Letter @ Her Desk

Little Laments for Our Limited Times
This counts as a short work of fiction, because the author wrote it in the third-person-past-peculiar, and changed some or more personal details.


The Woman sat at her desk, piled high with desk and non-desk things, herself atop a well-aged exercise-ball/chair, and altogether in her favourite, biggest pyjamas. It happened also to be a dark and stormy night (beyond her shuttered window panes, it pounded) – but that was neither-here-nor-there, as it were.

This story is not about storms.

This woman’s pyjamas were of a so-soft & fine-fuzzy polyester, with colours making sense (mostly) only in the context of pyjamas very much like hers did then, now recently warmed from the dryer. As you might well imagine, she had also upon her – from nearly her own knees down and all around her feet and of course all of her ten toes too – two great-and-cozy quite-big-for-you socks… and all of this ensemble wonderfully and warmly unmatched, in theirs and her own very fashion.

She scrunched and relaxed those, her glad-warm toes, within their quite-big-for-you socks, she all a-wonder that even her tea, too, was just-so hot-at-hand, and now at her lips… and guess what? Her glasses? Atop her own nose, can you even suppose! Un-lost (as they most often were not), among the cluttered cozy cloister she had all but come to call home.

Every single thing, in other words, was almost entirely at hand for her now to begin her newly-now-working-again.

Aside from the Cat and the Rat, of course (and no surprise): One no doubt out and about on a hunt in and around her garden and then some others, and the other asleep atop a pleated pillowcase, quite alone with his cage, contented in his advancing age. At times, these were her working companions… but more often, astray (each in their own way).

Of indeterminate age was Our Mouse and Her cage…., was what the Woman had already just written, in freshly unspoken and hardly finished fiction. [The author has forgotten to mention, She (the Woman) had had on her person – in addition and in extension to her self-coddle-some clothing – some additional implements of writing-in-person: her paper and pen, and also – as well – a Form of Submission, so far effectively ignored].

She stopped (did the Woman). NoI shan’t start another of my assorted stories – yet one more Tall Tale to then never leave completely unfinished… With every started thought not soon rightly brought to some fruitful conclusion, her accomplishments in her own Woman’s mind perceptibly diminished.

There was a story at her one hand, as often-always – and a paperwork of some sort at her other – each unproven work in cool conflict with the other. To play or to work, or to not bother for either: Her Three-Doored, Constant Conundrum.

She needed one win, right then. It had been for too long that her heart, out of saddle, had faltered so fully before her very own things. Her twin plans: the Book and the Van.

Dear Desk, She began to then write, again:

I have meant for some time to sit at you and to work, but instead have just piled high this debris of half-hearted hope in layers upon your firm, flat face, and left you I suppose to wonder at wherever I’ve gone, and then when or whether I might ever return to our twin tasks – those you hold up for me in good patience and wooden grace. A sad shame for a desk with such pride in his work, such as the kind that you are.

The Woman paused to en-tea herself, and scratch an itch, then three. Her form lay waiting, un-filled and never yet sent. A business idea: Food on the Run, her PandemicMobile. All that remained was the insurance. Her partners: in place! This form: her nemesis! Papers both plying in hope and a fear of failing, like a vertigo.

Just an off-kilter notion that her head had once set to motion, before things became so constantly tiresome to her spirited body.

She continued:

I am tired though now most days, and I feel that I need to sleep. I am sorry I haven’t pulled through this quite yet, Dear Desk. I don’t know what direction to read or to write in, right now – your surface is too hard. The road forward is too hard.

I have too many plans laid partially upon you, and all un-gathered around, in my head and my heart and elsewhere, in dreams and some promises. You aren’t at all tidy, and I need you to be that for now, and for some time. I want to be a tidier Woman, and make tidy choices – to make greater decisions.

But I do so want to sleep, before we continue. I feel that I must. I hope you understand. Stand firm in your faith in me – I will return.

And so the Woman then did sleep, for a right amount of time, her tea cooling completely as she went away in her head, itself upon the shuffled paper plates of her plans arrayed upon the desk – the one that spoke not one word about what it might think… and each of its Woman’s hands at once upon either a fanciful story or a grown-up plan they had started together, all in a current and silent repose atop its patiently waiting spine.

