Saturday, September 29, 2012

End of an Era

I like to go walking--sometimes for hours at a time. It takes a bit longer than jogging but there's something about it that makes me prefer it. Perhaps it's the little details I catch along the way, or the opportunity to stop and smell the roses. I've never been much for moving fast. I always took the moral of the Tortoise and the Hare to heart: slow and steady wins the race.

So, I give myself a bit of extra time and I walk, leisurely. Normally, I walk to work, but in the summer time, all I do is walk around and explore my surroundings. Walks become more difficult in autumn and winter, when the days are shorter, but I usually get one or two in on my days off. I don't like to walk after dark quite as much, mostly because it's harder to see your surroundings and pick out those neat little details that you could see more easily in the daytime. Occasionally, though, something special will happen during a nighttime walk. One time, I saw a friendly cat with a scratchy voice, running toward me on only three legs. She let me pat her for a moment, but then I heard a door across the road open, and a woman calling softly to her. I don't remember the name, but it was a cute, feminine name, like Amelia, or Annabelle. The cat went running back across the street and I thought to myself that she was probably well-loved and well-taken care of.

While on my walks, I have a number of notebooks that I keep close at hand in case of sudden, inexplicable inspiration. This happens fairly often. One of these books is a little brown Moleskine that I use to write poetry.

It's a bit faded now, but it features a design that I put on to decorate it. Inside is poetry that I've been writing since 2010. My father gave it to me one day when we were on a little excursion together in Sackville. He bought a little three-pack and handed one to me for use on my travels, and I've been using it ever since. It's an interesting assortment of poems, because they were written during various periods of self-evolution. One of them, for example, was inspired by how excited I was to try and find a new job. One was written when I really didn't want to go to work. I wrote one while visiting a graveyard in the town of Charlbury, England, based on the idea of walking with the dead. I have a page dedicated to haiku. All of these poems I can look back on and associate with a time in my life.

I will, now, share with you the final poem I wrote in this little book. I wrote it yesterday, pausing on my walk to work. It needs editing, but perhaps publishing this unfinished version of it will force me to finish it! It is currently without a title.

Head filled with numbers--
Crammed full of stupid little things that, years from now,
Will not matter to me
Nor, really, to anyone.
How is it that we humans are able to fill the blanks in our lives
With such useless information
That we end up becoming defined by it?
Our society corrupt,
Driven by cars spewing pollution of one kind
And the media spewing pollution of a whole different kind.
How can I write poetry
When I'm too busy worrying about
Today's sales, or
What hairstyle to wear tomorrow, or
What to think of the woman who walked by alone, having an animated discussion with herself?
How can I focus on someone else's personality, their mind,
And the creative jewel within
When I can't stop thinking about how stupid she looks in that outfit?
Society has trained us all to be mindless and shallow.
The defining moment comes when we are able to break free of those restrictions.
- Sept 28, 2012
I wouldn't call it a positive poem by any stretch, but more of a "catching myself in the act" poem. Have you ever caught yourself thinking something about a certain topic that, under normal circumstances, you would be embarrassed of yourself? That is, essentially, what this poem is about. On more than one occasion of late, I have caught myself doing just that and feeling ashamed of myself. Instead of beating myself up over it, I turned it into something creative. And, here we are. It's a little reminder to go back to former ways of thinking while I still know that the current way of thinking, really, is not who I am at all!

Tomorrow, I will go out and find a new little pocket book for poetry, and begin another chapter in my everyday-inspired poetry.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Nostalgia of the Infinite

The Nostalgia of the Infinite, Giorgio de Chirico

Do you ever spend time thinking about the past? Most of us do. I tend to spend more time in my head than I do in reality, so sometimes I spend more time thinking about random details than I do focusing on the task ahead of me. It can be difficult when there's always some form of trigger to bring the waves of nostalgia into being. Smells, sounds, songs and albums, and sometimes places will lead me to different places in time.

For example, the smell of some of the winter teas we sell at work reminds me of sitting in the back room, writing numbers on bags during a 12-hour work day. Watching any episode of the Walking Dead reminds me of New Year's Day, when my husband and I pulled an all-nighter marathon-ing the second season then went out for breakfast at 6:30 AM. We went to bed at 8 and slept until 1, making it one of the most awesome days we've had together. The song "Keep on Galloping" by Korpiklaani reminds me of walking to my job (which I hated at the time--waitressing, yeuch!) in the snow, daydreaming about a log cabin in the woods with a warm fire. The smell of the peppermint vanilla candle in the bathroom reminds me of playing FEAR 3 with my husband before Christmas, with that same candle lit. Not exactly festive, but a fond memory nevertheless.

This post is named after a painting by Giorgio de Chirico of the same name. I found it appropriate, because of the name and the certain lonely feeling I get when looking at the picture, even if there are two people. To me, the two people in the picture represent one person. One person is in the present, while the other is in the past, and they're walking together on the same path. It could be said that one walks with oneself whenever reminiscing about the past.

While it doesn't always do to dwell on the past, our past experiences have helped make us all what we are today. I always find it interesting to listen to new albums, or to frequently drink a certain tea, and see later what those things remind me of a few months down the road.

How about you, readers? What reminds you guys of certain things? Any tastes, smells, songs? I'd be interested to know!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dream drawing

Today, someone asked me if I still drew, and I told him "I try". I realised that couldn't be further from the truth. I haven't sat down and completely finished a drawing in a about two years.

I used to draw often. I would be inspired by games I played, books I read, shows I watched, and things I saw in nature. I would create and draw pictures of characters I had invented--some from roleplaying, some from my own writing. Some things I drew would just be people who popped into my imagination: fairies, sprites, nymphs, outfits that I'd like to wear. I would always have a sketchbook with me.

For some reason, that changed. I stopped drawing frequently, only stopping to pick up my pencil once in awhile. I lost interest, apart from doodling on paper while taking notes at work or on place mats in restaurants.

This afternoon, well after the aforementioned question was asked of me, I took a little nap. Okay, I admit, that's an understatement: it was a two and a half hour nap. During that time, I had a dream of relatively epic proportions. A man in his late twenties was given a gift of magical transformation, giving him the ability to become a superhero. He was navigating a politically corrupt landscape, with spies watching people's movements and tapping wires to listen in on conversations. A young woman appeared, having witnessed the man's heroics, and offered to be a spy for him as a double agent. Between the two of them, they were gathering followers to try and eradicate these political issues.

When I woke up, I was compelled to draw these two. I didn't draw the man in his superhero suit (because, quite frankly, I'm not sure what it looked like), so here he is, extending a hand to the girl. They don't have names yet.

The style is a bit more angular than what I usually draw, but I think I like it. Except his hand. Always need more practice with hands.

I've always worked to develop a style and I've never really had one of my own. I'm not sure I know how to begin developing one. As always, my artwork is a work in progress. I'm sure it always will be.

I have too many stories to tell. It seems like my subconcious helps me think of new ones, too. One day, I'll get them all on paper in one way or another. I think this one would make a better comic than anything.