Writing and Other Things that are Less Painful to Do than Not .

I write because finally it’s become less painful than not writing (it also happens to be a helluva lot of fun).  That’s the same reason I’ve been sending loving-kindness towards those I have resentments against: it hurts my body less to send them loving thoughts than it does to feel anger.

Except when I don’t write, and don’t send kindness.

I’m behind in blogging classes I signed up for. I was heading to my blog, but got sidetracked and saw a blurb for the movie about Aaron Schwartz, “The Internet’s Own Boy.” The blurb was so compelling that I watched the movie, cried at the ending, read a book, and went to bed. I was thrown before I even got near the empty page. (The movie was so good it was largely worth not writing, but even so, I registered the scratchy feeling of disappointment in myself).

And the other day I called someone a gossip. Well, I yelled it from an elevator the doors of which were closing. (Hey – I’m not a coward: I do posses the ability to engage in conflict face to face, but at the very last minute I couldn’t keep my mouth shut AND THE DOORS JUST HAPPENED TO BE CLOSING, OK?).

I probably didn’t make her day any better. Good chance I made it worse. And my own, too, as my self-righteousness wore off. I felt like I would have if someone had shouted the same thing to me.

So I ended up putting more pain into the world by not keeping my mouth shut. I don’t know. I should have gone to her in private? She’s a neighbor in my building, and we now have a conflict thing….it’s depressing.

Anyway, I try. I’m getting there, with both writing and being a better person. I’m here now, and I do let most slights real-or-imagined go; I see when I’m writing resistant, and I see when I fuck up dealing with an unpleasant person-whereas-I’m-delightful.

Isn’t noticing at least a tiny part of the point?


The Names of Things


Oh boy. I’m back to the blog.

*runs around in circles a few times*

Except my assignment for the blogging class sat untouched in my inbox for two days.

I’m easily distracted. By email, yes, but mostly by other people’s writing.  Esquire, mostly. But sometimes, You Won’t Believe What These Child Stars Look Like Now. This must stop. I need a different writing routine.

This morning I turn on my computer, and that’s it. I leave it, and go out to a small courtyard to smoke. There is no grass here, but this is in the most fundamental sense a garden.

A weathered, wrought-iron bench is damp so I squat near a wet fern. Bonsai trees of varying shapes and sizes sit on a high shelf, and a Blue Spruce branch from outside the courtyard pokes through and over the dark fencing.

My father dug up the sod when he landscaped this area, and among the ferns and other greenery, replaced the sod with stones. They are smooth, and about the size of his thumb. The stones are earth colors, of a wide variety. I wonder where they came from last, and where they’ve been: red, like fired clay. Sand. Slate grey, and grey of an overcast sky reflected in moving water. Some the color of moist, dark handfuls of earth rich with worms.

I know these rocks – I frequent the garden department at Home Depot – but the name won’t come until I stop mentally searching, then: River rock.  That’s the name for these small, traveled bodies. So I come here to write this down, to have a place that fuels my noticing that being near the rock, homed with such loving intention, is also being near the river.