Their insurance unclaimed for once again, she dreamed, as did the desk.

They had always needed a good deal of dreaming.

Better Branching

I have started another blog. I think I’m trying to compartmentalize fiction-writing (here) from semi-informed-opinion writing (there). I also upgraded the new one to a somewhat-paid version (the next cheapest after Free), so I want to compare my experiences in both.

Splitting my blogging focus is one step of many small, additional steps in properly separating the two concerns (fiction, opinion), and the whole endeavour might, in the end, be a bad idea instead of a good one. I have my historical issues with having too many issues.

This blog is the place where I have tried to write from the heart, but with whatever other voice I’ve made for my written self, which is not my true voice. How I have been writing isn’t how I usually talk, I’m fairly certain. It’s some kind of rough imitation of how I think, though slower and more organized (at times).

Even how I talk out loud isn’t really my real voice, altered and channeled as it most often is by social anxiety.

I feel fake when writing from the heart, because I get carried away with word selection. I can edit, and I do. I am not having a correct conversation with you even now, the Dear Reader. I am in some kind of AuthorLand. In my case, I am the author of blog posts, and I author as a persona.

I also feel fake at times when trying to speak out loud, from the heart; I get stifled by concerns over how I sound, or am coming across, or affecting the person I’m speaking to.

When Zooming [for the Reader of the Future, see here], my first action is to mute my own camera, so I don’t have to look at myself while talking, because that’s like talking to a boardroom of people while looking in a mirror. Does anybody else find that incredibly odd? I do, and it also affects how my inner life finds its way out into the world for the consideration of others.

My true voice is not easy to pinpoint, or even express. It has, I think, just fewer words.

Sometimes, I feel I need a different kind of persona for a different kind of speaking. There is being honest, while also remaining anonymous. Then there is being your own, identifiable self, while still being suitably reserved in announcing all of your fears and opinions. Then there is having fun role-playing somebody else entirely.

When I write [and is this how it feels to you?], I am often pitting two or more personas in competition: First, the one who wants to express himself, and be understood. Second, the one who enjoys choosing words and expressions, and building sentences and paragraphs.

This first persona hopes that, through sharing experience and opinion, he might inadvertently help somebody else, through the principles of commiseration.

The second considers the choice of words and cadence and metaphor while doing this to be an interesting endeavour all on its own – as though it would matter just as much were he the only Human around to appreciate the effort put into typing it all out. I like this second fellow somewhat less, but he tends to control where my fingers go, when presented with a keyboard.

I don’t know how having two blogs will alter my approach to blogging. I am already annoyed at having to log in and out to go between them, but our world is not going to get less passworded anytime soon, so I am busy getting used to that.

Having more control gizmos at my disposal might lead to a more interesting site design, but what I am actually hoping for is more focus. I started the Wimsel Loop blog with a short story about a large, speaking rat and a role-playing game, and some family and friends. I started this blog as a book, but then it became a blog, with a good deal of non-fiction thrown in. I suppose I want to put my non-fiction where it proverbially (and literally?) belongs: on a blog that began as a blog. Maybe it will decide to become a book. That is how things sometimes work.

Unofficially Stumbling On

I was about to say, I’ve officially fallen and I can’t get up, which is a reference to a TV commercial and also how I feel these days, running somewhat forward in my accomplishment of TODOs, but chased and finally overtaken and then tumbled head-over-heels by the pace of it all.

I mean just keeping up with reading and writing, in the face of all those Other Things. Too many things. I’ve become a broken record.

I don’t know though what it means to “officially” fall down, and given I’m still making some progress on various things, I have some doubt that what I’ve been doing is falling, so much as stumbling forward. I can’t out-pace Everything, and maybe I should stop trying to.

Life is currently a barrage of choices punctuated by sleep. The joke is that nobody can open all the doors set before them – those doors simply accumulate and vie for one’s attention and choosing. Some doors recede on their own – others lead to brick walls even once opened. The art of opening doors.

