Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hope and Joy

We question ourselves.  What have we done to
so affront nature?
We interrogate and worry God.
Are you there?  Are you there, really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension,
Christmas enters.
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor
Come the way of friendship.

---from Amazing Peace:  A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou

To friends old and new:  Merry Christmas and best wishes for a remarkable new year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Human Stories

Willa Cather once said "There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before."

I've started a series of short fiction based on this concept.  Are there really only a few stories, repeated endlessly in various manifestations?  Here's my first exploration, which I've entitled Human Stories, Number One.  Consider it my holiday gift to you (you're welcome)!  And please send me your ideas for other "human stories!"

Boy Meets Girl
          The theme for the evening was the Roaring Twenties, although none of them were born then.  The women rented flapper attire—glittering headbands, shiny, bobbed wigs and fringed skirts—from the costume supplier they had emailed and texted each other about in the preceding weeks.  It seemed strange, really, to celebrate someone’s fiftieth birthday, a milestone certainly, by embracing a decade and its imperfect impressions and subjective symbolism, by adopting this era that had nothing to do with any of them, to mark a person’s birth this way, and to do it by having a party in someone’s garage, no matter how expertly finished it was.
          In one corner, by the newly installed wet bar complete with leather barstools, Glen Hanley ordered a scotch and soda from his wife’s PTA friend, Susan Gleeson.  He had met Susan before, had come home from work once to find four women huddled over a mound of papers at the kitchen table, had listened politely through the introductions and explanations while wondering what was to be done about his dinner.  Now that both girls were in college, his wife Janet had given up the custom of regular dinners.  But he still worked at the bank and still played in his tennis group on Tuesdays and Thursdays, weather permitting.  He, Glen Hanley, still wanted dinner. 
          Susan slid the sweating glass across the bar.  It was July and hot despite the central air conditioning vented in from the house.
          In the center of the ceiling, where a garage door opener should be, the Gleesons had strung up a disco ball.  It wasn’t until later, much later, when the recycling bin was full of bottles and the brie started to harden and ooze, that the disco ball would be in its full glory, when the overhead lights were dimmed and the dance floor got crowded.
          At that point, Glen Hanley was sitting once again on a leather stool, having been mildly humiliated by his wife and her wisecrack about the banality of mortgage lending, having been numbed and incited by his fifth scotch and soda to walk off and leave her dancing to Night Moves, which had nothing to do with the Twenties either.  And once again, there was Susan Gleeson and her red satin cleavage.  Susan Gleeson with her refreshing beverages.  He felt that Doug Gleeson was probably quite lucky, having been allowed to finish his garage for a terrific fiftieth birthday party when he himself, Glen Hanley, couldn’t even get a hot dinner most nights.
          So when the next song on the Gleeson’s playlist was Blinded By the Light, a song that Glen Hanley used to blare in his bedroom on Santa Marina Street, with his ailing mother under an afghan on the living room couch and his twin sisters laughing or fighting in the next room (because Glen Hanley had been surrounded by women his entire life), when this song that made him feel nineteen and not fifty in seven months himself, when this music started, Glen grabbed Susan Gleeson’s hand, his wife be damned, and brought her to the newly laid dance floor.
Death Comes for Boy (or sometimes, for Girl)
          Kizzy Hanley parked her car near the fire hydrant where her sister Lurie slipped in a puddle one summer and got a concussion.  Their mother blamed Kizzy of course, who was older and therefore in charge.  The hydrant had been dripping a slow drip for several days, but the neighborhood kids swore a pact of silence, preferring instead to fill cups and bowls for their own purposes, to occasionally submerge a sweaty head under the faint stream.  Lurie, excitable and absentminded, was destined for accidents.  Even now, Kizzy had a text that Lurie’s plane out of Denver was snow delayed.  Kizzy and her mother would spend the evening worrying and checking the airline’s website.
          Kizzy slowly got her purse and the take-out bag.  She’d been camping at her parents’ house (her mother’s house she’d have to get used to saying) for three nights.  Ever since her father collapsed at his Thursday tennis game.  There was no reason for it, no sense to be made.  He was only fifty-four years old.  Kizzy bit her lip, shook the wave off.
          Her mother was where she’d left her, cleaning the refrigerator.  Her backside in its bluish polyester pants protruded from the opened freezer door, jiggling as she scrubbed.  Boxes of vegetables, cellophane wrapped meat, a ice-covered Ben and Jerry’s, all of it on the marble counter, all of it in individualized tiny puddles.
          “Almost finished then, Mom?” Kizzy asked.  “The food is melting.”
          Her head came out, face shiny from the cold, eyes red-rimmed.  “Okay.”
          Kizzy helped her load the things back in.  Then she gathered plates, forks, napkins, took it all to the kitchen barstools.  They hadn’t eaten in the dining room since she arrived.  Already they were starting new ways of being.
          “You don’t have to stay,” her mother said for the tenth time.  “I know you’ve got your job, your apartment.”
          “Mom, it’s ten minutes away.  Everything will stay the same there.”  She dished Kung Pao chicken for her mother.  “I want to stay through the service.  I want to see Lurie.”  Lurie’s expanding figure, Lurie with her happy marriage and baby on the way. 
          Her mother, resigned but glad:  “Alright then, Kizzy.”
          The clock in the hallway chimed six o’clock.  An heirloom of sorts, Kizzy’s grandmother purchased it when her daughter married Glen Hanley.  It rang every half hour.  Can’t you change the settings, her father would ask.  But Janet Hanley insisted that she didn’t notice it at all, having lived with it for so long.
          Kizzy and her mother looked at each other during the chiming.  A brief moment, nothing to say.  Marvelous and terrifying, Kizzy thought, how quickly we go, how quickly we stay.
Girl (or alternately, Boy) Grows Up
            Living in Barstow didn’t afford Janet Lemon many opportunities for excitement.  The sleepy town, a crossroads really, soldiered on in the shadow of its mining days. 
          The three-bedroom ranch house was home to eleven:  Janet, her parents and six siblings, and her aunt and a cousin.  They shared one bathroom and the square of grass in the back.  Her father worked as a welder and her mother took occasional work, babysitting or cleaning houses. 
          So when Janet had a chance to go with friends to Los Angeles, she packed a bag and left with no regrets.  Many things happened to Janet in the next several years, among the most memorable:  a job at a dingy coffee shop, night classes in history and art, a bitter fight with a roommate, three days of debauchery in Tijuana, a protracted relationship with an aspiring singer, more night classes, a visit home when her aunt died, a Bob Seger concert, a broken wrist while rollerblading, a brief, emotionless liaison, a sailboat ride, a job at a grocery store, and a trip to San Francisco where she fell in love and subsequently, settled down.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A crack in everything

