Temporarily Permanent

Perspective.

What is it exactly?

By definition, perspective is “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view”. (It can also be defined as “the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point”, and although it is arguable that life is art, I won’t be addressing artistic perspective, per se, today.)

I find it interesting – nay, intriguing! – how perspective influences our opinion. Much like experiences having leverage and significant impact on the dimension of our focus (see post Finding Humanity in Winter), one’s perspective in direct relation to a situation not only predicates the response given, it often monopolizes it, regardless of any previous experience to the contrary. Basically, if we’re in the dark and darkness is all we see, it is unfathomable to see anything more than darkness despite having experienced ‘light’ and ‘bright’ in the past.

Extreme? Perhaps. But nonetheless not necessarily untrue.

Illustration: Think back to the last time you had a severe cold, or the flu (or, if not yourself, a loved one that you helped care for during that time). Day Two or Day Three into the experience, the wretchedness of sinus pressure, the shredding pain of broken glass shards tumbling down your constricted, raw throat with each swallow, feverish chills forcing you deep under the tonnage of fleece and woven cotton only to be marred by the beads of sweat on your brow, and the ripping ache throughout your joints, restricting fluid movement, draining every ounce of energy out of your listless frame. Even to partake in a cup of lemon chamomile tea with honey or bowl of chicken noodle soup is a monumental chore. You lay there, tissue in hand, dabbing your swollen, chapped nose and expel the simple words illuminating your current perspective, “this flu is killing me!”

But, wait!

You’ve had the flu before. And you’ve, well, survived… And, despite that present position, deep within the recesses of snuggle blankets and menthol throat lozenge wrappers, the predominant prognostication is that you, indeed, will again escape the clutches of Death in a week or so – with plenty of rest and clear fluids – but you can’t see beyond the mounting pile of discarded tissues, drawing on faded memory, to know that you will see the light of another day. Your feet will touch ground again, gleefully participating in retail therapy. Your tongue will relish in fantastical feasts and roaring repartee. And yes, your heart will languish in the thought of wasting another breath in the living tomb which is your office cubicle… But you don’t see that; you see death. You see permanence in the temporary – darkness in the midst of residing in the dark, casting aside the lucid remembrance of healthier days…

Point made?

So, how is it that we shake off this “permanence in the temporary”, and realize things for what they are – or what they could be? How do we change our perspective even if our circumstance has not changed? If the physicality of something remains the same, how do we redefine it?

Several of my current circumstances can easily lend to melancholy and the ambiance of defeat. That’s not to say that there aren’t times when I succumb to these jesters and lose sight of things beyond the temporary; however, as the past chapter’s song floats away on the evening breeze and providence crashes upon a new calendar year (Hello, 2017! Let’s be friends, shall we?), I’m determined to remain aware of my perspective, adjusting it as one would a manual camera lens, allowing in light and clarity of focus, distilling shortsightedness, and capturing inspiration, catapulting me through – beyond! – the darkness and into the warmth of glowing hope, where once before I drew breath.

Anything You Can Do…

So, the Goose Egg has been sufficiently cracked, liberally scrambled and riotously consumed!

What on earth am I referring to?

NaNoWriMo… (see my previous blog post, “November“)

My previous attempts (five or so years ago, and thus far this year) have produced nothing more than flamboyant nullity with regards to word count.

However, I am happy to report, I have finally shaken off the cloak of Anxiety – I still may have a shawl on, just for familiarity and comfort, but I’m definitely not allowing Anxiety and Fear to smother me anymore – and I’ve started this new tale!

I’m only 800 words into it, but I’ve also only had the opportunity to invest about 4 hours, including a smidge of research, so I’m feeling good! Besides, 800 words is better than what I had 5 hours ago!

I want to thank my son for motivating me, even though he’s completely oblivious to the fact that he’s the reason I’m writing again! (Last night, as we drove to the ballot drop box, I told him about the “November” blog post and how he was definitely outpacing me in his November challenge. He asked what the story line was for my latest project, and I explained the bare bones of it; he didn’t tune me out, which I took as a sign that it wasn’t a complete bore.) Because he has so bravely (translation: reluctantly) refrained from excavating his meager whiskers from his chin and upper lip, I felt it only fair that I open my laptop and at least attempt to write a paragraph or two… Hopefully the remainder of the week will see the multiplication of this miniscule word count into an explosion of literary greatness!

 

A tidbit for your entertainment:

Ennie had known nothing but urban living. She was raised in a traditional suburb with its tract homes, four-way stops, carefully manicured front yards, driveways with basketball hoops, and sidewalks dotted with tricycles, skateboards, and discarded baseball mitts, miles from the skyscrapers of the downtown jungle, but near enough that light pollution made wishing on evening stars merely a Hollywood movie set ploy.  She had skipped along those tree-lined avenues with girlfriends on her way to and from elementary and middle school, and learned to drive her father’s old pickup truck in the large parking lot behind the neighborhood shopping mall, early on Saturday mornings before the six-screen theatre opened its doors, flooding the perimeter with the intoxicating aroma of fresh popcorn, ready to tantalize the rush of moviegoers and hold them captive with a lightshow larger than life. Longtime residents watched the pudgy, freckle-faced tomboy graduate from tearing up her mother’s rose garden in search of worms and isopods, holding them captive in glass jars, to a daredevil strapped atop a pair of roller skates, blazing down the east hill with reckless abandon, and absolutely no concern for cross traffic or the consequences of bodily harm. The younger kids in the neighborhood had the pleasure of her company in the absence of their parents, as she swiftly became the neighborhood’s most reliable and trusted babysitter. She introduced different genres of music to the children she had the opportunity to interact with, as she always had some song lifting her spirit, causing her to dance and twirl. She also took the time to teach some of the kids that wanted to learn – and even some who begrudgingly protested but peered over folded arms and past furrowed brows – different skills, including cooking and baking, photography, crocheting and embroidery, and even took the time to write stories with those select families she watched on a regular basis.  Fingernails and toenails were often of differing colors, and she gladly shared her flare for the eclectic with anyone who asked – or asked mom and dad’s permission. Her smile was more of a city trademark than the city’s seal itself, and Ennie made it her personal mission to greet as many individuals a day with a gracious smile and a joyous “hello”.

am i merely beige?

