Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Meager update

Months have passed since the last blog entry, months that have blurred together and are punctuated now with funny television shows and occasional holidays, rather than spectacular sights.

I have been working at the newspaper, learning how to live with weekly deadlines and a dearth of spot news. It's different, and I feel more detached from the town since I spend most of my time scrutinizing budget documents. I hadn't realized how much I missed spot news until this week, when a house burned and the firefighters held a separate training exercise.

All of a sudden I was out of the office, watching chaotic things unfold, standing under the blue sky, realizing the slight chance of being crushed or soiled by flying debris. Driving home on Tuesday night after covering the fire that afternoon, I was struck with how little of myself I was able to put into the news item we released on the blaze.

It was one paragraph and a picture--all the available, relevant facts and a glimpse of the colors. There was nothing about the way the flames burst through a hole in the roof, the way a patch of snow sat intact just two feet from the fire, the way the spray from the hoses threw foam and debris a hundred feet in the air through the crumbling shingles, how the Kia Sportage parked in the side driveway was showered with broken glass and embers. There's no place in news for poetic details, and more and more in my own writing, I recognize the intense desire to get to the point. Digressions are painful. Clauses are unfortunate. Parallel structure is too close to editorializing. I'm beginning to seek aesthetic satisfaction from a good segue.

Even in this entry, I'm seeing no art. I'm thinking about the cloud of orphaned ideas that have been shambling around my brain during commute time these last few months. I'm thinking about how many of them will make it onto the computer screen. I'm not thinking about structure, or craft.

The world is immense. Ideas proliferate beyond our ability to cherish them. I need to find my muse again or I'm doomed to skid through my life flinching at the brilliance in others I don't want to see anymore.

Let us say a few words in praise of the importance of creativity in a person's life. You are a person with a great deal of creativity and potential. I wonder if you can ever be really content without providing all of that with an outlet.
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