I didn’t know much about Elizabeth Edwards, probably what most of us knew, the main events of her life since her husband came to national attention in 2003.  But I can’t think of a person in my lifetime who handled adversity and injustice with equal grace.  The excerpt that she had printed at her desk is worth repeating, over and over:

"Ring the bells that still can ring.

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything.

That’s how the light gets in."

And if you’ve never seen or heard Leonard Cohen sing his song, Anthem, from which this quote is taken, you’re in for a life-changing experience.  I can’t stop watching this today.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm a versatile blogger!

A fellow writer and blogger, Suzy Turner, sent me a lovely note the other day, bestowing on me the honor of The Versatile Blogger award!  Suzy's blog can be found at  It features a link to her website, where you can sample her fabulous novel, Raven.

Per the requirements of this esteemed award, I must now list seven facts about myself.  So, here goes:

1.  I have a hard time thinking of facts to list about myself.
2.  I had a typical 70s and 80s childhood--lots of TV!-- and I've been thinking about television, and its probable early effects on my creativity.
3.  My favorite Charlie's Angel was Jaclyn Smith.  Off topic:  have you seen her lately?  She's 63, repeat...63.  Amazing.
4.  I preferred Hutch to Starsky, although in most cases, I usually preferred brunettes (refer to Jaclyn Smith comment).  There was, however, the episode where Hutch became addicted to heroin and I couldn't foresee a future with him and also was impressed with Starsky's heroism in rescuing his partner, but really, I mostly stuck with Hutch adoration.

