Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bits And Pieces Of The Past

It's been a busy Saturday. I got up early with my RRHB as he went off to work for about the hundredth weekend in a row (save for the last one when we were in NYC), watched Swingtown, which I'm enjoying more each week, ate some yoghurt, and decided it was now or never in terms of the gardening.

Wait. Does everyone know how much I hate gardening?

K.

So it's me against the weeds that grow in between the gross patio stones on our front yard. The outside of the house will be the last to get fixed up and because I never see it when I'm inside and the renos are making me mental, I don't usually bother with it. Like, at all. But today I was out there pulling all the weeds out and sweeping. And then I tackled some of the back where our neighbour had planted some vegetables. Seeing as I want to eat the lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes, I thought I had better do some weeding out there too. I lasted about an hour and a half, all tolled. By then I'd had enough.

Back inside to make some toast while I watched the bits of The Departed that I like. At which point I felt guilty for watching TV and started puttering.

Wait. Does everyone know that I love puttering?

I've been trying to search down some old writing to see if there's any value in trying to finish the two serious books I started before the one that's currently with my editor friend. But since I have only hard copies of everything, and they're spread from here to who knows where, I went through piles of old writing today. Here are some things I discovered:

1. The clinical "our plan" notes from my shrink when I was bonkers about 10 years ago. They are awesome. From basic things like: "try to eat 3x/ day" to "if feeling very depressed, out of control, suicidal, etc, come to Emergency Department." Can I just say that about 2 weeks later I took a whole pile of sleeping pills, not to kill myself, but simply because they had stopped working and I wanted nothing more than to sleep. It's the craziest the prednisone has ever made me. Coupled with my own inner-wackiness, I am lucky to a) have survived and b) to have had a doctor that was kind enough to give me this plan that pretty much saved my sh*t at the time.

2. A note from Deborah who used to run Chicklit.com that says: "I thought you'd toss off a couple of pages, not sweat blood onto paper." Aw. Oddly, I have no record of what I actually wrote to illicit such a reaction.

3. A really excellent map to my cottage.

4. A recipe for vegan banana blueberry muffins that I will give to Sam for Sadie.

5. "The Night, The Porch" by Mark Strand that contains these lines: "...why even now we seem to be waiting/For something whose appearance would be its vanishing..."

6. The photocopy of a print from Alciato's Book of Emblems that represents Hope and Nemesis that says the two "are together at the same time upon our altars, clearly that you may not hope for that which is not lawful."

7. A print-out of this article from the NY Times because it mentions my RRHB. I have to admit, I recycled this -- there's an online archive.

8. The "how to retire rich" article that our old VP from the Evil Empire photocopied and gave to everyone in the department before he set up a meeting with his insurance broker. He was an awesome boss. The article is full of things he's underlined and notated. I wish I were lying.

9. The YES checklist. A 12-step program for writers and other bits of wisdom for scribes. And a note that Peter Mansbridge was born in Churchill, Manitoba and this quote: "I'll never lie to you but don't think that means I'm telling you the truth." My take-home from a day-long writing seminar.

10. "Art," Ken Kesey said, "is a lie in the service of the truth." Don DeLillo: "Every sentence has a truth waiting at the end of it and the writer knows when he finally gets there. On one level the truth is the swing of the sentence, the beat and the poise, but down deeper it's the integrity of the writer as he matches with the language."

1 comment:

Deborah said...

D, I remember writing that comment to you, but like you, I can no longer remember what I wrote it about. My guess is it was about the piece on unconscious racism in literature/Manichaean allegory that never quite came to fruition. Either that, or the Cormac McCarthy piece. Sometimes I wish I were still publishing Chicklit...