Monday, July 27, 2009

This I Believe - Gregory Orr

This I Believe - Gregory Orr

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I love this bit:

"When I write a poem, I process experience. I take what's inside me, the raw, chaotic material of feeling or memory, and translate it into words and then shape those words into the rhythmical language we call a poem. This process brings me a kind of wild joy. Before I was powerless and passive in the face of my confusion, but now I am active: the powerful shaper of my experience. I am transforming it into a lucid meaning."

A kind of wild joy. Yes.

Friday, July 24, 2009

More randomness

Regarding what others think of me... it's a real dilemma, or challenge, for a writer, to not get ego and product mixed up. Of course you want others to like what you write, but first you have to want to write what you write and read what you write. In one sense, everyone else is secondary (sorry, all of you kind folks who might read this).

In terms of what others think of me apart from anything I produce, i.e. if they like me or don't like me, etc.... Well. How utterly embarrassing. As a 42-year-old grown woman, good grief, isn't it obvious that if that matters to me, then at some level I must be having a problem liking myself. So, therefore, I need others to make up the difference.

Oh, brother.

OK, the other sort of random thing I've been thinking about lately is how all of these social networking tools (FB, Twitter, blogs, etc.) are feeding an already narcissistic culture. It's making a value out of self-exposure and self-expression, beyond that of the artistic and into the realm of the purient. I've put my toe into the water of most of these new technologies, and in some cases have jumped in the deep end wholeheartedly. So my comments are not externally critical but looking into the mirror and asking how best to harness it all and where to draw the line.

Looping it back to my almost reckless Sally Field-ish self-expression of paragraph two ("You like me, you really like me!" right? heh heh, she giggles nervously), for me, I need to draw the boundaries for myself based on what I perceive as "useful self-expression" (i.e. useful to others, or useful for me to express to others) and "harmful self-expression" (which I'll just express to myself, or not at all). Maybe others have different boundaries. I'd be curious to hear.

I think this particular posting is potentially useful, because I suspect others may have similar feelings, so my self-exposure/random thought might connect with someone in a good way. Also, I believe most folks I know are primed and ready for a meaningful dialog around the impact of Web 2.0. There is a profound shift in the way we think, talk, write, interact. It is bringing generations together, but it's also creating mini-schisms. I care about this topic because it is making me a bit distracted, but also because I think there may be startling implications for my son as he grows up. I'm just not sure yet what those implications are.

So, there's my randomness on this Friday afternoon. Very fuzzy. I hope you still like me (I mean "like it")... Oops.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Random, Part 2

Realized today (for the umpteen-millionth time) that what other people may think of me (good or bad) is really none of my concern. It only becomes a problem for me if I make it a problem.


Also realized (AGAIN!) that there is always a third way. When you get trapped in a dilemma of two options, the best thing you can do is look for that third way. If the third way is closed, find a fourth.


C.S. Lewis wrote this about asceticism: "The wrong asceticism torments the self: the right kind kills the selfness. We must die daily: but it is better to love the self than to love nothing, and to pity the self than to pity no one."

Good ol' Clive, he sure had a way of putting it all in balance.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Curious Case

We watched "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" last night. While I found the film to be profoundly sad, some of the thoughts expressed were full of hope and meaning. Like this:

“...What I think is, it’s never too late...or, in my case, too early, to be whoever you want to be...There’s no time limit, start anytime you want...change or stay the same...there aren’t any rules...We can make the best or worst of it...I hope you make the best...I hope you see things that startle you. Feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you challenge yourself. I hope you stumble, and pick yourself up. I hope you live the life you wanted to...and if you haven’t, I hope you start all over again.”


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Random thoughts

Grace is random discussion with old friend over fish and chips on a rainy summer night in Maine. When topics can flow seamlessly, with more light than heat, from alternative career paths (“What if money didn’t matter?”) to politics to Michael Jackson’s funeral to latest literary finds and theological theories, you know you’re in the company of a kindred spirit.


It is interesting to me how at a certain point in life it is not uncommon for people of faith (whatever faith) to realize that God never needed them to be His bodyguards. They begin to let go of the need to be right and then start to really listen without needing to react.


Sam has recently discovered that I have another name besides “Mommy” that people besides him use for me. He’s tried using it a few times. It comes out sounding more like “Kerry” than “Kelly.” I have made it clear that he is to use the “M” word only. Funny how I’m reacting to this newly discovered bit of independence and wordplay. It is less about respect for me than for our special relationship. He’s the only one that gets to call me “Mommy” – I don’t want him to forget that it is a privilege.