Some Disassembly Required

canstockphoto20505774My mother-in-law likes to tell me how my husband tore apart household appliances as a kid, just to see how they worked. I suspect she’s still bitter about a toaster or two. Now an electrical engineer working as a programmer, he continues to take things apart to figure out what’s broken. His great skill is in coming up with non-linear solutions, which is sometimes delightful, other times irritating, if you have any aesthetic sensibilities at all. Nothing ever looks the same again. But it works.

There is a level of fearlessness required to take things apart. I’m often bound by a fear that I will break something while trying to fix it and it will never be useful again.

For the last year, I’ve been struggling to reshape my life, to give it a makeover that reflects my intentions. I made some big moves, like cutting back on volunteering and moving to a vegan diet.  I made some smaller changes, like working out less intensely and working a little harder at managing my time, trying to bring more focus to writing and attention to the moments with my family.

Despite a little progress, everything has started to go to hell in a million different ways. Fear has been seeping out everywhere. I feel such a high level of anxiety running like a fetid sewer under everything I’m doing these days.

As we waited for the train to go on vacation a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I’d left all my identification and credit cards in the photocopier at home. My lifelong habit of photocopying everything in my wallet before I go on vacation, in case of loss or theft finally bit me in the ass. We were fortunate to have our tickets.

I sat on the train, wondering aloud if I’d had some sort of stroke. I am that person – the one who organizes, schedules, packs, plans. Lists are my bailiwick. What was happening? Why this sudden spate of forgetfulness and imbalance over the last few weeks? Structure, schedule, lists, goals. Always do the unpleasant, must-do tasks first. Life would be manageable if only everything were clean and put away.

canstockphoto8171921I’ve been getting lost a lot while driving, trying to get to my kid’s soccer games at fields all over the Twin Cities, swearing in frustration. We discovered later that our car navigation system had reset to a default of western states (we’re in the Midwest). It mollified my pride a bit, but nothing takes away that bitter, helpless feeling of being lost, while so close to one’s destination.

This last week I dropped a jar of barbecue sauce which hit one of my pinky toes, now blackened and I suspect, broken. It has found kinship with the toes next to it, still recovering from running stress fractures. I’ve named it Quasimodo. And the joy of eating summer cherries was brought up short when I broke out in hives all over my face, neck and arms. The last time I got hives was the night before my wedding 15 years ago.

Taking my mother-in-law to see a dying friend, I blew a fuse when she told me for the fortieth time that it didn’t look like the right house and asked me if I knew where I was going. It was and I did, but my mother-in-law has dementia. What kind of jerk yells “Well, it’s a good thing you’re not driving!” at someone with a cognitive impairment going to see a friend in hospice care? I felt marginally better when I saw the satisfied look on her face. Now we’re family.

I turn 48 in a couple of months and unlike most birthdays, this seems significant to me. Somewhere in all my late bloomer rationalizations, I really thought I’d have my shit together by now. And I really don’t think I do.

Some friends joke about middle-aged brain. But I think things, namely me, are just falling apart. And despite my fears of being in some sort of menopausal decline, I suspect that breaking things and falling apart and generally being in a chaotic state are part of a bigger process.

I remember that old Army saying about how they’d break us down to build us up. It was a euphemism for we’ll turn you into a bunch of chain-smoking binge drinkers who will follow orders because you’re too damned tired and hungover to do anything else. Maybe that was just me.

There is something to be said for everything going to hell. We cling to our habits and processes like security blankets, until those soft, comforting blankets become concrete prison walls, beyond which we seem incapable of moving. Sometimes things just have to break so that there is room for new ideas and perspective to work their way into our lives.

Things haven’t been working for me. My goals are often diametrically opposed to my habits, leaving me frustrated and depressed. My constant striving for perfectionism eats away at my resolve. I am disciplined and structured until I make a mistake and then I go completely off the rails. I binge-live.

canstockphoto27947584So if my posts seem more like diary entries these days, it’s because everything is raw. I don’t have the energy to fine tune things with wisdom and perspective. It feels as if I’m a disassembled mess, bits and pieces strewn about on a workbench. I only hope that when I get myself back together, nothing looks the same and it works.

