Friday, November 4, 2011

OK, computer

When you are writing, do you prefer to use a pen or a computer? (#NaBloPoMo prompt)

I generally type on the computer when I'm writing. It hasn't always been the case. I wonder, yet, if in doing so I hide what I've written, file it away and forget. If I carried a notebook instead, perhaps I would read and reflect more, not to mention capture the little inspirations and thoughts that arise without my knowing it.

I spend most of my day at a computer. I'm trying to break up the consecutive time, at Michele Thebirge's suggestion. From Michele I learned about a meditation timer for the macintosh and downloaded it. When I remember, I activate it, a little chime that gets me away from the repetitive screen staring and typing, pausing and being aware if only for a fraction of a moment (whatever that is.) It's a sharp sound that makes me think of liquid metal or one of those beads rolling in a maze or something like a clock, not like the clapper against an otherwise empty bell.

Mostly I write on and when I reach 750 words I stop, feeling pressed for time or lacking in fortitude, endurance to keep writing. And forget about going back and reading what I wrote before. Maybe you don't forget but I do.

When I was younger, I didn't eagerly learn word processing. Eventually writing out college papers in longhand and then typing them proved to be onerous and editing them as I went using the software saved time considerably. Before that I filled a number of spiral bound notebooks with my daily thoughts. It was as if I was trying to record every event in my life I could think of. And I would become frustrated when the next day came and I hadn't finished telling the story of the previous day. This was especially the case in college when I was more likely to go out drinking rather than write a journal entry. In high school, I had a curfew and journal entries were a welcome way to delay homework.

But I couldn't tell you what I was doing at any time. What I was trying to say or understand. Those notebooks, wherever they are, most likely they are hosts. Fragments echo in my mind that probably have scarcely any connection with the actual events.

I like computers today. Can't imagine doing without one to check email or Facebook or Twitter and follow the resultant links via the browser, but writing something substantial on one, that I can't claim to do.

Maybe I give up too easily, throw up my hands and say I don't know. Something of me prefers the darkness. I read a quote in a library book from the gospel of John, that men preferred the darkness to the light. Maybe so it is with me. I'd rather not get too deeply into whatever it is, avoid the effort of facing the facts and having a choice to solve my problem(s).

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