The title of this blog post has three things in it which I am very poor at, in far too many conditions. I am rarely silent, I am rarely patience, I lack physical grace in a manner which would have made Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy very proud. It has always been this way, and I have been consciously aware of it since I was about ten, when an event which I shall not talk about here made me aware of it. It has been on my mind, and dwelt upon thusly, ever since.
The problem with the way my brain works is, it never stops working. It is always turning over, always thinking and analyzing and poking and creating and destroying and, sometimes, just looking. This is not necessarily a bad thing, except when it does it too much and too quickly, something I was reminded of when the conversation in the last blog post’s comments area wandered onto the topic of hyperactivity and ritalin. Certainly, I am hyperactive. Very much less so than when I was younger — these days, I am more likely to be tired than I am to be running.
The problem is that my better thoughts, my better personality, really doesn’t shine through when I’m moving at eleven million miles per hour, either physically or intellectually. I am very rarely aware of the acceleration of all things in my life, until they have occurred and reached silly speeds. It’s like not realizing that your foot is sitting too heavily on the gas pedal until you’ve cleared the hundred-miles-an-hour mark.
Unlike a car, however, when I realize I’m going far, far too fast, the thing I can do is to hit the breaks and come to a stop. And this is what I do, periodically. It’s what I did yesterday, and I do it every so often. It’s normal.
Eventually, my music escalates during my writing time from relaxing music that encourages me to focus and write, to louder rock music that I enjoy, but fails to keep me writing. My conversations and interactions with my life become energetic and boisterous and busy, if you see my meaning, and usually for no other reason than because I am ticking, ticking, ticking. I can write just fine in this state, my writing skill is never hampered.
So I apply the brakes. Yesterday, my wife and I got together after she got off work and we went out shopping. I enjoyed that I didn’t not bustle or rush, I just meandered slowly. I spoke low, and quiet, and considered. I continued to do so today. My music today has been full of Beethoven and Yo Yo Ma and piano pieces. Quiet music. Calm music.
Some of this change is conscious. I am aware of the acceleration and do not enjoy it. Some of it is just unconscious. Today, I could not listen to rock music. I really don’t want to. I want to listen to beautiful pieces of orchestration. I want to sit here and quietly write a great deal of fiction. So I did both.
The biggest noticeable change is how I write my e-mails. I noted — in hindsight — that a number of my e-mails today were written in lengthy paragraphs and long exchanges, full of useful words and ideas and devoid of smiley faces or witticisms. It is after I’ve applied the break that I am at my most humorless, not because my sense of humor goes away, but because there is danger in laughing.
Sometimes, I really do think we laugh too much. And that sounds all depressive and sad, I know, but I don’t mean it like that. Perhaps the more accurate way to phrase it would be “Sometimes, we laugh excessively and without clear purpose,” and that’s what I have a problem with. And if you disagree, then you disagree with me and Douglas Adams, who said something similar. And you don’t want to disagree with him. (For one thing, he’s dead, it would be disrespectful).
Part of what calmed and quieted me down was that yesterday, I returned to AW after my month of being banned from the place. I return cautiously and tepidly, I did some mod-related things, I made a couple of posts, then I left again. The place has a use and a purpose, but it does not always make me happy, not so much as it once did. This is not a failing on anyone’s part, but if it were, it would be mine and not the forums.
In my life, I forever strive for silence, patience, and grace. Sometimes, I get pretty close, or I get within a holding pattern of those three virtues. When I don’t concentrate and pay attention (two things I should do all the time, but don’t when I’m tired), then I wander, and eventually I have to shake my head and get myself straightened out again. I am always the better for it, when I do get straightened out. When I get quiet, calm, peaceful. I infinitely prefer it.
In other news: When I began The Nondescript, I planned for it to be a neatly told story, done at 80,000 words. That means that by the time I hit 40,000 words, I would be well into the middle of the book. If this an alphabet, then I expected to be at “M”
I’m in the vicinity of 40,000 words, and am at plot point “C,” I think. So I have a long, long way to go and plenty of story left to tell, plenty of people left to meet.
I also have a great deal to talk about on that matter, but all of it shall have to wait. It directly relates to the answer to Lori’s latest question, over on the Commune, and I’ll give her an answer before I expound on it anywhere else. That’s only fair.
For those of you who are concerned about the ending and vanishment of the Tea Debacle, fear not. Would we truly carry on without plans? Of course not. Rest easy.