03 December 2008

Looking for a window

I have had a rather frustrating writing semester. I've written more than I have in a long time but I haven't really gone anywhere with it. And after a very frustrating interview yesterday with a well-meaning professor who kind of haphazardly told me that my writing isn't good and that I should stop writing about things I've done and write instead about who I am. . . which for me is rather difficult to separate. I don't know that I know what that means. How is it even possible to write about yourself without writing about what you do? Where you've been? It's a concept that I don't really understand.

I think he wants me to go into that "dark place" of myself or . . . something. I'm not really sure. The long and short of it is - I need a new audience for my writing in the very near future. I feel like I've reverted rather than pushed forward into a better place. And naturally this interview concluded with me having a minor breakdown since this was added to everything else I need to get done this week. Not really what I wanted to hear when I was already emotionally broken. So in an attempt to remedy all of this, I'm going to do something self indulgent and write about things that make me happy.

1. The Christmas tree in my living room: There's something so comforting and wonderful about a dark room with the light of Christmas in it. I have never been in a room lit by a Christmas tree that didn't make me the tiniest bit happier, even this time of year when things are stressful.

2. Waking up to a clean kitchen: Ok. So this doesn't happen very often. I have a roommate who likes to cook but not clean and I spend lots of time cleaning up as a result BUT, that said, even though I hate cleaning up after other people, there is something satisfying about doing dishes because of the visible improvement when you are done. I like a clean house. I do.

3. My DVD collection/Book collection: I get a great amount of ridiculous pleasure out of the fact that my DVDs and books are in exact alphabetical order. Yes. I'm actually really OCD about that, probably from several years of working at a bookstore.

4. Not waking up to an alarm. Again - this doesn't happen very often. But it's going to happen tomorrow. I'm skipping my two classes tomorrow because I might explode from stress if I don't and because I need sleep. Desperately.

5. The "Snow" theme of The Nutcracker: I don't know why but this song gives me utter and incomprehensible delight. The first time I saw it performed by Ballet West I was spellbound.

6. Live music: While we're on that theme - I love hearing music played by a live (good) orchestra with feeling. Orchestras that have put some emotion into what they are playing. They don't just sound good - they fill the room with positive vibes and spiritual uplift.

7. Walking outside in the snow: Haven't had the chance yet this year - it's been too warm. But at some point in the not too distant future I'm sure, it will snow here and then I will get the delight of looking out my window and putting a scarf on and indulging in the moods of the season.

8. Oranges: This Thanksgiving we were all talking about how great everything tasted when my grandma said something about how all she wants to do after she dies is to taste an orange. Due to an accident several years ago my grandma lost her sense of taste and smell - which is great for stinky diapers that you want changed but not so great when you want to enjoy your own cooking. I thought about it for about a half a second and realized that of all the tastes in the world I would miss, oranges would be near the top of that list. So would lots of other fruits. Raspberries. Strawberries. Grapefruit. It's such a little thing, really - we take it for granted but when I think about my grandma I am grateful for my sense of taste.

9. Photography: I haven't had many big adventures in my life, but I've had a few - and I love looking at the pictures I've taken to remind me of what it was like. I'm not a scrapbooker by any means. I'd rather spend money on pictures than eight hundred stickers to fill ten pages with one picture on them each. If I had to make a list of things that I would grab first in an emergency given time to pack, photos would be near the top of that list. The trouble would come afterwards in deciding which books and movies I couldn't live without! I'm so materialistic. . .

10. The sound of laptop keys: I know it's kind of strange, but ever since I was young I've had a few sounds that I really like. Fingers tapping to a rhythm of keys on a laptop keyboard or the sound that shoes make on pavement. I used to watch the beginning of The Sound of Music when the Von Trapp children are introduced for the singular pleasure of listening to their shoes on the floor.

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