33 Comments

Filed under Personal

Looking for Dad

canstockphoto23635321Years ago, Father’s Day seemed to be mocking me. I had matured just enough to see that it was another holiday designed to sell more shit. My father had left when I was five and committed suicide later in his life. My stepfather was a mean and sometimes dangerous drunk, now also dead. I have never called anyone dad. It rolls off my tongue like a foreign word, unusual and exotic.

Anyone who has read this blog knows that I’m not a perky ray of sunshine.  I am, however, a believer in our ability as humans to see things the way we want to see them. My life is a series of truncated and isolated phases. We moved a lot. Connections were broken, addresses lost, time passed. I have forgotten much of my history out of necessity or neglect, but there are some people who have stayed always in my heart. And it’s an important lesson: We can make such a difference to each other.

An Appreciation of Nature

When I was younger, there was an older couple from our church who used to invite us over after service. My brother and I were 8 and 10. The couple were in their 60s. At the time, they seemed ancient. She was plump and severe, often chiding us for getting into things. He was always in motion, starting up the fireplace, walking through his garden, fetching this or that for her.

canstockphoto4041752Sometimes he would take us out to a local lake and even canoeing, if we were lucky. We would hike trails, scramble over logs, tromp through the mud. He knew a lot about plants and animals, always pointing out Dutchman’s Breeches and poison ivy along the paths. He narrated what the animals did and why. We’d look through his giant binoculars at birds, excited by a flash of color. He was interested in everything outdoors, as was I and we often poured through his bird guides to find something seen that day.

As I sit here now, birds are calling outside the study window. Behind me, on my bookshelf, are ten worn and tagged guides for plants, birds and animals. On top of them, a pair of binoculars.

Valuing What I Have to Write

canstockphoto23683471As a painfully shy 5th grader, I had the great fortune of having a teacher who saw me. Always quiet, reading, well-behaved, I learned to fly under the radar as much as possible. Mr. Dunn encouraged me to write. He put one of my poems in the town paper. He encouraged me in writing a parody, the now classic “Snow White and the Five Dorks”, which my classmates were all too happy to perform. My sense of humor had not been honed by subtlety. And still may not be.

I had begun prodigiously scrawling poetry and essays, filling notebooks with inane thoughts. Because I thought it mattered. He made me believe that it was worth doing. It was a kindness that impacted me immeasurably.

Pick Your Battles

One of the most important father figures in my life was my grandfather. He thrived on military history and knew how to do battle with all the women around him without making them mad. At least not for very long. He was gentle, kind and a fantastic storyteller. I miss him greatly.

canstockphoto14359271

I think of Father’s Day with gratitude now. I think of the men who I was so lucky to have met along the way – they were kind, dignified, compassionate and good human beings. I see the relationship of my daughter and her father, knowing that without these examples along the way, I might never have recognized my husband for the friend and mate and the parent that he has become.

It’s easy to get lost in the hostile gender rhetoric of social media and the entertainment portrayals of men and women, that are as baffling as they are unrealistic. In this world, where humans are working so hard to define individuality to the point of isolation and defensiveness, we still need to feel that we matter, that we are valued, that who and what we are has a place in the universe.

You may swiftly forget that moment when you were kind to someone, when you taught them something, when you singled them out and made them feel important. For me, those moments lifted me out of despair and I will carry that gratitude with me always. Happy Father’s Day to you all.

31 Comments

Filed under Parenting, Personal

The Reluctant Soccer Mom

canstockphoto3458322This is the first year that my daughter has played competitive soccer. Whatever her skills are, I discovered right away that I’m completely unqualified to be a soccer mom. A group of mothers were standing around talking about how they hoped the coaches were good this year and about the league and volunteering. After several minutes of this, I could barely control myself and blurted “I just hope my daughter has fun.” I got the oh lady, that is SO rec league look. I skulked away to talk to the team manager.

Enforced volunteering is apparently a thing with these leagues, which cost several hundred dollars for our precious snowflakes to play in. Um, I’m sorry, but my kid is no Pelé or Eusébio and unless you’re carrying her around the field and kicking for her, no “game” should cost that much. Unfortunately, as kids get older – and older becomes a relative term (meaning 10-year-olds are being scouted), recreational leagues aren’t available. And I like my kid moving and active. We just had a long conversation about how playing a skateboard video game is not actually exercise.

I paid to get out of servitude. I grumbled, too, when I did it, saying “When did my kid’s activities become my life?” The manager chuckled and said “Yeah, my dad used to just dump me off at the ballpark with a bat and glove and that was the end of it.” Of course, I felt a little shitty about grousing. The manager is a volunteer.