What does a person do with their limited time here? I don’t know about you, but this person (the one I seem to be embedded in) clearly enjoys spending some portion of their time asking questions just like that.

The TL;DR is, I have nothing new to say today, but a clear desire to say it anyhow.

Fallen Behind on My Things

I owe a lot of reads Here, and if I’m being respectful of myself as well, some additional writes and even more rewrites. I decided a rebrand was in order! They are fun to do now and then. I try not to go crazy with the limited themes my free WordPress Pass grants me, and I’m fairly certain that it rightly shows.

– HM

Compassion Fizzle

In a previous post, I waxed on and off about practicing compassion on a spider that had hitched a ride on the borrowed truck from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, and decided when it got to its destination that living on a truck was quite fine by it.

I did this compassion-practicing without once thinking to relocate the spider to a safer location. That might have qualified as compassion too, I don’t know. Probably, right?

Instead, one minute I am driving along through a rainstorm, wondering at the mysteries of the Universe, when all at once I drive through a big puddle, which wipes the front of the truck clean of most of its remaining dirt, and at least one of its passengers. Lesson learned? Hmm. Sure.

Would the Nova Scotian spider have felt any more displaced, placed upon a New Brunswick flower, tree, or bush, than it might have, hanging from the sideview mirror of a too-often-moving Nissan? I can’t say for certain, except to admit that I had not considered it until far-too-recently. An 8-legged life cut short, days before its time. And there I go again, with the anthropomorphisms and such.

Practice never, as far as I can tell, will ever lead to perfect – though with enough of an effort, I might still shed one or two of these certainly aging shells.


Now I stare at sky – myself stared at warmly by the setting sundown.

Enjoy yours,

Mike!

Travelling Companions

Objects in mirror are braver than they appear.

A spider (I know not what kind, except to call her the brave and crazy kind) built a home on the side-view mirror of my dad’s truck, which I have borrowed for the past month or two. She moved in while we were in Nova Scotia, and came with me – at highway speeds through various weather – all the way to New Brunswick. She’s likely logged 600 kilometres by now.

Her name (to me) is Windy, and she’s a kindred spirit – preferring the open road and rolling adventures to hanging out in the same spot, patiently-passively waiting for her income to come to her. She wants to see the world while she’s still in it – a part of it.

I’ve watched Windy learn to ball herself up when the turbulence gets bad. I’ve seen her duck in behind the mirror, when she needs to feel extra cozy and safe. I’ve seen her charge out into the raging air to secure the beams of her homestead, with no seeming concern for her own well-being – her home being her most important project. Damn the torpedos! She’s a hero among spiders. A legend.

I’ve often wondered where Windy’s gone, when I can’t see her there – if she’s fallen or been thoughtlessly left behind, while my mind is driving elsewhere… but she keeps popping up again, a little sturdier each time.

Once, she went accidentally(?) parasailing from with her web strand while I was driving for coffee. I was shocked at the alarm I felt, seeing her in (apparent) peril; I thought for sure she was a goner, but she’s far stronger than she looks.

I’ve surprised myself at how much I worry when I don’t see Windy safe and secure, at home in her mirror-web. I don’t know where she gets her food, and if she’s found love during our travels together (let me anthropomorphize just a little longer, please), but so far she has survived, and now – rather absurdly – has become a kind of family to me.

Eeek! a spider! Kill it!!

I remember this feeling from when I was younger. Creepy-crawly things are to be destroyed, and despised, and feared. Well, if Windy were of the venomous or destructive or invasive variety, I might consider squishing her quickly to be prudent, perhaps, though still unfortunate. Were she the size of a poodle, I’d give her a wiiiide berth and maybe call the authorities and professionals. If she were the size of this car, we’d all be in trouble.

But she’s not any of those things. I’m a titan to her, and she keeps the bugs that would bite me and eat our beloved plants and flowers at bay. Windy wouldn’t think of harming something so big as me – she’s a bit more sensible than that. And her life is as precious to her (implicitly) as mine is to me.

