So. I’ve been asked several times this week about my commute. How long it is. What I do in my car while I’m driving the 51 minutes from my office to my house. One way. How that aligns with my politics (it doesn’t, btw, but what’s a girl to do? And my car is a German built diesel beauty, that helps). How I can stand it. What I think about. If it’s better than commuting from the big city in the south (Yes! Twice the miles, and less time). If I spend my time thinking about work. (Um, no).
Silly interrogators, you’re like Jon Snow, and you know nothing.
I listen to music! Very loudly. So much so, I’m starting to worry if I am damaging my hearing. I’m sorry, did you say something?
On Monday, I load six new CDs and I listen to them all by Friday. I know there’s streaming and all things blue-toothy to connect to my cell phone, but I’ve decided to hang out with our music collection again. It’s been awhile. This week, I rediscovered I Become Small and Go by Creeper Lagoon. Here’s their best song ever, IMHO, lyrically and musically. I didn’t really follow them too much after this album, but I love, love, love this song.
Here’s my favorite part from “Dear Deadly”
Don’t care to hear about your pirate ship/Some treasure broken hearts and bloody lip/Dear Blackbeard set the sail, they’ve gone downtown/God save us, abandon ship, the captain’s down
And here’s the thing, readers, I don’t really know what this song is about, and I don’t care to think about it. This offends the educator in me, but there are things we just shouldn’t think about sometimes. Just enjoy it. Stop trying to figure everything out, dear brain, and just listen. I dig the bass, the Stone Roses-like looping, and the lyrics are just oh-so-fun to sing. And that’s good enough. So this commute, albeit a horrid time suck, is actually quite productive.
I also do this test once I hit north of Skagit county once a week. I tune into several Canadian stations to see if I can find a Rush song. And once a week, Geddy Lee reminds me of Canada’s finest export! And oh boy, I get giddy when I hear Geddy singing “Working Man,” cuz that’s what I am. (Only I’m a woman, but I get it, Geddy, that pronoun didn’t make sense lyrically). Once a week, I find Rush in the Skagit flats. Oh Canada!
And yes, I’ve been thinking about the work lately and my hobby job as a writer, and here’s what I’ve come to terms with about the cycle of the academic year. I am Burgess Meredith’s character in The Twilight Zone. Remember the episode “Time Enough At Last?” Here’s the conclusion, which summarizes how I am feeling lately. And this isn’t a ranty rant or a I’m-so-sad kind of statement; this is just a declarative sentence telling you straight-up how I feel. Period.
Maybe you feel this way too in your “piece of the rubble” and maybe you’re waiting for Rod Serling to whisper in your ear that you are living “In The Twilight Zone.” If so, I highly recommend really loud music for at least two hours a day. It helps. Kinda like a private dance party. Kinda like love letters from musicians you’ve never met. Kinda like joy by sound. Audio joy–surely somebody has said that, but I don’t want to look anything up right now.
And oh woe, poor Burgess! Note how happy he was walking down the stairs pointing to books and saying each month. How satisfied he was to have a list. How lovingly he embraced the book and the clock. Time. Time. Time. His smile.
And like his character, I have all the reading in the world to do. Endless emails. Help tickets. Updates. Shared folders. Google Docs shared with me. Created by me. All of it using up time. Unlike Burgess who loses his glasses literally, I sometimes lose my figurative sense of seeing. I lose perspective. I get whiney and say “it’s not fair” because some of this reading, just plain kills my will to do my hobby job. Some of it just kills my will to do, you guessed it, that writing thing. The hobby job!
Somewhere along the way, I picked up the “Advice for Writers” via email. I think it’s one of the RSSs that I kept when Google Reader died. They send you quotes, and I’m a full on sucker for the words of others. Here’s what Franz Kafka told me today:
You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
I just need to see joy and ecstasy rolling there. I need to look for it. I need to sit at that table. This is a tiny little post to do just that seeing.
And maybe you need to do the same.