16:51 - Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015
Even that question - what do you do? - implies that work is the only thing one 'does'.
Not that I'm one to read too much into the linguistic implications, or roots, or directions, of words.
Nor am I stupid. I know that the reason we don't talk about our dreams is because they're disconnected from our shared realities. They're also characterized by the lack of a storyline, and humans are suckers for a good story arc. We put everything in a narrative format, even things that don't strictly fit, like, I don't know, political ads, or histories of things with lots of competing interactions, that don't all stem from one kickoff event or come spectacularly together in series of perfectly fit puzzle pieces. War histories, or histories of entire countries. We'd rather showcase a narrative that we say is representative of that history instead of try to gather the essence of the entire history. It's easier to write. It's also easier to follow.
I think, though, that the whole disconnected-from-shared-reality thing is important, perhaps even more important than the lack-of-narrative thing. We all like to tell others (who never like listening to us) about our dreams. We're invested in them because of the feelings they elicited. The chain of events that leads to this feeling is unimportant on its own, but we feel like it's groundbreaking, because it made us feel, well, like this!
A collection of things that have recently made me elated - more than elated, rapturous!: doing rollercoaster corkscrews over a mountainous landscape in a mechanically crippled plane, finding out that a friend would be visiting Wamena and I'd get to be the tour guide, giving confession to a priest made out of toilet parts, running from a tsunami.
See? Rudderless, and therefore meaningless. But I can think back to each of these dreams and unconsciously sprout a smile for minutes on end.
I decided yesterday that I would be writing here every day until the end of the calendar year, and then reevaluating. I decided just now that I would be announcing here that I would be writing every day until the end of the calendar year, and then reevaluating. All of the newest and shiniest research suggests that you should shout your goal, not from the rooftops exactly, but to a select few people, so that you can't just kind of retreat back under the stairs or the covers and convince yourself that you never made the goal, or the goal was actually kind of different, see, you didn't really mean EVERY day, only on the days you felt like it or had something to write.
I understand why you're not supposed to keep it secret, but I don't really understand why not shout it from the rooftops. To avoid impending embarrassment? To make sure you have people left who still respect you in case your goal happens to be something where you lose all respect if you fail? (What kind of goal would that even be - to donate a dollar a month to charity? To stop murdering puppies?) Anyway, I'm not worried, because I have absolutely no idea how many people read this, but I'm sure it's not as many people as would be standing on my city block if I were to get on the roof of my apartment and literally shout my goal at them.
I think I experience life differently when I do not write. I think I process experiences by putting them into words. And since there are perhaps three people on the planet with whom I am so comfortable I can speak out loud, verbally, without a filter, those words by necessity need to be on [paper/screen]. When I do not write, my life bleeds together like a (bad) watercolor painting. I lose all my borders.
Kind of like a dream, really, if it doesn't get wrested into waking life immediately by being voiced or recorded.
That was a fortuitous completion of THIS circuit.
See you tomorrow.