Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.


Threshold, Day 1

On the tip of my tongue.
In the corner of my eye.
Just out of reach.
Pressure building.
Thoughts not quite coalescing.
Waiting for things to bubble to the surface.
Cogitating. Percolating. Accumulating.

Always tired. Always drained. Lacking the energy to form words. To form concepts. I have been consuming and consuming; trying to fuel new fire. My belly feels full. Ideas and feelings wanting to emerge. Thoughts not quite coalescing. There are things to be said; I don’t know yet what they are. Maybe, just maybe, taking time to sit and write will give them an opportunity to escape that intuitive, associative realm they currently roam.

Maybe there’s too much wanting simultaneous release to fit through the threshold available.

A poem I like:
Wander Through the Pages
Karla Kuskin

So I picked out a book
on my own
from the shelf
and I started to read
on my own
to myself.
And nonsense and knowledge
came tumbling out,
whispering mysteries,
history’s shout,
the wisdom of wizards
the songs of the ages,
all wonders of wandering
wonderful pages.

From I Am the Book, poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Yayo
I want to find a way to display this in the youth section of my library.
I haven’t found where or how yet.
The thought of it is not quite coalescing.
I’m letting the idea cogitate, percolate, accumulate.
Waiting for materialization to bubble to the surface.

I’m ready for my own nonsense and knowledge to come tumbling out.

"Like" does a disservice to my affection for the poem. It’s a significant understatement.

I printed the poem out in an extra large font and put it on a bulletin board in my previous library. My current library doesn’t have any bulletin boards.

Lots of windows, though. Windows are good.

And not just nonsense and knowledge for my own sake. I’m supposed to be contributing to a blog on my library’s website. Content for writers. I haven’t had anything to say for quite a while. I need to write about writing for readers of the blog, in addition to writing for myself.

My figurative belly may be full; my literal one is not. Lunch, then more.


Discovering the Writer Within: The 40-Day Writer’s Workshop
Barry Lane and Bruce Ballenger

It happened to be on the shelf when I browsed the library earlier, looking for inspiration, for material that might prompt a post for the blog.

Day one: "Begin writing, starting with the four words below. Write quickly, without thinking too much about what you want to say before you write it. Write for ten minutes. Time yourself.

"When I write, I . . . "

When I write, I try to imitate writing I enjoy. In style, tone, approach, organization. If I liked reading it--and, presumably, others did as well--then there are things I might learn from it. It might inform my writing choices. It might teach me.

Of course, there are plenty of things considered “good writing” that I’m not inclined to imitate. As I said at the beginning, they are the things I enjoy.

I enjoy a slight sense of ambiguity. A tension that needs resolving. Just enough left unsaid to be vague and a bit confusing. Episodic. Themes that skip back and forth over each other without transition, circling and merging over time to gradually come into focus. Ideas that keep cycling back, gaining more layers and nuance each time around. Connections.

I like to synthesize. So, when I write, I like to lay out pieces that need synthesis to fully make sense.

When I write, I have to work to not be wordy and convoluted. I’ve read too much academic writing. I like shades of grey, qualifiers, complexity, nuance. I like to consider ideas from many perspectives. But convoluted ideas don’t necessarily require convoluted grammar and linguistic construction. They still need to be conveyed as directly and simply as possible. My instincts are to do the opposite, so I have to work to make it so.

I like precision of communication. I like that words are inherently imprecise. I like to play with the tension between the two.

When I write, I miss my sense of smell that has abandoned me after a lifetime of sinus issues and illnesses. That’s one less area of description for me to draw upon.

When I write, I tend to be abstract. I love ideas. I don’t think in detailed, concrete terms. Physical descriptions aren’t really my thing. They don’t stick in my memory, in the meanings I take from events and interactions. It’s the impressions, ideas, emotions, and insights that I remember. The exact specifics are extraneous. Which makes them difficult to write.

When I write, I can largely let myself get a flow and keep going, though I can’t entirely keep myself from skipping back to reread and making minor edits. Not enough to get stuck, just new ideas that have popped into my head about the old words I haven’t entirely moved on from.

When I write, I make regular use of the thesaurus.

When I write, I enjoy the feel of language. The rhythm and cadence. The way words can flow.

I think part of me wants to be a poet. My idea-centric, analytical mind grew up avoiding the form--as so many people do--so I don’t have a tool set to build from. But I have read much poetry in recent years that I find myself wanting to imitate.

When I write, I am never at a loss for words. Keeping things brief is my struggle. Most students, when assigned a page count for their work, have to work to stretch things out. Maybe cheat the font and margins a decimal place bigger. I’ve always been the opposite, trying to figure out how to cut any of my precious words I can’t stand to part with, cheating the decimals smaller.

So I have exceeded my time limit.

But other duties call, so now I must stop.


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