Not gold

According to my Facebook feed, a lot of people in the U.S. are watching the Golden Globe Awards right now.  I am not.  Nor, I’ve decided, am I going to try to catch up on Downton Abbey so that I can watch tonight’s episode.  Maybe after Stubb gets home (next week!) we’ll find a show to start watching together, as we did The Tudors and Rome at different times in the last several years.  It doesn’t have to be a historical drama, even–it could be The Wire or Friday Night Lights or something else that people were praising to the skies awhile ago.  Maybe I’ll poll my students.  (Castle and American Horror Story are two that I keep hearing about.)  Maybe the Snork Maiden will want to join us, even.

But tonight, I have to finish the financial aid application and the laundry.  My Friday got less pressed because the admissions director emailed to make sure I knew about the FA deadline and to offer that I could take the weekend to finish up this part of the application–I gratefully took her up on this, of course.  I did turn in provisional versions of my exams (not saying that they were provisional, but fully intending to edit and proofread), and I ran review sessions in my classes, and everything went basically OK.  I did some more of the FA application earlier today but then had to leave to take the Snork Maiden to a friend’s birthday fondue party.  I stopped at SA while she was there and did a couple of small things that will make tomorrow go more smoothly, I hope.

I’ve now written Morning Pages for twelve days straight, and I have to say that I think this is a pretty good habit to get into.  It skims the top layer of scum off my mind, and although I don’t think very much during the rest of the day about whatever it is I wrote, I am conscious of feeling calmer and more focused generally.

I started writing them in the mostly-used notebook I had with me when we were visiting Stubb, and I was looking forward to starting a new notebook.  I even had one at hand–a Decomposition Notebook that one of my students gave me, along with some incense and an incense holder, as a holiday gift in December 2012.  (Yes, it seemed like a slightly odd gift, but if you imagine the kind of student who would give you an incense holder and a blank composition book, that’s pretty much who she is.)  I hung on to all three things for a while and finally threw out the incense and the holder–I dislike the smell of incense.  Unfortunately, the book–which I was delighted to receive–absorbed the smell of the incense and when I sat down a couple of mornings ago to write in it for the first time, I could still smell it.

I’m not chemically sensitive in the medical sense, but I am very aware of smells.  I recently spent $8 at CVS on a fragrance I don’t think I will ever actually wear because sniffing it takes me back to eighth grade.  Sometimes I stop at the Lancôme counter to smell the Trésor tester because it reminds me of a friend who used to wear it.  If there’s garlic or onion on my fingers, I have to go rub them on the stainless-steel faucet until the odor disappears.  Anyway, I just don’t think I can use this book.  Maybe the Snork Maiden can.

So I decided to try typing Morning Pages for a couple of days until I could get a new notebook.  Cameron recommends handwriting: “When we write by hand, we connect to ourselves. We may get speed and distance when we type, but we get a truer connection–to ourselves and our deepest thoughts– when we actually put pen to page.”  She also points out that because we write more slowly than we type, we notice more and have more time to anticipate what we’ll say next.  Though she’s probably right, I am finding that I get a pretty good sense of connection when typing if I make the page so small (20% view) that I really can’t see what I’m writing.  I think more about what I’m saying, and I’m more aware of the words forming between fingers and laptop keys, much as the words form between pen and paper when I write by hand.  When I handwrite the pages, I write fast and messily–I rarely make an actual spelling error, but if I tried to reread them, there would surely be words I’d puzzle over.  When I type without being able to read what I’m writing, I don’t correct any errors unless it’s a correction that I make automatically while typing.  And as with the handwritten pages, I don’t reread.


2 responses to this post.

  1. I did my first Morning Pages today, hoping to make it a habit. Also, I can’t recommend “Friday Night Lights” highly enough–one of those shows that haunts you and makes you feel completely immersed in their world.


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