Where was I?  Oh yes...
5.  My brother and I used to tape episodes of Mork and Mindy WITH A CASSETTE PLAYER, and listen to them later.  That show was hilarious.
6.  On The Facts of Life, I related most to Jo, although I wished she didn't have to be so boyish ALL the time.
7.  I watched soap operas as a child and young adult.  Many hours of soap operas.  (Refer to post below on "Old Friends.")

And now...I will pass this award on to seven more blogs.  If you have time, visit their sites, which I find extremely worthwhile.


Friday, December 3, 2010

The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleberg

Is anyone as excited as I am about the upcoming movie version of The Great Gatsby?  Recently, it was announced that Carey Mulligan was cast as Daisy Buchanan, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway.  Here's Carey Mulligan in rehearsal:

The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite novels and along with Lolita, one of the quintessential 20th century American works, in my opinion.  What I think will make it a great movie in the hands of director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Australia, Romeo + Juliet) is its highly visual and symbolic nature.  White curtains fluttering, the green light on Daisy's dock, Gatsby's flashy car, all of it great imagery.

I thought I was happy with the casting choices, although I mostly picture Tobey Maguire as the bewildered Spiderman:

and am not sure he can summon the seriousness and eventual wisdom of Nick.  Still, I was willing to give him a chance.  DiCaprio is the perfect choice for Gatsby, and I loved Mulligan in An EducationBut then I stumbled upon this site, where you can vote for your dream cast.  Some of those choices are very compelling.  Check it out.

Also, I'm wondering how Luhrmann will represent one of the most important symbols of the book, the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleberg, watching over the proceedings in their God-like manner.  I say a large billboard of Kanye West, with diamond-encrusted sunglasses and his perpetual pout.  I think he'd accept the part.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Imagined Reality, Part 1 of 3

Most writers were influenced by certain books, books that either changed the way they looked at writing or the world in general or if you were lucky enough, books that changed everything.  For me, one book stands above others when I think about my writing and the themes that continue to occupy me, and it wasn’t a work of fiction.  Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson was required reading for a history course I took when I returned to college, a little late but much more focused.  With apologies to Mr. Anderson, a highly esteemed historian, I, a lapsed history minor, will attempt to summarize its premise.  The book is about nationalism--how it came to be, and how it spread across the world.  Anderson argues that at one time, people couldn’t conceive of themselves as members of a nation and that because of certain phenomena, at some point they could.  These “imagined communities” bound people previously unlinked by certain considerations.  Some of the processes that contributed to this were “the decline of antique kingship,” “the territorialization of religious faiths,” and “changing conceptions of time.”  There are many others (actually, it’s a very complicated and painstakingly-argued thesis, an entire book!), but one that jarred me most:  “the creation of the novel and newspaper.”  According to Anderson, “these forms provided the technical means for ‘re-presenting’ the kind of imagined community that is the nation.”  Because of the novel, which included episodes that took place simultaneously while other episodes took place, people were able to think of people in different locations existing at the same time that they existed elsewhere.  By imagining the world contained in a newspaper and by seeing replicas carried around of the same newspaper, the imagined outside world became visibly pertinent to everyday life, the “real” world. 
It was (and still is) a shocking revelation to me that we have the ability to perceive ourselves a nation, and thereby create the nation, not through territory lines or military bases, but by the intent of the people.  It’s unbelievably empowering to me to think that the world as we know it is the product of singular and collective imagination.  And it gives me a small sense of importance to think that the written word could have the power to unlock this imagination.
How do Anderson’s theories about the beginning and rise of nationalism help me write novels?  Did all of those history courses go to waste?  What does any of this have to do with modern psychology or the Dalai Lama?  More to come in Part Two.
Further information on Anderson and his widely read book on nationalism here and here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” –Cicero

Thanksgiving Day, a wonderful opportunity to feel and express gratitude for abundance in all of its forms.  Thank you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The beginning

I’ve been giving some thought to the opening section of my novel The Qualities of Wood.  The book is, as I like to call it, a slow simmer, and in the opening section what we have is a sort of panoramic view of the setting, the main characters, and the situation in which they find themselves.  I have received hundreds of comments on this opening section and once in a while, readers complain that nothing much happens right away.  Some people like a fast pace, with a clearly defined problem right from the start.  In my opinion, Qualities does present a problem, right from the start, but it’s of the interior sort.  At any rate, I’ve been thinking about changing up the first section because sadly, this is all anyone will read, if you can get them to read it at all, and thus far, my opening hasn’t gained much attention from anyone in the publishing world.

