Things I Am Thinking of Writing About

….as I sit here with a coffee and tap my fingers against the keyboard and strum my fingers against this desk, trying to summon inspiration:

1. How I ate half a wheel of Goat Cheese Brie last night and then finished the rest of it this morning and don’t even have the decency to feel guilty because hey! my naturopath said I should be eating more cheese and more fat so, you know, just doin’ what I’m told.

2. That time when we came home and as we rounded the curve in our street we saw Gus’ head pop up in our bedroom window. The window that is directly above our bed. Meaning he had snuck onto our bed, a place he is expressly forbidden from sleeping and really if you want to get into it he’s not even allowed to enter our bedroom at all.

And we stopped the car and for a few moments we all stared at each other, Gus looking at us, us looking at Gus, until he must have realized that he was well and truly busted and his head disappeared from the window. When we finally stopped laughing and went inside he was lying on his bed in the living room, all nonchalant, like, “Oh hey guys, you’re home? Yeah cool, I was just napping here on my comfy dog bed. OH! By the way I think I saw someone in your bedroom you might want to check that out.”

3. How if I changed really quickly I could still make it to the noon Core Yoga class but I really shouldn’t because I know that I only want to go so I can put another gold star beside my name and then I mean, I have two in a row so LET’S WIN THIS THING!

4. Kindness in marriage. Or more specifically, the role of marriage, or the role of a wife in marriage, or MY role as a wife in MY marriage. Are people sick of hearing about my marriage?

5. Funny stories from work. I have so many stories guys, SO many. But I am bound by confidentiality and even though I am technically allowed to share stories if I change the identifying details, we live in such a small town, that changing gender pronouns and/or ages will mean nothing when everyone will just know who I mean anyway.

6. How my living simply thing might have gotten out of hand because yesterday Adam had to convince me not to try and sell our toaster. OUR TOASTER. (It’s a pretty awesome piece of machinery though I must say, because it can be a toaster OR a toaster oven! Okay fifty bucks takes it.)

7. How we watched The Rum Diaries last night and the whole time I just kept thinking that I would literally give up the use of one of my limbs if only I could use words like Hunter S. Thompson.

8. How my mind is so blank I can’t even make it to ten on this list.

Rhyme and Reason

Some days I sit here and I wonder who I’m writing for. I wonder if writing every day isn’t somehow diluting my words, my work. Initially I thought it might be beneficial, training myself like one of those hypothetical monkeys, hammering away at this modern day typewriter- eventually at some point the great work will come tumbling out, right?

I’m beginning to think that I was wrong. It’s become too scattered, too open to corruption. Like throwing dozens (hundreds, at this point) of darts at hundreds of different targets, hoping that at least one sticks. What am I trying to do? Am I trying to strike a chord? Convey meaning? Be funny?

It’s the feedback aspect that pollutes it I think. At what point do you see yourself turn away from writing for yourself and towards writing for others? I would argue that this sea-change occurs precisely at the point where you begin to feel an obligation to an audience, imagined or otherwise. The point where you desire the reaction of an audience more than you desire the release writing affords.

Keeping a journal, I never felt pressured to fill each page, to summarize each day and sign my name. It isn’t the same here, it can’t be.

The birth of these thoughts and my need to excise them can be traced back in a linear fashion to two things: Discovering, then reading, my little sister’s blog; and working my way through Sherry Turkle’s book “Alone Together”.

This is what I was thinking, sifting through my sisters wildly disjointed, chaotic and insightful words while simultaneously perusing the pages of a book about the perils of technology and our feedback culture: Hilary (the sister) wasn’t writing for anyone. I never knew she had this blog, not one entry had a comment and so I assume few others know of it either. She was writing for writing’s sake. Some posts are so obscure that I don’t even know what they describe, what they refer to. But they’re deeply engrossing nonetheless, they encapsulate her so perfectly.

As for Ms. Turkle, the fantastic researcher with a delightful last name, she has built a book explaining word by word what technology does to us while we think it’s working for us. The eternal feedback loop.

At the intersection of these two worlds, the words written by these two women, my mind started retracing its steps. Why did I start this blog?

To write.

I felt like there was a part of myself that was overflowing. In the first post I ever published here, I said:

I found I was getting twitchy, tetchy, without someplace to write. I need somewhere to hold the extra bits of me that won’t fit into snarky emails and hastily written texts…

By sitting down each morning and forcing myself to write – although forcing isn’t quite the right word- am I losing something? Does the quality get lost within the desire for quantity? Am I turning myself into a sort of 24 Hour Fox News channel where the pressure of writing something means that every day I churn out words words words that don’t in fact mean, anything?

How much can be said about a misunderstanding with an online retailer? How many times can I re-tread the worn trope of celebrity worship?

I know that in navigating this terrain, it’s important to remember that life doesn’t exist in a vacuum but it also can’t flourish in an environment so overstimulated, over-fertilized, over-harvested.

I’ll become barren, nutritionally void.

I don’t know what this means. Perhaps it means fewer words and more meaning behind them. Perhaps it means nothing. The truth is probably somewhere in between.