Archive for May, 2014

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Quiet can be deafening.

May 9, 2014

As are the frogs. But in a good way. 

Somehow I have stumbled into the great dream of my very own personal writers’ fantasy. I am living my own dream. And fortunate enough to be allowed, at least for a brief time, the leisure to explore, to ponder, to play the piano, to dance in the living room, to lie in the grass and watch bugs. Seriously, I spent a blissful 40 minutes doing that exact thing the other day. 

So what’s wrong with this scenario? As Audrey Hepburn said to Cary Grant in Charade, “Absolutely nothing.” with a blissful expression on her face. Pretty sure that’s how I look most of the time these days. The only trouble I foresee is my innate ability to distract myself from actual introspection. I’ll start to ponder the whys and wherefores of my twisted inner sanctum and just as I get close to breakthroughs, or at very least, pattern recognition, I’ll suddenly decide I want to watch Rock Hudson seduce Jane Wyman(when he says, “no, I don’t think that.” it pretty much ruins me for anyone less sure than him) one more time because, oh damn he is sooooo good at it. Or that episode of Sherlock where the luscious Benedict Cumberbatch meets Lara Pulver as Irene Adler for the first time. Because I could watch that episode all day long. Hell, I could watch Benedict Cumberbatch peel grapes all day long. I don’t even care if he eats them.

Hmm, now that I think on it, perhaps I was harsh to judge romance novel readers with their desire to swoon the afternoon away on bodice rippers and the like. I’m just as guilty of being a wild-eyed amatory dreamer with my celluloid love story obsessions.

And there I go again. It would seem as though one of the patterns I’m eternally aware of is my ability to distract myself. And yes, I can justify those distractions all day long. To be a great writer, you must understand the human condition, n’est pas? Well then, since I refuse to leave my beautiful little house and actually go out and make a friend then I’m left to conduct my research the easiest way possible. I have a house filled with books written by great people and I have more stories transcribed into film. I even have the grand majority of Akira Kurosawa’s movies, he whom I hold to be one of the grandest auteurs ever to exist within cinematic medium. I don’t know that I would ever need to talk to people again, as long as I just watched his movies over and over. But variety is nice and I love Wong-Kar Wai for his love stories, Billy Wilder for his hilarious darkness, Howard Hawks for his hilarious clever, Jean-Pierre Melville for his gifted anti-heros, and a countless number of others who, if I listed here, would take way too long to attach links to so that you too can know who they are and delight in their talents. 

Ha! Best distractions ever.

But there it is again. The reality is, I am in danger of becoming very quiet and listening to what is going on inside myself. Without the external noise of city and bustle and other people’s needs and desires superseding my own. And yes, it’s brilliant that I’m able to be in a position of having expenses that are not excessive so I won’t get myself into furious amounts of debt trying to maintain the day to day while having the freedom to walk and play music and create a space that is uniquely mine. I am so grateful for where I’m at. Because for the most part, where I’m at is in the moment. C’est incroyable. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a position before where I have this. I promise I will do my best to take advantage. And while there will be moments when I will capitulate to my brain’s desire to have voices and stories from someone else’s perspective to distract, I think I’m close to a place where the quiet doesn’t scare me. Doesn’t need to be filled with something. 
I’m one of those people who would turn on the stereo the moment she got home after work. The civilized feeling of listening to jazz on vinyl while drinking wine out of a mason jar as I idly decorate or organize or cook some food is unparalleled most days. But I’m discovering the joy of ambient noise. The frogs, birds and insects of the local scene create a music that one wouldn’t necessarily categorize as civilized, but it has a refined quality to it that is undeniable. And my thoughts and imaginings have a calm to them I must attribute to their influence. It’s as though I’m creating space for my brain to be quiet, something I never really put much stock in before. The amount of times that people in my life have advised meditation for my peace of mind, which I instantly dismissed because there are so many things to think, to watch, to absorb, to process. Never to any real extent did I imagine that creating a quiet space in my brain would more easily facilitate processing all those things I absorb and file away to be assessed at some later date, “when there is time.” 

Well, it would seem that time is what I’ve been gifted. And at a moment in my life when I’m actually ready to understand what that can mean for myself, my ability to interact with my world and to affect real positive change. Which is where it has to start. With me. 

The bonus of all this is that my romantically inclined brain is insisting that whenever the great writers I admire have taken “sabbaticals” or removed themselves to a certain extent from the world at large, there must be a series of correspondence with friends and family documenting this process. Long handwritten letters, filled with story snippets, fights of fancy, ink smudges, lines of poetry, red wine stains, the footprint of a swamp fox. We’ll see how that works out. In the mean time, here are some pictures of a happy dog. 

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A happy frog

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A blissful front porch perspective

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The sky in reverse

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And a sweet spring moment.

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