9/11/13 – thinking about where I was on 9/11/01. Sitting on my sofa nursing my child. I will never forget it. I think about other shocking events I have experienced: The 1989 earthquake in San Francisco, the floods in 1982 – oh and that time the CHP caught a criminal in my neighbor’s backyard one night here in Petaluma, that was scary – police helicopters with spotlights overhead, cops and dogs – what a mess, in our quiet little neighborhood. Then the Boston Marathon bombing and so many other things, school shootings – more than I can remember. Tragedy after tragedy.
But I believe that instead of focusing on the tragedies we should focus on the way such things can bring people together. Tragedy often brings out the best in people, forces us to grow and to change our perceptions and improve our ways; moves us to step back and realize how much we need each other and that we care about each other. And in that sense, are we as a species better for our tragedies than we would be if such things never happened? I don’t know, but it could be. We would not learn the same things. But unfortunately, not everyone learns, or doesn’t learn the right things anyway. If pain and loss brings hate, anger and paranoia, then that is not a positive thing. If loss somehow breeds greater greed, then that is unfortunate. But I guess there will always be those who miss the whole point. Just like it says in the Bible – “the poor will always be with us.” And perhaps that means “poor” in spirit, in attitude, in enlightenment – and those will probably always be around, we just have to hope “they” don’t reach positions of power. Except they already have – most of them are called Republicans. Argh…
I guess it’s hard to avoid political cynicism when constantly bombarded with emails and news about congressional obstruction and childish games that’s been happening ever since President Obama took office (and before). It is disgraceful, irresponsible and evil. It’s hard not to get angry and disgusted no matter who you voted for if you are an intelligent and responsible human being. My opinion.
And as I continue to experience distress over quitting smoking and find I can’t do anything but lie on the couch, my thoughts keep returning to this story idea and I continue to flesh out details. Yesterday I came up with this idea of humans having this “longevity gene” that doesn’t get “turned on” until we achieve a higher level of cognitive development and enlightenment. And that as long as we harbor tendencies for violence and hate, greed and selfishness, those higher-level genes do not activate. But once they do, we achieve not only longevity and increased vitality, health and physical youthfulness, but we also acquire higher learning and comprehension faculties and heightened senses which include “psychic” type abilities. And this is theorized on the basis that we apparently only use a very small portion of our brain capacities at present, so we might in fact be capable of further evolutionary development. So this idea is that this gene marker, if present (and maybe it is NOT in all cases), passes on through procreation, but somehow those that do not have the capacity (or desire) to evolve eventually die out, or perhaps split off from those that do – and I could go on and on.
And I’ve realized that all of these fantasy scenarios that I’ve dreamed up over the years might be great settings for stories and perhaps my only problem has been that I’ve never bothered to develop anything into a story, but why could I not now do that? I could just take a possible scenario and stick a plot outline in there. But I don’t really yet know quite how to do that. I know that background and setting do not make a story so I’ve never seen any point to my dreamed-up, self-indulgent stories. But this is something to think about. Perhaps it’s a good question for my writers group meeting.
And you know – I have the long practice of writing every day. And I am always trying to educate myself about writing. My constant reading doesn’t hurt. And I get plenty of ideas all the time in my head, about all sorts of things. I can visualize settings, environment, create back-story/background, whole scenarios including characters – but these “stories” never get written, WHY? Because I have no plot? But with a little guidance I should be able to do something about this. I have a lot going for me here, I only need to learn how to take the next step.
There is another difficulty I have with writing. I will at times decide what I want to work on. But then instead of working on that, I often keep coming up with new ideas and that distracts me and confuses me because then I won’t know what to work on and so I do nothing. How can I shelve ideas for later, even when it’s all pumping out of me, so I can work on what I already started on but not lose this other stuff? Or should I let myself go with the flow when it comes? I don’t know how to prioritize and get things done!
And if I have these problems when I am not trying to quit smoking, then how do I expect to solve them at present?
Why is my brain mush???