Friday, February 17, 2006


We are just going to have to all work together and agree that this week was more or less a waste. I am struggling to pull the good bits out from the bad but pretty much without fail those good bits were the opposite of productive in any real or imaginary sense of the word. I was too fundamentally unhappy in my core to do anything right (or write for that matter).

There needs to be like a special pass for people to step out of the race for a few days.
I think this is especially true for writers and artists but I know a good many scientists who would step out of their world for a week to do 'pure' research if given the chance.

This is how these passes work. You are exempt from all anything that seems or feels ordinary or stifles creativity or gets in the way of being actually productive. This means that for a few days work doesn't matter and you (I) don't have to go to class. This also means things like washing dishes and doing homework and showering (if you do it) can be put on hold. Then again if you think better in the shower then by all means please do it frequently and often. You have a pass. However these passes are NOT an excuse or invitation to catch up on yard work or sleep or overdue items. It isn't a time to be busy, it is a time to be useful. You are making your quality of life better by letting your creativity go and should you choose to share it you improve things for others as well.

I think everyone should be given like 7 days worth of pass for a year as standard practice. If you choose not to use them they do not actually accumulate but you can earn more. If you prove to the greater society that you are valuable for the common good when left a few days to play then you can be issued more days. There will also be a need for stand in's I don't pretend to think that the world would function if people just decided not to participate for a few days. Instead all of those jack-of-all-trades types and recent college graduates without a plan or a direction can function as stand-ins. There will be pools of people. You leave a list of your skills and contact information and are always on call. If a mother gets the urge to compose a sonata you might be called in to pick the kids up at school, cook dinner, and make sure they do their homework. I haven't yet figured out how these people get paid. It’s something like the establishment or the man sets aside some funds, maybe the government does it through taxes or your employer has a fund set aside. Regardless the amount of goodness created by the free release of creativity will by far off set the cost. Employees will be more willing to work if they get a little me-time and crazy good things will be invented, solved, created, designed, organized, developed, discovered, uncovered, recovered. And people will be able to dig around in their brains and find hidden talents- maybe they try and write an opera but it doesn't really work, at least now they know, but what if they write it and it becomes a sensation. It reveals some amazing truth about our society and everyone loves it and feels enlightened because of it. Now this person realizes that their actual desire all along was to write and teach. They quit their office job go back and get their masters in Italian literature and sign on at the local college. The office hires someone who doesn't stare out the window all day. 3 more amazing operas and an operetta enter our world and a whole generation of future literary types come in contact with a truly happy person. This person restructures their life around writing and teaching and actually uses less pass days even though they could have earned way more. Chaos theory could take this and run but I will instead tell you how my week was.

Monday morning I realized that unlike every other week in my life comfort was not to be found in the normal, usual, patterns and practices. So I called for a stand in and requested until Wednesday. I later extended this to Friday. I met Thomas at the school and got him started playing me. He took my notes and did my homework and later this evening we are going to meet for supper and he is going to catch me up on how I did and what I need to review before the exam. Monday became an organize and prep day. I compiled all the bits and notes and ideas and lost poems, words, and ideas from the 50 notebooks I scribble in randomly and while I did not write much based on this it will be crazy useful later. I took a walk that night and Tuesday I spent a half hour at the beach and an hour sitting in the chapel at church. I spent a couple of hours on Wednesday morning and Thursday evening driving and thinking. I hung out on campus a lot all week doing 'research' and taking notes- basically I just listened to conversations in Lane and Jenks. I spent the mornings focusing on writing this play and in the evenings I had a beer and did some more focused poetry crafting. I listened to a lot of different types of music off and on and read some poetry and a few short stories. I also read a few Greek plays, a couple tragedies and a comedy, and some commentaries on both genres. All in all I got the backbone of the play done and started filling and fixing so that there is just a little touch here and a new transition there and it’s done and I wrote/fixed 5 HQ poems, came up with 2 that need some overhaul, and wrote a myriad of pieces that will be fit together later. There was an attempt at a short story but it never got off the ground. While I was driving Wednesday while I was driving I also designed a potential project to study in grad school…if I make it that far. Tonight I will celebrate my success by tossing back a few beers and telling stories with friends (and puppy) at the rectory. Also I still have 2 pass days left and if I submit my work to the committee, they might approve me for one or two more this year (or at least tack one on next year).

Since I do not live in the idyllic world of peace, love, happiness, and creativity this is how my week actually went. I spent a lot of time crying for no real good reason. I wasted a lot of time moping and wondering and trying to avoid those things that felt like (and were) shackles like classes and homework. In fact I was successful at not turning in several things or going to several classes. I only got things done or made it to class when someone shoved me or carted me in that direction. I had a professor accuse me of being an alcoholic and several other people imply as much. A few people dropped Bi-polar as an idea, and more than a handful were extremely concerned. I spent a good chunk of time with the puppy, another sizable chunk staring off into space thinking about the happy hippie house, and that’s honestly about it. Tonight I will do everything in my power to forget this week existed with the help of puppy, some friends, and some –OH groups at the rectory. Tomorrow if I can find myself, I will pick myself up and try again. My GPA is gonna suffer from a week of half-assed work and moral is generally low. I have 2 tests on the horizon and nothing good to show from the week. If I hadn’t stalled this week I could have more or less coasted into spring break but now I have to push up hill the whole way. At least now I know what’s wrong.


The Red Queen said...

Puppy? With real puppy breath? I do like your idea of the pass. I think you actually got a couple of those each school year cause I already knew the importance of skipping out on life once and awhile to rememeber its importance. Keep walking,keep searching,keep writing,keep looking to the Lord for your answers Jn, they are right around the bend. Grades and classes are not the end all to your questions but the journey is part of the answer.

Ramblin' Ed said...

Loved the post. Look for me to steal a quote today. Hey... you put it out there and I will always feel free to "borrow".

Coal Miner's Daughter said...

No mom you missed it. These aren't play times. You don't just screw around you actually do something useful...just not something with a deadline looming. It wouldn't be worth it if people just screwed around. But yes it is a real puppy and R'ed you can always know I do it.