean, come on, really!?

Ugh.

A Little Wisdom from Rilke

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

***

What is required of us is that we love the difficult and learn to deal with it. In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us. Right in the difficult we must have our joys, our happiness, our dreams: there against the depth of this background, they stand out, there for the first time we see how beautiful they are.

***

People have (with the help of conventions) oriented all their solutions toward the easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must hold to what is difficult; everything alive holds to it, everything in Nature grows and defends itself in its own way and is characteristically and spontaneously itself, seeks at all costs to be so and against all opposition. We know little, but that we must hold to what is difficult is a certainty that will not forsake us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it. To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

***

No experience has been too unimportant, and the smallest event unfolds like a fate, and fate itself is like a wonderful, wide fabric in which every thread is guided by an infinitely tender hand and laid alongside another thread and is held and supported by a hundred others.

***

It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living. Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing. That is why the sadness passes: the new presence inside us, the presence that has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and is no longer even there, – is already in our bloodstream. And we don’t know what it was. We could easily be made to believe that nothing happened, and yet we have changed, as a house that a guest has entered changes. We can’t say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens.

***

I could give you no advice but this: to go into yourself and to explore the depths where your life wells forth.

To Do List

Things I intend to accomplish this month:

1. Finish my grad school application
2. Get my nose pierced
3. Get a haircut (scheduled: Thurs Wednesday 5:45)

4. Actually go to my yoga class…more than once
5. Clean out my closet
6. Go to the dentist (scheduled: next Wednesday 4:00)
7. Do my finish taxes
8. Renew my license
9. Renew my passport
10. Change my name on important documents. It’s time.

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