Can I avoid killing bugs when I walk and when I roll around in this world of all-scales? Of course not. I am an ant colony’s worst nightmare, when I’m tromping about, not paying attention. But that is not my intention, and intention means a great deal.

We live in a world of living beings, each with lives to live. I still eat meat, and I almost never need to. I am a colossal hypocrite. My footprint is far too large, and my road to redemption will likely take this full lifetime – maybe many more.

Perhaps one day, I will get to be a spider too, clinging tenaciously to my chosen home, trusting in the world around me to let me have a short life of my very own, in my very own, personal way.

Windy has decided to go wandering somewhere. I worry when I start up the truck that I might leave her behind, in this foreign land, but then of course nothing lasts forever. We will be travelling companions for a while, and then we’ll go our separate ways, in this world, or another.

Love the lives that live around you – whether very big or very small. How you love these things is how you grow your compassion, which starts as a seed – and its size knows no bounds.

xo

Oh dear, I stare at the page

Oh Dear, here I stare at the page – but this page is a screen, and this screen is a shield; the page is a wall between your world and mine.

Our minds can’t entwine, but only try to on-line.

Well, fine.

Can I convey the air here, to your skin over there? What about the gentle rush of this or that breeze? Might the pollen here make one in some other place sneeze?

Please.

My throat hurts – can you feel it too? What would you do, if you could now know what I thought that I knew?

It’s mostly all green here, and my shirt’s white and blue.

I wanted to talk, so my fingers went for a walk. Saying nothing with style, un-still all the while.

No story, just a head full of sorry – I have nothing to say.

It’s been just one of those days.


Might you make it up on your end, what I can’t conceive here? What do you do when you want to write, but there’s nothing coming out the other end of your thought-pipe? A drip, a drop. pit-pat – and that’s that.


Round 3: Can I drop rhyming mid-go? Is it a thing that’s ever done? Rhyming is like a magnet, and a bit too much fun.


Hold on, hold on – how many Earth Points is all of this typing going to cost? How much energy is expended when we press Publish on so much nonsense? Bits cost something. They get conveyed, they get stored, they get retrieved and replicated. This is not ever for free – not entirely. My practice might come at some impractical cost. What do we gain, for the unfortunate loss?


I’m about ready to delete this post, seeing as I haven’t started saying anything yet, but my need to just throw that bottle into the ocean is overpowering. The need to connect is without form, but still quite solid. I can feel it. It moves around in my hands but won’t melt away. I want to say something.

So many people just really want to say something. Anything, sometimes. Just to be heard. Just to hear themselves say something.

Plots and points and even poetries at times are just excuses to say something. That’s how it feels. I am here – are you there? This is what birds sound like to this particular human. Each one has a “name” – tee-twee-tooo-tiddle-dwee shouts her tiny name over and over again, for her neighbours to know.

Is it an otherwise instruction, or just a request to be heard? I might as well just type, MIKE IS HERE! MIKE IS HERE! I HOPE YOU ARE THERE TO HEAR THAT MIKE IS STILL HERE!


I wonder if I’m being dull. But that’s another story.

#[In Pursuit of] Resting Rest Face

I started to write something once, and before I knew it, I had succeeded in writing the start of something.

Of course it had more-than-once occurred to me that I often started somethings, and that it was the completion of somethings that most mattered to me once – Once-Upon-So-Many-a-Times before, when I had been the starter of all those said things.

The Past has always implored the Future to finish what it is(was) just about to start – hoping even then that it would still someday have the same heart.

And then there were (and still are) the ever-issues of endings, pauses, phases, branches, and even abandonments… and when to define and then introduce one or more of those.

It went on and on, and still goes.

Now, practice is imperfect, but if you were to ask me how I might-maybe train this brain to see things through to tidy conclusions of all those sundry kinds aforementioned and others, I may well say that one sure way to keep completing more completions is to start some things short and to the point from the beginning (or, at least, some early part of the too-muddled middle), so as to end in a firm period, finally. One for reflection, at best.

And so, though I hardly knew then and hardlier know now why I finally began to start-to-write this particular thing, I will decide and declare it now to be finally done, and then count it as one more small thing I have somehow still humbly won.