Wednesday, September 14, 2011

glimpses / fascinations

Every day it seems I encounter a new word, concept, idea, or possibility that fascinates me.  I want to dig into all of them and roll around in their ideas, innovations, vocabulary, theories, and theses.  These ideas flag me down from inside the field of work and play I currently call my own, from right next door to it, from across the street, down the block.  Some of the ones that have triggered rabbit holes of Googling-based digression lately include:

people called Cultural Geographers

Michel Foucault

solipsism - it's meaning and its application

arts education as a civil right

cognitive science

theories of emotion

reason vs. feeling

people who can write really good personal mission statements

hip hop culture and its righteous anger

the complexity and miraculousness of pretending to be a tiger (David Brooks, you're my new favorite)

I want to learn everything about everything all the time.  Today, so that I can get back to writing this syllabus?  I'm just going to make a list.

Do other people ever have to just make a list of everything that's fascinating so that you can focus on just one of the fascinating things?  If you've happened over here - what's your list?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

because fretting isn't productive

My boyfriend is a smart cookie. Like, one of the smartest cookies I know. Even though sometimes he pretends to be a garden variety smarty pants he's actually brilliant. Don't tell him I said that. It'll go straight to his head the way donuts go to my ass. If he asks, just confirm his fallacious belief that he's lucky to have me.

So, I was fretting last night about my lack of focus, the way time seems to slip through my fingers. I've been fretting about this to my shrink, too. And fretting about fretting and then continuing to fret because now I've spent all this time fretting about fretting.

Where was I? Right. Fretting. So, Boyfriend suggests last night "Well, why don't you take 15 minutes everyday and blog about the things that caught your attention that day that you didn't have time to investigate further." I nodded and smiled and then remembered - just now in fact - Hey. I have a blog. I've had a blog for a while, and it's once in a blue moon that I use that sucker.
And then I remembered the name of the blog - with gratitude to Auntie Anne. The thing about the violence inherent in articulation is that it's a definite action. It's, in fact, the opposite of fretting. Or worrying. Or distracting yourself by looking at bikes on Craig's List. Or fantasizing about bigger apartments (you can't afford) or cars (that you REALLY can't afford).

There's a peace that comes in articulation. There's a support that comes from the universe as a reward for choice. Sometimes choice - any choice at all - is the right answer if the alternative is worry and fret and inaction and wasting this precious time that we're given looking at things you can't afford.

So. Here are the things that caught my attention today. Things I would like to investigate more fully:

Avoidance - something I hate yet something I've been cultivating in myself without really noticing that's what I was doing. Avoidance and waiting and refreshing the email and waiting for answers to questions I need to answer myself and action I need to take regardless of who is or isn't with me.

Fear - so much fear. All around. All the time. I want my art to be fearless. I want it to run and expand and get things wrong so it can get other things right. I want it to be as specific and driven as the art of the people I admire. I want to be as specific and driven as the people I admire. It's not. I'm not. Not yet.

Modes of transportation and wanderlust: blame it on my Air Force Brat roots - if I'm faced with fight or flight, I want to fly. I always want to fly. And what I really need is a little more fight. I don't need a car. I need to get rid of my credit card debt. I like the idea of having a bike. I like the idea of renting a car and driving driving driving driving.

Work before Play: I am the worst setter of deadlines and I am simultaneously the most lenient on and disappointed in myself. What am I trying to get away with? What am I trying to prove? To whom? And why?

Owning bits of identity: Owning. And earning. And discovering. And being okay with uncertainty and the evolution of answers.

So - there.  We'll try this kind of articulation and see if Boyfriend is on to something.  I think the problem is less that nothing is capturing my attention and more that So Much has been capturing my attention for So Long that we've reached a point of overload.  Hence the irrational desire to ditch all my various obligations tomorrow and rent a car and drive home to Nebraska.  That's not the most productive solution, but it seemed like a damn good idea for about 45 minutes.  Mental Wanderlust - maybe this is the solution.  Or at least a way to articulate the questions.