It might be that I’m an older parent and have spent many more years being single and not a parent than I have been married and maternal-ish. I never daydreamed about a wedding day or found babies to be particularly interesting (most of them seemed to cry when I was around).

Even now, 15 years after getting married and 11 years after having a child, I still get a little phased by this fork in the road. I was going to travel the world and have brief, unsatisfying affairs with non-English speakers. After they would leave in incomprehensible huffs in the morning, I’d brew some coffee, unfold my New York Times, see which slot my novel was in on the bestseller list and then lean back and stare out at the ocean from my balcony.

All my friends got married, some of them for a second time. Baby announcements arrived regularly. I got a degree that would land me squarely in academia. I took dead end jobs, wrote a lot of unfinished stories, had unsatisfying affairs with native English-speaking transients, and one day, decided it was time for a change.

I moved to a bigger city, got a better job, met someone who didn’t irritate me and vice versa, got married when I was 33 and at 37, became a parent.

I wasn’t overwhelmed by a sense of fulfillment, even after having a baby. In retrospect, I was likely suffering from mild postpartum depression. I remember thinking I wanted to pitch her out of a window just for some peace and quiet and a long nap. Yeah, nobody tells you that thought might occur to you and that it’s okay – as long as there is no actual baby-pitching.

It seems that no matter what one chooses, that stereotype machine does its best to suck us in and spew out carbon copy humans. Or at least humans other people can categorize, so they can sleep well at night. Because I now fall into a demographic that is rife with stereotypes, it sometimes sends a shiver of fear up my spine. I used to mock people like me.

But here I am, able to check off many boxes for the middle-aged middle class white lady demographic. It takes two seconds on the internet to tell me what’s wrong with me, what I should be wearing, just how much of a racist/feminist/sexist I am – a liberal hippie Prius-driving nitwit with privileges falling out of my ass. And there’s no end to the child-free/child-shackled screeds or why I should be popping out a few more. For farmhands, apparently.

Sometimes the messages of social media and wingnut parents get to me. I’m standing on the sidelines at a soccer game and it hits me, how did I get here? This isn’t what I planned at all. But then I see my daughter, who was never pitched out of a window, out there sprinting down the field with fierce determination on her face and I think, who gives a shit if I’m standing here in my mom jeans at the edge of suburbia? This is awesome. It’s moments in between clichés and preconceived notions that remind me I’m right where I want to be.

NEW CONCLUSION

 I wrote this post earlier in the season and I was wrong about a few things. The soccer team has lost every game. Soundly. My daughter now stands in the middle of the field, chewing her fingernails and moving as far away from any ball action as possible. The rotating coaches and lack of focus in developing the girls’ team is disheartening. A large angry man who showed up to be their coach last night and spent the whole game yelling at them has been endemic to the season. Adults ruin everything. Even a game.

I want my money back.

If my daughter ever plays competitive soccer again (highly unlikely), I’m volunteering to do whatever it takes to ensure she actually learns about soccer skills, technique and strategy. I don’t care about the winning. I care that my kid isn’t fodder for sadistic dipshits who don’t have an investment in helping kids grow in their abilities.

I’m going to be the soccer mom from hell.

35 Comments

Filed under Parenting, Personal

Stories from the Road: The Search for Narrative

After a vacation in Montana, I’ve returned home, a head full of unorganized thoughts and a vague sense that I’m on the right path again. For months, I’ve been languishing in a purgatory of writer impotence and flailing about for some sense of purpose.

canstockphoto4003992We took the Amtrak train from St. Paul to Glacier National Park, staying in a century-old lodge with few amenities and scant Wi-fi. We paid for a view and a convenient walk from the train station. Following our arrival, we spent our days hiking and horseback riding and our evenings playing board games.

The Glacier Park Lodge is an attempt to hold onto and faintly mimic a complicated history of land and people. Displays of old photos, both in the lodge and at the railway station reflect a pride in that history. They didn’t tell the whole story.

Sometimes I get told that I have a negative perspective, but I have learned to deflect this purported insult. It intends to shut me up, but nearly always fails. This trip reminded me of one the reasons I’m a writer. I always have questions and I’m always in search of a true narrative.

