Saturday, December 11, 2010

When I type I dream...



I wrote a poem in my undergrad inspired by reading Kate Chopin's The Awakening in a women's lit class.  The wonderful professor had brought in a CD of Chopin and for half the class we listened.  THe poem was inspired by childhood dreams of wanting to play the piano.  (I'm not really musically inclined).  And then learning to type in high school, on an IBM Selectric I think it was.  How liberating - to capture thoughts with such speed. I've since lost the poem, lost the longing to play the piano.  I still like typing though.  I think the line in the photo above probably says everything the poem was trying to say.  Nothing too deep I suppose.

I'm often getting these ideas for series, then realizing that I have no time to carry them through.  For example, I'd love to do a series of writers and the things, substances, they write with.  Typewriters, computers, pens, pencils, certain types of paper.  Those kinds of obsessions.  The how and why and what of them.

I copied this quotation out in a tiny notebook this past week:


"It's not time we lack, but concentration."  (Adam Zagajewski)

And you know, as much as I complain about a lack of time (and sometimes energy), I think this is true.  It's the focus for things, the concentration.

For a few months now we've been rising at 5am.  Rob goes to his studio, and I go to my study.  It takes a while for me to wake up, be able to stare at the screen.  I have a notebook I scribble things in, and I usually read a few lines of one of the books I call magical.  Usually something by Clarice Lispector or Helene Cixous.  Or Duras.  I have until 7am, when it's time to wake up our daughter, make breakfast etc.  The secret is not to look at email or facebook or flickr.  I don't always succeed.  The other secret is to look out the window into the dark.  There's a lot that can be seen.  My goal is to write one sentence a morning.  I set myself small goals that I know I can reach.  I concentrate.  Most days I will write at least a paragraph.  Maybe it's terrible, the whole narrative, the writing, everything, I don't know, but I do adore my characters, am happy living with them.  Am happy pouring everything I am into this manuscript, early mornings, alone and fresh from dreams.

But back to typing.  You know, I also love writing with a fountain pen.  Ink.  Choosing the perfect colour of ink for the season.  (Summer was green, fall was amber, and winter so far is a smoky shade of blue).  But I do like typing.  Have created a set on my Flickr page to continue exploring this.

I've also always loved the act of writing.  Moving hand over paper.  Just that.  You?