Saturday, July 28, 2012

What I thought about in the car today

I remember saying to you, “You never hear the one with your name on it.”  And later I saw you carving your name into a bullet, storing it safely in your breast pocket.  I laughed at you then, but at night as you slept soundly I woke with dark dreams in my head. 

I smile politely when people tell me about their assurance, whatever it may be, but inside I am scornful.  “Ha,” I say to myself, “To be so certain is to ignore the complexity of the world,” and I feel like a superior species as I sit there knowing that the veil cannot be lifted, that nothing can be known for sure.
But as I lay there in the dark, with shadowy dreams of war swiftly slipping from my memory, I prayed.  I prayed that I would be shown what was underneath it all.  I prayed that I could see with all certainty the end of the road.  The answer came in the form of sleep and dreams that could not be remembered.  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I'm a really good goalie playing against myself

Unfortunately I am unable to do the next two prompts because I am not at home and don’t have access to my photos or a dictionary where I can pick out words randomly.  So tonight I will write something else.
I am only three weeks away from being done with CPE.  I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as that is concerned.  But I have to admit I don’t feel all that great about how my summer has gone.  Sure, I have been busy with CPE, and that has been incredibly stressful, but I had high hopes that I would be able to do something else with my summer other than chaplaincy.  I wanted to work on losing some weight for instance.  This is hard enough for me without all the stress, so I don’t know what I was thinking setting a goal like that, still, I feel I have let myself down.  Honestly, I am really terrible at meeting goals that I set for myself, there are certainly things I want to do, but I have spent so much of my life wandering around inside my own head, I actually find it difficult to do much without outside pressure. 
Anyway, I will keep setting goals for myself and I will keep looking for ways to make myself turn these goals into habits.  I know I am not the only one in the world who has problems like this, but I often feel that I have it particularly bad, that I am particularly weak-willed.  It shows a distinct lack of character on my part.  Is it possible to build character without outside assistance?  Is there really such a thing as ‘self-help’? 
I just got interrupted by a very long call.  I suppose I can continue to talk about my self-discipline issues but I no longer care, I guess.  Nothing happened in the call to make me less concerned with myself, I am just really tired now, and writing about myself is just as draining as talking about myself can be.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Prompt #1: My little orange Hamlet

Prompt #1: Close your eyes briefly.  Think of one object that is in the room and focus on it.  Without opening your eyes, recall as much detail as you can about it.  After 3 minutes or so, open your eyes and write about that object without looking at it.  -

Next to my bed is a small bookshelf with two shelves.  It acts as my night stand.  On top are the normal things one would find on a night stand: a lamp, a coaster with a glass of water on it, a remote control for the TV, that sort of thing, but on the shelves are books.  The upper shelf has an assortment of old hardcover books one of which is an a copy of ‘Hamlet’.  It is a slim volume with an orange cloth binding.  The edges are all worn and the pages are dark with age.  The book was probably new in the fifties or sixties, it doesn’t have any fancy commentary or definitions inside, it is just the text.  I imagine this book is the sort of thing used by actors in their local community theater.  I wonder who used this particular copy?  I imagine it was some aging Hamlet, a man in his forties, pudgy and balding, but thrilled to finally be given a chance to perform such a seminal role.  He must have poured over the pages of his little book, and even though he didn’t understand everything that he was saying, he memorized each and every line perfectly.  He had heard once that it was disrespectful to the writer to make changes to the text, and the last thing he wanted to do was disrespect Shakespeare by getting the words wrong. 
His performance was probably wooden, unremarkable, and yet delivered with such love, such devotion not just to Shakespeare, but to the theatre.  Playing Hamlet would be a source of pride in an otherwise unremarkable life.  Shakespeare has that effect on people, to be able to say his words to an audience is to be given life.  When our aged Hamlet opens his little dog-eared play book he leaves behind the tragic mediocrity of his own life and he takes on a princely tragedy.  He probably never made the connection between his own desires for personal meaning and the desires of his beloved Hamlet, and that would be the truest tragedy of all…

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Start again...again

Deep breath.

Okay, so I failed again.

I tried, over and over again I sat down to write, but a mixture of stress and other psychological factors kept getting in the way, and writing for even 20 minutes was just too much.  I have been a dry well lately; more than usual that is, and as much as I would like to deny it, I need help.  One of the reasons I want to do this 'project' (I guess it can be called a project) is because I do find it difficult to articulate myself, particularly in writing.  Also, I think it will be useful to exercise my writing skills for the sake of sermons, and of course just general creative stretching is good for the soul.  But what is a girl to do when she can barely form a single sentence while staring at a blank screen?  The dreaded prompts.  I so very much did not want to tie myself to a predetermined set of prompts, but I suppose some of us just need training wheels at first.  I am no stranger to God cutting back my pride, it happens all the time.  So if prompts are what I need - then prompts are what I need.  So I looked, and honestly the internet has little to offer and the writing prompt books in the bookstore were not much better.

But after a while I did find this:   They are okay, and they will do.

So I will start at the beginning and use these.  Hopefully writing will come more easily long before I get through all of these prompts.