I couldn’t look at photos of railway executives and Blackfoot Indians and not wonder about the dynamics of those relationships. There were pictures of Indians performing ceremonies on the lodge’s lawn for upper-middle class white families in the 1920s. Not a half century earlier, the US Army, led by a drunken major, killed 173 Blackfoot women, children and elderly men in the worst Indian massacre in Montana history, about 70 miles away.

This idea that we should just embrace the positive rankles me. It seems endemic to the contemptuous schooling of conquering nations. Human history is populated by millions of stories and many of them are not happy ones. It is sometimes said, to pompously quote Churchill, that “History is written by the victors.” I grew up with those magical history books of American history and was disappointed to see in my daughter’s lessons, that not much has changed, except a sprinkling in of a few minority figures.

While on vacation, I finished reading Weep Not, Child by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, a Kenyan writer. The novel is about a Kikuyu family decimated by the attempts to overthrow Britain’s colonial rule and regain native lands in the 1960s. The hope we humans cling to, sometimes blinds us to the reality, both as victims and perpetrators of atrocity. I was struck by these sentences from the book: “He would reduce everything to his will. That was the settler’s way.”

It isn’t white guilt or a need to revel in misery that appeals. It is painting a whole picture. It is avoiding simplistic thinking of good and evil. It’s recognizing the immense suffering expansionism, colonialism and war can cause. It’s understanding that human relations are complex, mired in personal ambition, revenge, fear, greed, as well as noble intention and bravery.

In the railway station, a native American man bent down looking at the photos on display. I watched him, this giant covered in tattoos. Part of me expected him to rise up, angry and disgusted. Instead, he said quietly to the older woman next to him, “They took down his picture. See? They put that one up instead.” Oh, how I wanted to ask him so many questions, but the softness and sadness in his voice prevented me from intruding. The story began writing itself.

As I watched the North Dakota and Montana plains roll by from the train window, I was reminded of my own story. I remember traveling as a kid, watching the endless miles slide by from the backseat of a Buick. My eyes would follow the power lines as they rose and fell. I’d rest my head against the window, drifting off to sleep with the comforting thump-thump of the road beneath us.

I was a born observer. And every observation is only a few minutes from a surrounding narrative, my mind filling in the details. I often go to sleep in the middle of a story, which may explain why the ending of my novel eludes me.

Being an observer means that the natural world is a feast. Initially, I was disappointed at Glacier. It’s early in the season, the lake waters are cold, flowers aren’t in full bloom and the animal youngsters have yet to be born. I felt this hunger, getting up at the crack of dawn with my binoculars, searching for birds or deer, anything to fill the landscape’s narrative.

canstockphoto25706984I waited and I searched. Bear spottings are down this year, one of the guides told us. Another swore he’d seen several on the bank of Two Medicine Lake. Instead, we were discovered by very insistent and entertaining Columbian ground squirrels at a picnic table by the lake. They knew their audience.

canstockphoto15014062On the second day of early morning watching, I was rewarded with a couple of Black-billed Magpies who, despite being members of the crow family, were not happy with the crows that came near their nest. I got a version of an aerial show, magpies v. crows. I’m happy to say the magpies won and I watched for them each morning.

I looked everywhere for stories and I found them. So often we get mired in the day-to-day that we forget our nature. Mine is that of an observer and storyteller. It’s a lovely thing to go away on vacation and to come back to one’s self.

42 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Nature, Personal, Stories from the Road, Writing

We All Die and Other Lighthearted Things I Thought about While on Break

canstockphoto13220366While on a digital break, I let my mind become an unwieldy toddler, waddling from one idea to another, occasionally drooling on myself.  I have a high level of anxiety these days, for no obvious reason except that I’m not ready to die. I know, I know – who among us is? Death anxiety is not a product of my middle age. Many nights throughout my life, I’ve lain in bed, unable to sleep, thinking about the randomness of some kinds of death and how I’ve lived such a tiny, conservative life.

It would likely help if I believed in religious instruction that told me where I’m going and how to get there. Or maybe if I could get on board with the attitude-of-gratitude-don’t-worry-be-happy crowd. I can be quite jolly, but it usually requires a tankard of beer, a pack of smokes and any dish with sour cream and cheese in it. I’ve given up all those things over the years, so that when I do die, I will also be miserable at the time.

