When this post reaches you, I will likely be whining about having to get out of bed. I will be laughing over sore muscles on my first tentative steps out of bed. I’ll be thinking of food and coffee and lounging for the rest of the day to recuperate from the Tinker Bell 10K, which was yesterday.
The race has been only one of the things on my mind. I started back to work this week – back in my regular routine of getting up, writing, reading, thinking. It’s been slow to get back into the groove after taking over a month away from any sustained writing activity.
It’s often said that working on several projects at once is the way to go, and I tend to agree. Why box yourself in with one project, come Hell or high water, if you can rather let your writerly energy flow from project to project, answering whatever voice talks the most clearly, the loudest, to you on any given day? It seems a positive, kinetic way to write – to follow energy, to be working on anything rather than stuck on working on a difficult something.
But as with anything, it can have its down side. There can be too many voices to listen to. It can lead to a stop in productivity. I can get stuck in the “supposed to”: the very rut of obligation that this multi-project approach is designed to prevent. I’ve found myself too easily sucked into dumb articles on Facebook. By afternoon, the urge to bake cookies becomes so strong that I must drink peppermint tea and listen to French jazz and try to relax.
My Dove Promises chocolate yesterday actually told me to close my eyes and relax. My candy knows I’m too spun up, trying to split in too many directions.
So after the race this weekend, when I get back to my desk on Tuesday, that is the goal. To relax. More than that, to relax into the work. To go where it leads me. To be flexible. I’m a planner; relaxing and being flexible do not come naturally. But my hope is that the multiple voices – the multiple directions – can come to be a blessing rather than a curse.
But for now, I embrace the split-brain, and I allow it to spill over into this Slow Sunday Jam, which is once again a bit scattered.
Slow Sunday Jam
- My friend Andrea is the oracle of food trends. She called artisan doughnuts becoming a thing, and then boom, doughnuts. And then she called toast, and we designed a whole business with our friend Mary, where we would run a bookshop/coffee shop that served toast. (Don’t jack our idea.) And then, lo and behold, she found this article. Toast is now a thing. The next time she calls a food trend, I’m capitalizing on it. But in the meantime, this article about the toast trend, and its origin in San Francisco, is a lovely article about the way toast- and the toast shop in question – is a concrete, personal therapy for the woman who runs it.
- This week, Dani Shapiro published an open letter to a reader who contacted her on Facebook, taking issue with some of the facts of her memoir after Googling her for more information. The open letter explains what a memoir is and is not, and I find it to be a careful designation of how truth becomes distilled in memoir – and more to the point, what truth becomes distilled in memoir.
- I’ve been to New York City twice. I didn’t care for it either time (though the second time was better – I stayed with awesome friends, and there were bagels every morning, and lavender martinis each night). (I know. New Yorkers, don’t get mad at me. I have my reasons. I’m a slow Southern country mouse.) But Huffington Post published this list of 30 food reasons that New York is worth the struggle it takes to live there. And I have to say, it’s a convincing list. I’ve not been to any of the places, or tried that food, but I bet if I did, I might feel differently about the city. But it got me thinking – what food makes it worth your living anywhere? I have to say – around here, I miss my Southern food (pimento cheese, please!!) – but we do have tri-tip, which is DELICIOUS. And it’s easy to find good carnitas. What food makes your current home worth it?
- Apple found the perfect way to market to me. Holy crap. Every time that commercial for the iPad Air comes on, with the monologue from Dead Poets Society in the voice-over, I get all swoony and poetic and want to cry and stand on a desk. But it also reminded me of this great post from eat this poem on the importance of poetry. If you don’t read eat this poem, you should. And this post is a great investigation of why poetry matters – why we benefit from reading it.