KICKING THE TIRES OF MONDAY AUGUST 22, 2021

A 2021 Resolution Shot to H–!

The resolution was to post every day without fail as this was my personal record tracking my use of imagination as a means of tracking the third semester of my allotted “four score and ten.” Sigh! I couldn’t manage to string words into a sentence. Once upon a time, somewhere someone stated forcefully “there is no such thing as writer’s block.”

It’s true. I certainly can’t claim writer’s block. I lacked the stamina for noodling through half-baked ideas and pushing limp words into sentences until one morphs into a paragraph.

For seventy-four years, I asked myself “if I don’t write up to my standards, should I write at all?” If one can’t write deathless prose, what is the point of writing at all? Personally speaking, the point of “getting my hands dirty” putting  words on paper is that I learn to appreciate good writing. I have certainly stumbled across some great writing that will never appear on the curriculum of a university English. Except for mine of course.

There are books that I read three times for the story then five more times to analyze and admire how the author constructs sentences, or establishes a mood or arcs a small  recurring event through the story until it explodes as the turning point of the novel.

Here’s a thought. What fun it might be teaching my own English class, using my own favorite books as a curriculum.

Think about it!

KICKING THE TIRES: 2021 APRIL 24

Looking for Dis-Identity: Who Knew?

For my generation, young adults were obsessed with searching for their identity. “Who am I, really?” “How do I discover my life’s work?” “What is my passion?” Speaking personally, I struggled with those questions for years, to the point that I identified myself as a person forever looking for identity. It took seven decades before I discovered that “my identity” was not an artifact that would be found outside of me, sort of like a grail lying in the bushes alongside a cow path. I was about to add that had I known what I know now, I could have tossed a dart, and built an identity from the path upon which it landed. However, that thought is for another post on another day.

It may be an unsatisfying identity, but I do have one. At least I have a series of habitual actions and reactions with which I respond to the impingements on my day. The predominant knee jerk responses are my thoughts. Would you believe that that exact same thoughts cross my mind when I brush my teeth? Worse, they are thoughts about events that occurred when I 14! The same damn thoughts popping up for sixty years.

So here I am working to Dis-Identify myself from my so called identity; working to unhook myself from the habitual thoughts, feelings, and actions that respond automatically. The process feels very disorienting; often I feel myself floating free, without the comfort of an anchor. There is a trade-off to the insecurity; space is opening that allows me to make real choices. I am curious to find out what those will be

KICKING THE TIRES OF MARCH 19

Up close and personal, it’s disheartening to recognize my capacity for smug self-righteousness. In so many ways I have been bemoaning life’s ill usage of me, when the truth is I have misused my life. I have been simply awful so many times, in so many ways. When I take five giant steps back into detachment, I laugh. Viewed with detachment it very funny.

Up close and personal again, I see many gifts were given to me- that I casually wasted. But I don’t have time to squander them with regret. If use them with intent today and tomorrow and the days after that, my remaining days could be rich with satisfaction. Each hour of each day I must choose, then choose again.

KICKING THE TIRES OF 2021 MARCH 16

This morning I was kicking real tires by lifting the hood of my car, filled with trepidation. Such a relief to find last week’s problem with the overheating engine was non-existent coolant in the radiator. Such carelessness appalls me. Fifty-five years ago, Daddy would have applied a the sharp edge of his tongue to me for such carelessness. Proper care of my aging car is a prime directive.

Onward to today’s reflection. I ran into a quotation by Florence Scoville Shinn. “Never do today what intuition tells you to put off until tomorrow.” This is an interesting answer to the domestic dilemma I created for myself. The Christmas decorations still sit in the sunporch awaiting packing and storage. It drives me crazy every morning. Yet, things always come up that keeps me from that task. Consequently, my thoughts and feelings have been cranky and filled with criticism.

Last night, I just dumped it. Nothing was getting done: anger and upset were motivating me to get job done. In an “Ah-Ha” moment, I realized that feeling happy was a choice. I could be happy as a lark whether or not I ever completed that damned decoration job.

So, I said the old lady’s version of “F— It.” Next, I made a cup of coffee and spend the rest of the evening playing Mexican Train Dominoes with friends. The decorations and boxes are still on the sun porch and I feel carefree-almost. Worries haunt me. If I am not unhappy about the unfinished task cluttering the porch, will it ever get done. If I am not unhappy about what the neighbors will think when they visit, will it ever get done? If it never gets done what will that say about me? If I am not keeping myself in line being unhappy, will my little world go to hell?