We can do all kinds of things with cars, these days. Electric vehicles seem to be almost silent, the only noise the sound of tires going over uneven surfaces. Wonderful, indeed, and in direct opposition to the machine-gun exhausts of passing Harleys.
But here's something we haven't yet worked out: the astoundingly loud noise of the slamming of cars doors. Yes, especially by neighbors at 2 am. It would be easy, very easy, to install a feature on any car that closes the doors quietly. The Honda mini vans have it already. Dammit, even my kitchen drawers have little things that close them quietly for the last two inches. Why not the midnight car riders?
Stress comes in many forms. Noise pollution is one. We don't need this.
Things have been quiet on the site for a while. Partly that has to do with its re-design. These things always seem to take longer than one expects. My dear friend (the designer) keeps asking what visuals I want, and the trouble with writing is, well, there aren't that many visuals that aren't cliches.
In the meantime I've been doing more actual writing. I've just completed another story - about 50 pages - which I hope will be the bookend for a previous tale. I think they go well together. And these days short is good, so they have that in their favor.
And so, like spring, what has been working away beneath the surface begins to emerge into the light of day.
Marblehead MA, March 17th, 2 to 5pm
Come join us and find out what you truly want to express!
Over the next few days this site will be undergoing some changes.
Why? Well, I am at this time growing my Coaching and Counseling Practice - with a special emphasis on growing clients' creativity and finding creative ways to take on life's challenges.
That requires a new, updated website.
I'll still be exploring fiction writing, teaching literature, and all the things I've been doing until now. I will also continue to work at Curry College, although in a reduced way so I can use my time to engage with individual clients, give workshops, and present my methods to professionals.
Three dates are already lined up:
On March 17th I'll be at Creativespiritma.com in Marblehead MA, giving a workshop titled "Writing From Life". This is the second workshop I'll have done with Creative Spirit, and it'll use my writing exercises to uncover what it is you really have to say.
On June 8th-9th I'll be in Chicago at the studio of Bari Zaki giving a workshop that explores how we can kick-start our creativity and write from the core of who we are. The times are still being finalized.
On June 22nd I'll be giving a whole day workshop in Concord Ma, through Bay Path University's Masters' Program, showing how writing exercises can open clients up to important issues faster than talk therapy can.
So you can see what I'll be up to - and you may want to join us.
Ready to jump start your creativity? On March 17th I'll be holding a workshop at Creativespirit in Marblehead for writers of all kinds. It's called "Writing from Life, part 2" and runs from 1 to 4pm.
Creativespiritma.com will give you a full description.
See you there!
Is it me, or are restaurants getting noisier?
I used to enjoy going out to eat because it was an experience that mixed good food with good conversation. Lately I've tried several places that had great food but were so noisy I couldn't actually have a reasonable conversation with my companions. In one case this was even the case in the 'quiet' room the host guided us to. Do people not talk anymore when they eat? I've avoided restaurants with obtrusive TV for years, but now it seems if I want to eat out I must also shout out.
There's always take out.
I read a description the other day about a returning Iraq vet who was told, kindly, “I can’t imagine what you’ve been through”. While the comment was meant supportively it felt, the man claimed, as if he’d been put in a category that few others could understand. It made him feel isolated.
Thinking of my father’s generation, World War II veterans in England, I could see that most of the civilian population at the time could imagine only too well what the serving men and women had gone through. Almost everyone served in some capacity, doing war work, undergoing rationing, and so on. The major cities of Europe were blitzed and bombed with some regularity for years. Those people, all of them, knew the terrors of war first hand.
The same situation does not hold today in the US.
Which put me in mind of today’s military enthusiasts, re-enactors, and so on. Most of those people have never been in combat (with exceptions, of course). I wondered if the desire to dress in uniforms, to own guns or replicas, and to drive military vehicles was just that – an attempt to understand what it was that our veterans had been through and to offer them solidarity, understanding, and yes, even love.
This is, sometimes, how we strive to get in touch with each other’s experiences, and to feel the pain of others. And perhaps part of this is linked to the tenacious determination of so many to cling to the Second Amendment. Behind it lurks love, and sadness, and grief.
I recently sent off a submission for a novel to an agent. Because I've published non-fiction for the last fifteen years I had to go through all the steps, again. And, when I pressed "send" to wing off the first ten pages, I felt an unexpected surge of doubt, like I was sending a child off to camp, or to a major recital in front of a crowd.
That took me by surprise. After all, the worst that can happen is a rejection. But.... how hard it is, sometimes, to think of that rejection!
I've written a fair bit about Synchronicity - those odd moments when things just all seem to fall into place in the most startling fashion - but this phenomenon has its counterpart.
Anti-synchronicities are moment when things just won't fit, and they tend to be repetitive. Ask any arguing couple who are slinging reproaches at each other that go: "You always..."
Quite apart from anything else there is almost nothing that we 'always' do aside from breathing, so we'll let the silliness of the statement slide. But when people argue in this way they're in fact wishing that some things in their lives could be smoother or better. What's important about an anti-synchronicity like this is that, if we're paying attention, it awakens us to just how many things do go right. That's when we're likely to stop and say: 'Does it really matter if he/she leaves socks on the bathroom floor?' Then we recall all the other things that do go right, almost without effort.
Anti-synchronicities are there to remind us of how good most of life is, and that nothing is perfect. If our loved ones were absolutely perfectly in accord with every bit of our lives we'd soon begin to take that for granted. Anti-synchronicities are, truly, powerful messages -- if we're prepared to hear them. They spur us towards gratitude for what is.
Every so often I get some of my used items, clothes and so on, and donate them to my local charity shop. One day someone challenged me, saying that the charity I was supporting merely looked after homeless cats, and that I should give to a different cause.
And yet - whenever I'm in the store it's busy with somewhat under-funded people buying clothes. Three assistants bustle around and prices are very reasonable. Cats are important, of course they are, but a community shop where people can get good stuff cheap is also important. And the assistants are devoted to what they do.
Service matters. Devotion, too. No matter how it gets expressed.