The other day, I read one of the best openings I’ve ever seen.  It’s the beginning of Ian McEwan’s 1997 book Enduring Love:

The beginning is simple to mark.  We were in sunlight under a turkey oak, partly protected from a strong, gusty wind.  I was kneeling on the grass with a corkscrew in my hand, and Clarissa was passing me the bottle—a 1987 Daumas Gassac.  This was the moment, this was the pinprick on the time map:  I was stretching out my hand and as the cool neck and the black foil touched my palm, we heard a man’s shout.  We turned to look across the field and saw the danger.  Next thing, I was running toward it.

So…what really happens in this opening?  A man and woman prepare to open wine.  True, there is an allusion to danger, the promise of a pending event, but really, nothing much happens.  In fact, McEwan spends many, many more pages dancing around this event, exploring every possible aspect leading up to it, and analyzing every stimulus, every moment.  And yet, because the writing is beautiful, I was dialed in.

A favorite book of mine is Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson.  In my mind, it truly is a book where not much of anything happens.  The initial chapter describes an old man in a cabin alone.  Nothing happens, and yet I was on the edge of my seat.  In thinking about beginnings, I decided to pull it off the shelf and see how Petterson began.  The first paragraph:

Early November.  It’s nine o’clock.  The titmice are banging against the window.  Sometimes they fly dizzily off after the impact, other times they fall and lie struggling in the new snow until they can take off again.  I don’t know what they want that I have.  I look out the window at the forest.  There is a reddish light over the trees by the lake.  It is starting to blow.  I can see the shape of the wind on the water.

There is something so assured in his spare prose, something so rhythmic in his writing, that I think he could describe, well, titmice banging against a window, and I would be riveted.  Nothing much happens here, although there is the mention of the reddish light.

Change the beginning, leave the beginning.  What do you think?  My book The Qualities of Wood is online at  Click on the cover to the right and give me your thoughts on the opening.  Does it enthrall, interest, bore you?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A writer's market

I’ve been “building my online presence” for a couple of weeks now.  I’ve started this blog (which I’m enjoying more than I thought I would) and put together a very rudimentary website.  I’ve joined Facebook, which I am mostly avoiding but also enjoying.  None of it has dramatically decreased my actual writing, maybe because I’m currently spurred on by the Nanowrimo challenge.  I’ve been finding (and in some cases, subscribing to) blogs about writing, blogs about reading, blogs about readers who write and writers who read, and blogs written by editors and literary agents, both about the industry in general and as a method of information dissemination to aspiring writers such as myself.  It’s this last group, the agents and editors who blog, that confounds me the most.  Don’t get me wrong.  After ten years of keeping to myself, I’m happy to find information on the current standard for formatting a manuscript.  I find it helpful, I guess, to read about other people’s dismal queries and what agents found particularly dismal about them.  I’m interested in the industry, in what’s selling and who’s getting these great signing deals.  But it seems that there’s an entire, separate industry with goods for sale to writers:  advice books written by editors and agents, “Webinars” hosted by agents during which you can craft the perfect query, the endless conferences and workshops.             
Let me say that I’ve never empathized with agents and editors so much since I started to read many, many manuscripts on a site called Authonomy.  It’s a Harper Collins venture, wherein writers can post a fraction or the whole of the novel, even design and post a cover and write a pitch for it.  Books are rated by a complex mathematical equation of support received from other members and the author’s participation on the site.  That’s a very simple explanation, by the way.  The exact rating system can be found at  But the end result is that the top five books are rewarded with a review by a Harper Collins editor.  Not publication, a review.  Okay, so the reason I empathize with agents is because I’ve been reading and reading the opening sections of novels and non-fiction offerings for months.  And what surprises me is not that there is a huge amount of bad writing (that I expected), or that there is an even bigger amount of something worse—mediocre writing.  No, to my complete amazement, there is a significant amount of intriguing, complex, accomplished and in my unprofessional opinion, print-worthy books of every genre.  The people who wrote these polished works are writers, which means they are reclusive, introspective and in general, not great marketers of anything.  To require a writer to be their own marketer seems entirely unreasonable.
Everyone knows that the publishing industry is beholden to the best sellers.  But with the change that’s a-comin, the revolution that awaits in regards to self-publishing, e-publishing, etc., I would argue that agents, editors and publishers, instead of “creating an online presence” for themselves, would be better served to log off the blog and read more manuscripts.  In my experience, most queries end two ways:  1) a generic “not right for us” or 2) no response at all.  Again, I realize that they are inundated with, well, let’s face it, with a lot of crap.  But think of the stuff that they’re missing.  Even at Authonomy, when you get your coveted review after reading and commenting on hundreds, sometimes thousands of books, the review usually says something like:  “Well done, many good aspects, not for us.”
In a lot of ways, the publishing industry is like the current economy.  Many things involved, all intertwined, all difficult to fix.  Agents can’t sell books that publishers won’t buy.  I acknowledge that we live in a new time, a technological, look-at-me time.  But let writers be writers.  Let the rest go back to selling books, not advice on how to sell books.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Useless Art