Have you ever felt like you’ve been given a 120-count box of crayons and a beautiful coloring book full of intricate, scenic pictures, and for some reason you haphazardly yet thoroughly scribble over each and every page with the same beige stick of wax?

I thought I entertained a talent. I thought I possessed a gift. But lately, all I notice is a hole in my heart – a dark space, a void, where once there was a spark. It became a passion – a drive – early in my life. Some may even equate it to a drug; it offered a way for me to experience a high. The rush of adrenaline and the euphoria of tactile “creation” were unmatched. It ushered me into another realm from which I could escape whatever sinister chiasms of reality threatened to devour my spirit. I became quite dependent on the tantalizing notion of being able to bend reality to suit my mood. However, the unwavering tick of the clock proved not as forgiving, and I had to slink away, nary a moment to sip from the pool of cathartic verbiage to poetize.

Desperate for tangible evidences of creativity, I found less potent “soul-narcotics”, and began spinning yarns (literally, yarn projects – crocheting, knitting, anything to experience “creation” again). But alas, days dripped into weeks, which poured into months, which flooded into years, cascading to this, my breaking point, where I can no longer deny this overwhelming desire to dive – full-body, wholeheartedly – back into the throes of addiction; to once again toil over the expression of hopes and desires and to feel the exhilaration of exquisitely executed alliteration. Of course, breaking free of my captor, Monsieur Obligatoire, was no easy task; the complete success of my escape still remains to be seen. Until I am dragged, kicking and screaming, back to the dungeon of dreary academia expository dribble, I will satiate my lust for imagination activity by hacking away at long-slumbering story lines and plodding plot schemes in hopes of developing some delectable morsels adequate and suitable for consumption.

Forlornly, I long for the days of effortless prose, uninhibited wanderings of whimsy and intriguing exploration beyond the concrete and gray… Is there a way back to the garden? Is there a way back along the dry and unforgiving path to where the thick twisted tree branches bow and sway under the weight of vibrant song-filled fantastical birds and the yellow-pink air, swirling sweet with fruit and fresh rain? Will I again triumphantly return and know the joy of simple and profound inspiration, nestled peacefully between passion’s flame and the tangible side of imagination? That is my hope.

Managing to hike up through the brambles and weeds, over the rocky, worn path, and past the dilapidated fencing, I stand before the rather large, somewhat intimidating door… Without preparation, without thorough planning, without unabashed confidence, I now seem to lack the strength – more precisely, the courage – to push beyond the barrier; truth be told, I can’t even bring myself to humbly knock and beg passage. Trying with all that is left within me to muster up the fortitude and resume my journey despite the dark raging storms, the tempests of deepest doubt and the gusts of insecurity that berate my spirit, I dig my heel into the sandy soil, draw a breath from my right pinky toe, exhale with the exuberance of a teenager at the dentist’s office, and forge on.

Wet Paint

It’s all so new! Like walking out of the nail salon with that fresh coat of high-gloss scarlet, screaming “stop and stare at me!” I’ve been talking about doing this for quite some time; I can’t believe I’ve actually seen this project to fruition! [hesitant happy-dance] Now let’s see if I can get home without smudging my new paint job…

This blog is two-fold: it was initially conceived as a venue for creative outlet and just a place to do what I love – to write! Whether sharing fun stories from a catastrophically chaotic day at the office, or musing about the four-legged furbabies around the house, I knew I needed something that pulled me out of the doldrums of tax preparation and restored a sense of youthfulness, inspiration, and wonder that I found lacking in my life as of late. As I fought to concentrate on topics, however, a few of my closet skeletons began to scratch and claw at that back door of my mind, whining and wailing to be set free. Several years ago, I started writing a book when struck by an incredibly forceful vein of inspiration. Everything from job stress, to several family relocations, to medical complications, to computer failures, to just plain ol’ writer’s block – not to mention a little bit of life – interrupted the forward momentum of the story, and it remained dormant. Like late tax returns needing to be filed, the incomplete pages began to weigh heavy on me, but the concept was still so scattered. In talking with several friends, they suggested I just start writing… Just write! So that’s what I’ve done. I started writing. And sure enough, the ideas began to flow again, which was exhilarating – and oddly, exhausting at the same time, as I am not as young as I used to be, and my days are quite occupied otherwise!

Nonetheless, I have decided to utilize this blog for both musings of the recreational sort, and for further advancement of my story. My posts may contain odd antidotes about some random visit to the grocery store, and the conversation I fell into with a product demonstrator, or it may share a tidbit about a piece of the story I was able to accomplish in the days leading up to the post. Either way, I do hope you find the posts entertaining. And, I do encourage your feedback! I love to hear what’s on your mind! Did something I share spark a memory? Are you experiencing a similar scenario in your life or workplace? Do you just need some encouragement, whether you’re writing a piece of fiction, a research paper for school, or just trying to make it from one day to the next? 

My goal is to publish new posts at least once a week (I’m aiming for the ‘unscripted’ hours between Friday evening and sunrise on Monday morning), but if things are going well – meaning, if I’m not putting in too much overtime at the office, all the homework is done, and the house is not asunder – I may sneak in an additional post from time to time.

With that said, here we go!