This is the home stretch! The final week of Blaugust begins tomorrow and I’m…well, I’m behind. Not far, mind you! This post actually puts me just one entry short of being current. Still, last night while very pointedly NOT writing a post, I relaxed in bed and reflected on why I was OK with being in bed and not writing. And you, are you feeling the same way? Because I’ve learned that…
This piece was written to fill a blank space. A well-read person might recognize the influence of the Wizard’s Rules combined with Odin’s Ljóðatal, the end section of the Hávamál in the Poetic Edda. Well, “influence” is an understatement—it’s the literary equivalent of a mashup. There are many theories about the Ljóðatal and their intended use, because while the Speaker lists many charms, he explains nothing about learning or using them. I’d like to think none of the charms are too mysterious, just the end process of a lot of study that seems mysterious to those who have not studied. Anyway, my version isn’t cryptic but the songs are often learned the slow, difficult way.
It’s been a long day. We’ve achieved much, but still I’m a little afraid. So here are the songs I know, doing their intended job once more.
I don’t feel like writing tonight. I don’t think many of us feel like writing tonight, to judge from my social media feeds. Those who have been there (or are there) know and keep chanting quietly, “Depression lies.” I’ve sat here, staring at the screen and wondering why I’m so sad for someone I didn’t personally know. Maybe I felt like I did, and maybe I know part of the struggle he lost, and the two combined are enough to make me sad.
On nights like this, I’m thankful for the WordPress “Quick Draft” feature which allows me to save thoughts as they flit through my mind and turn them into blog posts later. I can dig through my saved drafts and hope to find gold, and sometimes I find a draft entitled, “When you need hope.” Well, WordPress dashboard, here we are.
I wasn’t feeling my age until yesterday, when a nice suburban family we strolled by shouted for their tiny puppy, Ninja. About an hour later, a man worked his pickup magic outside a bar, hat turned sideways and ash flying from the cigarette bouncing in his fingers while his t-shirt warned, “Winter is Coming”. What bothered me most was how cranky this made me: how dare they? Pop culture shouted from each storefront yesterday matched the culture we had to sneak into specialty shops to appreciate a decade ago.
“This is what getting old means,” I thought. “Sitting in a hamburger shop with my kids, mentally accusing people around me of appropriating my memories.” Of course, I’m not too far along in years and sound quite dramatic at the moment, but wave that judgement aside and hear me out: how much time have you taken to sit still and realize how the world is moving on?
For my kids, birthdays are a joyful time of gift-receiving and celebrations. Another year under their belts! Another year of learning and growing and getting bigger! It’s not quite the same for us adults anymore, is it? Some time ago, we started to realize how fast the years pile up. Our previous joys are a myriad of milestones building and building, and we’re wondering when the collapse will come or if something will outlast us.
That’s what makes me start to feel old: moments fading into the past, and fewer every passing moment are there to remember with me. I started to think about the culture my kids are experiencing and will experience. Sure, right now they’re so into Mommy’s interests, but like rings on a tree those things will bury themselves in years until only the memories remain.
“This is the Wyrd of all living things,” I once read. “First beauty, then death.”
Don’t take that one as dramatic as it sounds, either. Death is not the end of beauty, but the remembrance of it. It’s intimidating and freeing at once to realize the world is moving on, just as it always has. It will never change, always dancing patterns and only shifting the tempo ever so slightly.
I have no profound answers here, by the way–not even half-assed guesses. I’m making it up as I go along, about like everyone else. I’m mostly content, a little excited, and a lot scared. I hugged my little family tightly before bed and told them I love them, then promised the kids that they’re going to have some really great, loud music to rock along with (or whatever it is kids will call it) in another decade or so.
Do experienced writers know when they’re no good at writing? I’ve always been good at reporting on things that happen, or happen to be; arranging personal thoughts into solid communication is not my forte. Last night, the thought struck that my inner self was never meant to be published. My professional life calls for concise communication of information, conducting knowledge from person to person (yesterday, one friend called it “Being a Professional Internet”). As open as I am, there are walled-off areas of my personal life that rarely see natural sunlight and certainly do not traipse about the capital “i” Internet. The more I look, the greater those walls rise.
Now comes Blaugust, a blogging initiative constructed and spearheaded by Belghast the Aggronaut, Redeemer of Dead Blogs and He Who Hath Slain the Writer’s Block. Blaugust kicks my rear into gear with the rarest and most fragile of friendly benefits: accountability. Blaugust hands me a nicely-packaged opportunity to apply my personally and professionally successful communications to the long-ish format of blogging. Thirty-one days and entries of practicing, with some motivation at the finish.
I’ve made a life from being aware of my limitations. I acknowledge and move on, letting them be and focusing my efforts where the work pays off. Time to give those limitations a bit of attention and apply pressure–maybe get an answer from myself on what experienced writers do.