There is likely a drug that would tamp down my death anxiety, but I don’t know if that should be a goal. I tend to be pragmatic – if I’m feeling enough anxiety to trigger a fear of my random death, I need to look around and see what’s happening. What’s happening is a period of transition in my life and in the lives of those around me. Each day I watch as dementia/Alzheimer’s tightens it grip on my mother-in-law. My daughter is transitioning from days of dirty knees and silly rhymes to sex ed and mean girls drama. Friends are struggling with health issues, buying homes or getting divorced. I am standing still in the middle of a swirling eddy.

canstockphoto1654493For myself, years of working from home and caregiving have isolated me. I’m becoming unmoored from structure and pop culture references. I used to pride myself at staying tuned in, able to converse on a wide range of topics, able to fake chitchat and laugh at all the right things. No longer. Snip, snip, each rope is being clipped. Until one day, I imagine just floating away. Unless a driver goes through a stop sign and t-bones me. Or one of those random craters opens up under our house and swallows me whole. Or, after years of healthy living, the cancer gets me.

There’s always a spin, though. That is my life skill. I’m able to take a problem and turn it over and over until it becomes something new, something I can live with, some idea that elevates me. The big picture is that I’m trying to find my creative self. What is more endemic to that process than remembering that our time is finite, our brain power has its limitations and that all of this shall pass? My unmooring is moving me closer to my desire, even if it’s taking a roundabout way of getting there.

I’ve always been a late bloomer, which is fine as far as most milestones go. I never worried that I would die without developing breasts or getting married or finishing a marathon. Now that I have a family, I would not want them to go through the grieving process. I want to type up instructions on how to use the washer and what brands of sunscreen to avoid. But that is what I worry about for others. For myself, I worry that I will never feel any measure of satisfaction as a writer.

The problem is, do I even know what satisfaction looks like for me? I’m restless – dissatisfaction drives much of what I do in my life. If I were truly satisfied, would I stay at rest, gathering mothballs and grinning like a fool? It sounds much like some people’s version of heaven. We sit around, perfect and smiling and strumming our harps, as if we had all overdosed on Zoloft.

Perfection is boring. Nobody would create anything if every aspect of life were perfect and we were all satisfied. Some people take that dissatisfaction and destroy themselves trying to attain perfection. Others do anything to numb the pain of feeling less than. Others create, invent, sing, paint – anything that works those kinks out of their system. Some of us manage a dichotomy of destruction and creation and then numb ourselves to the results.

I see that nothing and everything matters. Most of us will not be remembered beyond a generation or two. If we’re lucky enough to be recognized for our creations when we’re alive, it’s tempered by the fact that we will never be as happy as when we were creating, no matter what our Amazon sales. And we will be expected to do it again. Those of us who create tomorrow’s classics, works that are resented by high school students and lit majors everywhere, will never know that we made it.

Is there an object lesson to be found in all this moroseness? I don’t know. Sometimes it feels like I’m paralyzed and a sadistic intern is poking my toes with a needle. Did you feel that? Did you feel that? Sometimes it wakes me up and I feel that and I know I need to get moving.

And death anxiety? It comes and goes. We all die eventually. Smiles, everyone.

50 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Humor, Personal, Writing

That’s Knot Whet Eye Sad: The Sprains of Spring

The Green Study will be returning on June 1st, 2015.

canstockphoto15476528After severely spraining one wrist and slightly spraining the other while hauling large bags of garden soil, weeding and tilling, typing has become a rather painful enterprise. Mentally, I need to recharge. Physically, my body needs to go into the shop for a complete overhaul and some after-market upgrades.

With that in mind, I’m taking time off to rest and yell at my computer while training the speech recognition software. I love workarounds and learning how to work differently. Adaptability is a good skill to hone. However, my speech recognition software does not feel the shame same. Some serious housebreaking is in odor order.

I wish you a lovely continuation of spring and if bizarre, error-laden comments show up on your blogs, blame it on my software not understanding when I say shit “Shift”.

MichelleSig copy

19 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Humor

Notes from Distracted Ground

I’m currently slogging my way through Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground. I could tell immediately that I picked this up too quickly after reading Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man. Reading classics where most of the action occurs in the narrator’s head can be exhausting. I took a break and started reading Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See. The writing is breathtaking, enviable in its sparse economy of words, while rich in detail. I’ve been thinking a lot about details.

canstockphoto13168215There are writers I know who are working on memoirs. They dig out boxes of old letters and journals, bits and pieces of their pasts, collected, magpie-like or haphazardly jumbled in boxes. I was listening to a David Sedaris audiobook, a collection of live readings. His storytelling is quick-witted and contains a wealth of detail – place names, offbeat brief exchanges, observations from years ago. He talked about taking notes, a habit of a lifetime.

