Wednesday, August 30, 2006

To Polka, or Not to Polka

Saturday night I hit the polka dance floor with a man wearing a gold t-shirt that had some words emblazoned on it that I kept thinking said “reefer madness.” Such was not the case. What they really said had to do with reefs, but there it was, I saw what I wanted to see. I rarely wear clothes with words on them. It's a solid color for me, no florals, rare stripes, fewer words.

He was a good dancer, and a patient teacher. The thing about the polka, it seems to me, is you can either glide or you can chop. It can be smooth but syncopated or high stepping and sweaty. It is a proletariat dance-- about anyone can do it--and the dance floor was filled with a small village. The demographics would make a census taker proud. For this I may get a t-shirt, and mine will say: I Have a Polka Blog. His: Beer Barrel Polka or Bust.

Maybe the polka is one of those ways you really find out the truth about another person, like de-tangling Christmas tree lights together or getting lost in the Paris Metro with minimal French skills. My personal favorite dance is the cha-cha-cha, maybe because I don't know the tango, but the polka sure was pure unadulterated fun.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Of orange carpet

This week I pull up the orange carpet that I so deliriously described as just the right fiery color for my writing studio.

Monday I cut it into strips and pulled it up like I was having a tug of war with a stubborn mule. In truth there was a carpet stain that looked like a cement spill, and it was yellow where the sun had reached it. Underneath was a decrepit black and brown undergarment that was falling apart.

On Friday the trashman tooketh it away.

To pick up the carpet meant moving my desks, and lo and behold they are in a configuration I like very much. The hardwood floor has been painted once but is in generally good condition. I’m pulling a few staples and the tack strips from the floor.

While working I turn to my typewriter and work there, too. My writing has changed in a subtle way. I don’t want to describe it. But last night I thought I'm hitting my stride. Something has happened.

So… we’re entering a new phase, this room of my own and I.

Stay tuned, as they say. Film at 11.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

questions for a later date

How do I want to grow today?

This is the question I asked myself this morning. And it came to me that I just wanted to let today happen, with no effort to put a framework around it, no trellis for my struggling vines of accomplishment.

I want today to come to me like waves to a shore. I look over my notes from this week, my writings and scribbles, notes found on the kitchen table, the typewriters, the notebook on my bed.

One thing I see is the movement of questions over time.

Now, it happens that I love questions. Of answers, perhaps, I am not so fond, although when I was younger they probably seemed important.

It seems to me there are probably few answers, and maybe there’s a mathematical formula for this (X number of questions, but only Y “true” answers, where “true” is a possibility). The answers are neither quick nor easy; it they are, it’s a question to leave at home boxed up in the closet when I mentally or otherwise travel through the day.

Here are some questions I found this week, in various conversations:

B: well…what is baggage, anyway?
H: Baggage…is anything that keeps you from being close to yourself.

B: what is your preferred method of communication?
H: A nudge in the morning.

Theresa: But where am I going, and why?

Personal writing questions:

What thoughts and readings act as a fertilizer for my writing?

Can I get to my authentic thoughts more clearly, more quickly going into the deep of the coal mine of myself, or ensuring the hot water drips through the bold coffee grinds to arrive at an authentic, bold brew?

What if I just kept a writing diary, without comment or judgment, of what I’m writing, what inspires me, with no thought to an “other”?

How can my writing help me feel…connected? And what does this mean?

Someone asked me this week if I write for entertainment. Here’s a question I can answer easily. The answer is no. I write for enlightenment, discovery, truth, transcendence, meaning.

The rest is just “stuff.”

It is…as my friend said…"baggage."

Maybe the questions come in to the shore like waves, some with whitecaps, some barely noticeable.

I do think I am in love with questions. Answers, maybe not so much. But I love the asking.

What is a good question?

What’s your favorite question, or one that you may be mulling over right now?

Well, this shore is getting a bit lazy as the noonday sun moves overhead. Do take care, be well, and be good to yourself.