We are approaching the 110th anniversary of Oscar Wilde's death, which occurred on November 30, 1900.  He's known for his plays, including The Importance of Being Earnest,

his stint in prison for "gross indecency" with other men, his wit and acerbic quotes, his outlandish style of dress,

and his single novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, which I am just beginning to read again this month for my book club

Wilde's life was filled with moments of great drama and over a century after he died from cerebral meningitis, destitute but with the final comfort of a Church baptism, it is still a life of interest to legions of fans.

Here are some links to some Wilde-mania, including a listing of famous quotations.

Official Oscar Wilde site

Picture of Dorian Gray online

Wilde Quotes

And in a strange twist, an Oscar-Wilde-themed restaurant that is in my old neighborhood in Chicago:

Wilde Chicago

So...what's your favorite Oscar Wilde quote?  I think my current favorite is from the Author's Preface of Dorian Gray, which begins with "The artist is the creator of beautiful things," and ends with:

"All art is quite useless."

Friday, November 5, 2010


If you weren’t aware that November is National Novel Writing Month, you are now!  I’ve signed up at, where each year they challenge thousands of writers to get off the couch (or blog), and finally finish the novel that’s been bouncing around the padded walls of their minds.  The goal:  50,000 words in thirty days.  They provide encouraging emails, a personal page where you can update your word count, and forums where you can commiserate and procrastinate with other writers.  The site is almost always bogged down and inaccessible during reasonable hours, which makes me think that most writers, like myself, are really good at finding ways NOT to work on their novel.  Five days into the challenge, I’m at 8900 words!  Maybe not the best stuff I’ve ever written, but it’s all about getting a first draft.  So if you’ve been looking for the motivation to start that break-out novel, there’s always next year’s Nanowrimo, which leaves you an entire year of avoidance!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Old Stories and Old Friends

