Monday, November 6, 2017

Fireside Eggnog Chats

I've started reading my bible again.

I'm reminded every once in a while that what I believe is technically crazy talk. Imagine a belief system that conquered the world, a singular faith founded on the teachings of a homeless Jew in Palestine roughly two thousand years ago. Now, imagine someone who is all in on that particular reality, and trying to make sense of it in the modern world. That's me.

Occasionally reading my bible brings new perspective to my life. Seeing through the eyes of a memoir, or a repetitive series of coined sayings recovered from oral tradition and framed to proclaim a gospel to a specific group of people. It's refreshing to go into it in what I call "easy difficulty," wherein the context and historicity of the scriptures gets completely thrown out, in favor of a layman's reading. I learn new things, like Jesus's cattiness or the urgency of those asking him for help. Jesus takes things slow, ramps up to the climax. It reminds me that our fears and worry are never as severe as they seem. Everything boils at 210 degrees, but our bullshit is lukewarm.

I've begun the process of putting together a second book in the interim, an anthology of works. I started writing them shortly after finishing my second novel draft, something to keep me active and fresh for when I got back my notes. The result was a meditation on Americana.What is the "frontier?" How has its disappearance changed the meaning of the "American Dream?" Is there even a dream worth pursuing anymore? Was there ever a "dream" to begin with? The novella includes 4 shorts and an epilogue. Currently, approximately, 82 pages. Included in the backmatter are a few shorts that I've written in the recent past that I will be revisiting. They all seem to originate on the eve of Trump's election, the catalyst of this whole period. I feel pretty good about the material and I'm hoping for a release early next year. Stay tuned...

That is how life is right now. It's tenuous, day-by-day, which is not all so bad considered the alternative. I like the flexibility and freedom to walk away from a project to bang out another. Its refreshing and constructive. I'll never be the person that "labors" over their masterpiece for a decade. We change too quickly. Our states of mind are too ephemeral to compose a consistent narrative. While the first draft is composed over a two-four year period, the second draft (the most important, also) is where the narrative coalesces. The hard days are coming, but I always find a way to get through them.

For Halloween I dressed up as our company mascot for a costume contest. Even though the prize was $100 and it cost me $200 to make, the admiration of my co-workers was payment enough. That's a bit of an overstatement, actually. But it was one of those moments in my life where I wanted to commit to a vision and see it through. Our swan song of present culture is one of defeat and taking the path of least resistance. In a way, the reality that my costume took third wasn't crushing at all. It was exhilarating that 11 people thought mine the one superior. (Not many actually vote--the winner had 14 votes.)

The "CIO Switch and Receiver Jr."
Better luck next year. 

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