I’ve read how other writers have reams of notes, little notebooks they’ve ferried everywhere – dreams recorded in the immediate aftermath, interesting snippets of dialogue captured for future use. I wrote journals up until my mid-twenties. They were solipsistic rambles. Shortly after moving to Minnesota, I shredded every last one of them. Here’s another one of those I-might-not-be-a-writer confessions. I don’t like keeping a journal anymore and a recent attempt at taking notes only revealed that I have misanthropic leanings fed by sensory irritation.

But I’m trying anything to up my writer quotient, so I started carrying a little notebook and pen with me yesterday. I took my mother-in-law to the dentist, and while waiting for her appointment to finish, I pulled the notebook out and prepared to write. I’ve sat in this waiting area many times, talking to the receptionists or silently lost in my own thoughts. What wasted time! I’m a writer, dammit. What follows is the great use I made of that time, furiously jotting notes:

Hygienist in conversation with receptionist, while flipping through glossy magazine.

“That movie Black or White is SO good. I just had to watch it again.”

Why the emphasis on SO? Why do people seem desperate to convert others to liking movies and books? Don’t they know how subjective art is?

“I would never be on The Bachelor. I just wouldn’t put myself out there like that.”

Was this ever a serious issue in your life? Have you been contacted by the producers? Why does anyone need to know that about you?

Oh for god’s sake, stop clicking your fingernails. Why does a dental hygienist have long fingernails? Do you know how many germs collect under fingernails?

Health magazine on the counter has a huge headline “Lose Every Bulge”. That’s weird. And not particularly healthy. Except if the bulge is like a tumor, some cancerous growth. Sure. Lose that.

Ah, hell, now she’s talking about the Kardashians. What is that smell? When did vanilla become the catchall fragrance for everything?

“I don’t do raisins.”

What?

Now they’re discussing about how she and the dentist split a muffin because the dentist thought it was raisin, but it was chocolate chip.

Just kill me now. I think I hate lady talk.

To clarify, I really am not fond of small talk, lady or otherwise. I would prefer the world be stoned, so we could go around having deep, philosophical conversations just in passing.

canstockphoto13853007What I imagine that could be like:

Man waiting to cross at corner light: If Rousseau is right and man’s natural state of goodness is the same as the natural goodness of animals, which is considered neither good nor bad, what animal would you be?

Me: Does it matter? If animals are neither good nor bad, than I would be picking an animal based on personal preference and not any question of philosophy. But I’d be a koala – they’re cute and vicious.canstockphoto18295591

What would really happen:

Man waiting to cross at corner light: Did it turn green yet? Did it turn green yet?

Me: Yes…uh, no. YES! Er…no. Do you hate me?

 

I joke about being misanthropic, but really it’s a combination of introversion and sensory overload. Sitting in that small waiting room, I could hear two conversations in the background, four smells – a combination of toothpaste, vanilla alcohol-based perfume, a carpet recently shampooed and a petroleum smell likely coming off two newly added chairs. I hear music being played in the chiropractic office next door. I hear the drip of the water cooler, its thermostat clicking on and off. I smell the dental polish and hear the whirring of the polisher. I notice that a potted plant is still languishing from the last time I was there. To add inane human conversation on top of all those layers, seems willful and my irritation rises to the surface quickly.

Living with me is occasionally difficult, as I often enter a room with “What’s that smell?” I’ve smelled electrical shorts and once, a natural gas leak out on the street (they came and replaced the line). I sometimes leave the house, just so the two other people I live with can make noise without me yelling “Can you knock that off?” I don’t think I have super spidey senses, but my brain has just decided to notice everything all at once. And I can thrill people by being able to identify every bird sound I hear. I don’t get invited to many outdoor barbeques.

I know that any skill can be learned and that it takes time to hit one’s stride, so I will continue to carry that little notebook until it becomes clear this is an entirely useless thing for me to do, or I learn to write more interesting things down.

 Do you keep journals or take notes? And what’s that smell?

32 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Humor, Writing