            This is the actress K.T. Stevens, who portrayed Vanessa Prentiss on the early years of the soap opera The Young and the Restless.  Vanessa appeared on the show in 1976, wearing a black veil over the lower part of her face to cover scars she incurred while plucking her son Lance from a house fire.  She was housebound and bitter, and insanely protective of Lance and his brother Lucas.  In 1978, viewers rallied around their television sets to see Vanessa, finally unveiled!  I was only ten years old at the time but I was one of those viewers.  And to this day I remain disgruntled and disillusioned because it turned out that Vanessa had undergone plastic surgery and her face was miraculously unscathed.  Hoping for graphic and disturbing burn-marks, we saw instead clear and lovely skin.  Vanessa was never quite as intimidating, post-veil, even as she repeatedly targeted and blackmailed her nemesis, Lorie, who ended up marrying Lance.  In 1981, Vanessa leapt to her death from a balcony, leaving behind evidence to frame Lorie for her murder.
            I have to think that this early exposure to soap operas contributed to my dramatic flair and love of a good story.  I watched the show at the home of our neighbor and family friend, Elsie Cole.  My brother, sisters and I spent many summer days at her home while my mom worked at the family auto electrical shop.  Her home was a duplicate of ours, only flipped, a fact that I pondered often.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it opened some creative valve in my mind, this knowing that other people could have the same framework but be very different.  Our house was messy and full of kids; Elsie’s home was neat and organized and smelled of things that still remind me of childhood:  frying hamburger, cigarettes, laundry drying.  And Elsie herself was someone you wouldn’t soon forget.  She had a loud voice and an exuberant laugh, at times a quick but harmless temper and at other times, a sudden tenderness.
            Elsie Arline Cole died on October 1st of this year, one month shy of her 88th birthday.  I don’t have a photo to share but her face is vivid in my mind, where it matters.  The memorial service was peopled with old neighbors and friends, and grown children who had been kept safe in her care, everyone with fond memories of the fun and food to be had at Elsie's.  Thanks, Elsie, for your laugh and your open door, for taking care of us and for letting me watch soap operas with you.  One of these days I’m going to work a scarred, veiled woman into something I write.  And there will be no plastic surgery.

Friday, October 29, 2010

On creativity and the circuitous mess of my mind...

          So I’m working on my new novel the other day and as that process often goes, I found myself meandering through my “notebook.” I say “notebook” because what this actually includes, in addition to the spiral notebook where I have scribbled pages of notes and outlines, is several loose papers of more notes and abandoned outlines but also sundry items I have printed out from the Internet. For example, an obituary of Alain Robbe-Grillet, a brief history of Berwyn, Illinois, and a description of the Hindu ideal of conscious death. Stuff like that, all of which distracts me momentarily from the task at hand, which was looking for a timeline so I can continue the passage about when Gina moved out of the house for the first time (although maybe it’s all too confusing, her moving out then back in, out then back in), and as I flip through the pages I see the following note:
          Image: Woman wakes up with a key around her neck; unlocks satchel accompanying 9-year-old girl.
          What the???
          Let me explain. Usually, each and every note, however random, ignites something within the jumbled neurons in my mind. Like a telephone switchboard from an old movie, each scribble makes the well-groomed female operator take that long black cord and plug it into one of those holes, and instantly there is a connection; I remember why I wrote that note and what it means (or no longer means) to the novel. Dodging some of these connections (for now) and indulging in others is all part of flipping through the notebook, of plotting a novel, of writing.
          This quote about the woman has nothing to do with anything; furthermore, I’m quite sure I’ve never seen it before in my life, although the handwriting is unmistakably mine. And so I am utterly distracted by it.
          First things first. What’s with the abhorrent use of that semicolon? Maybe an “it” is implied before “unlocks.” Which would mean that the woman is probably unaware that the key in her sudden possession matches the lock in the possession of a 9-year-old girl. What 9-year-old girl? Does she know that girl but hasn’t seen her for some time? Is the girl unknown but connected to the woman in an unforeseen way? Or, does the woman wake then later unlock a satchel while accompanying a 9-year-old girl, in whose company she unwittingly finds herself? It could be like The Road or Blindness, sort of an apocalyptic novel where nobody is who they seem and everybody is connected in some random, doomed way.
          Wait. The woman’s mother has snuck in during the night like the creepy old lady in that children’s book I Love You Forever, and put the key around her daughter’s neck. The girl is the woman’s daughter that the conniving mother stole from the childbirth bed rather than face the disgrace of an illegitimate granddaughter.
          And…what’s in the satchel???
          Obviously, this was a morning where not much was done in terms of forwarding the novel. But I wouldn’t call it a waste. I’ve written this little piece. I spent some time reminiscing about the nice guy who emailed me back from the parks department in Berwyn to tell me when Proksa Park was opened (ah, humanity). And I have this new idea for a story. A novel? Alright, maybe just a blog entry.
          This is how I want to spend my time, and I’m lucky to do it. Exploring connections, learning about new things and connecting those things, thinking about situations and relationships, pondering ideas. Even if to others it may seem unsubstantial, not concrete, a strange way to spend the day. Obviously, they have no imagination.
"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka