Before you get too excited, I’m not writing about actual time travel today. Until someone gets the physics figured out, your best chance for time travel is finding a spacial anomaly. Of course that’s risky. You may not end up at your desired point in time, and it may cause a dimensional shift instead of, or in addition to, time travel.
"The Time Tunnel" 20th Century Fox
The time travel I propose involves looking back at your previous writing. I do this most often when I’m having trouble writing new material. I get out my old notebooks (even the ones from back in high school) and flip through the pages. I don’t think my writing was as good back then (at least I hope I’ve improved), but sometimes I stumble across something I can use now.
I’ve written before about my slush pile of lines that don’t yet have poems in which they belong. That’s often how these old poems work. Even if I’m embarrassed by the work of young Randall, I find individual lines that work well. I then use these lines as a prompt for a new poem. Sometimes it isn’t a line but an idea. I may find that I inadequately approached a theme 10 years ago that I’m now ready to try again.
You don’t always need such a utilitarian approach. Sometimes I just look through my old notebooks to remember. It takes me back to that time but with the knowledge and experience I now have. It can be fun to relive those times. It can be frightening. No matter what emotion(s) arise, sometimes one just needs to remember from whence he/she came.
At 28, I’m not the same writer, I’m not the same person, I was at 18. At 38, I’ll be yet again a different person. Life is a journey, and there are moments when interrupting the linear flow of time is exactly what we need.
Mark Doty is a highly accomplished contemporary poet, but there’s a distinct lack of pretension in his work. His poems suggest a mind that is always surprised and elated by life’s experiences. And he invites us to appreciate life with him. Here’s a 2009 reading at Cornell University:
This U2sday happens to fall on Saint Valentine’s Day, so I thought it fitting to feature one of the band’s love songs.
“Even Better Than the Real Thing” appeared on U2′s 1991 album Achtung Baby and was released as a single in 1992. Even if you’re cynical about Valentine’s Day, at least the music video has Bono in leather pants. Enjoy.
After a terrible autumn and a couple months of recovery, I stand ready to reboot my blog.
I’m not actually standing.
When I started this blog, I tried to make it a writing blog, one that would just focus on my writing process and products, but I think broadening my scope will help my update consistency. Many posts will still be about writing and/or reading, but, sadly, I no longer feel comfortable sharing poems here (I caught someone using one without crediting my authorship).
In addition to broadening my topic base, I will also try following a schedule. Whatever that is. I hope sharing my proposed schedule will provide a sort of accountability, especially if you harass me when I fail to follow it.
Here is what I have in mind:
Method Monday–about my writing process
U2sday–about an Irish band that’s had some success
Wordplay Wedsnesday–words, words, words
Random Thursday–What?! This one isn’t alliterative (unless we consider that Thursday is often abbreviated with an R)
Favorite Friday–about a favorite author
Saturday and Sunday will be left open. I might post; I might not.
So that’s the plan.
(Plan is subject to change with or without notice. Blog interest rates are variable, but I’ll always loan you money for less than payday lenders charge.)