A sort of eternal ‘to-do’ list

Winter, long procrastinated, has arrived by way of temperature, if nothing else. Sun-bright days, though, more suited to capricious concertos or starry summer tunes than the rainy kind of jazz. A different sort of winter.

Gradually getting back to counting walks in miles, not blocks. (Good for foot? Bad? A dull ache slows me down when needed, so fine, I think.)

Z has given us an assignment; a prompt for writing. What’s good for you, and why†. I’ve been trying to find a way to frame it, find an angle, but I think a list will do. A practical approach against missing a deadline*.

The players: Creating, Reading, Writing, Moving, Listening, Traveling, Observing, Editing. Whys after the jump.

Creating: it’s what I’m made for, so kind of like breathing, except I never have to think about breathing, or ‘find time’ for it. Drawing, painting, designing, photographing, writing, building, &c. Pictures, visuals, compositions. Without these things I’m rudderless.

Reading: to learn, to feel; to get outside of time; to experience a different perspective; widen the landscape of one’s mind. Words are powerful, magic. For better or worse, the world as we know it could not exist without words, without language.

Writing: Putting things on paper or the screen is an edifying process. Amorphous thoughts can be too easily rationalized. The act of organizing and visualizing them helps clarify what’s true and what’s trickery.

Moving: the body, like the mind, is susceptible to atrophy. Don’t allow it.

Listening: to people; to music. In this context, primarily I mean people, especially in conversation. Understanding comes from really listening. There’s a lot to be learned, always. Omissions are as key as inclusions.

Traveling: ditto the reasons listed for reading, and moving.

Observing: same as listening. So much to glean from focused observation, in any situation. This is also key for creating (anything). All powerful works resonate with some human truth, however small; however distorted, disguised, or inverted.

Editing: this one is really more like breathing to me. I’m at it constantly, whether in fact or only in my head. It’s reckoning; cutting the fat. Discerning what works, eliminating what doesn’t. It’s the difference between doing a thing vs. doing it well. The Fine Art of saying No. We all do it, all the time. Best to be aware— to know the why at each stroke of red ink.


* Deadlines are good for me, too.

† What he said, in particular, was Write about something you love to do that is good for you and why you love it. So, it was necessarily going to be verb-oriented (in Italian, Fare—to do, to make). I’m just not a one to stop at one.

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