Long-form

Tonight, all walking accomplished was to lose me a brooch from a Friendship Store in 1982’s China. And my target number of steps—that should not be discounted!—but I was hoping for An Idea. Nope. BUT I have my assorted scribbles (or, as Charlie calls it, an idea garden) to fall back on.

This is not it. That notebook/idea garden thing seems consistent across people whose creativity pursues them. Interesting thoughts come through, but it’s not a good time to engage them properly. A quick scribble, and then one can return later and give them the desired attention. Or never return at all, leaving the bits of paper to pile up like fall’s dead leaves. Yep, it’s an old simile, but still entertaining.

This is it: I am liking keeping these short. I can pick out one idea or thought—or what appears to be one thought—and I can stretch it out fully. Weight down the corners, iron it like yesterday’s earth-skin. If it’s not just crumpled but also tangled, I can see where the knot lies, and work it over with chopsticks and pins until all the strands are freed.

Or, if you’re in favor of a food analogy, like working hot sugar syrup into taffy. Butter your hands and pull, pull away until it smooths and firms. Pastel, pretty, ready to cut and eat.

When I wrote Morning Pages (three longhand pages of uninterrupted writing, topic(s) unimportant), among the MANY disharmonies I had with the process was the overall upchuck quality of it all. So many balls of idea would land on the page, and I would want to smooth them all out, but I couldn’t keep up. Besides, they were frequently interlocked, so I would press one, then the next, then the next… . At the end, the last might bear little clear relationship to the first (which could be OK), and I would feel as completely muddled, pencil in hand, as I’m sure any reader would in reading it.

I have a deeply freely-associative mind. Most of the time it’s fun. But if I’m thinking, and brain-clearing pages are (in my opinion) a form of thinking, I want order in the mêlée. I want a different experience than my usual hectic swirl.

This, at least, is different.
And an hour past target bedtime, to boot; oh well!

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