Friday, March 27, 2015

Little Notebook.

After my post last time about more solitary media, I went out and bought a little notebook. And I'm thoroughly thrilled to report that it has become my go-to for whenever I have an idea now. (Err, except for the stuff that I put here, on the blog!)

In fact, the little notebook is already a fourth of the way filled with snippets of poetry, funny sayings that DIDN'T end up on Twitter, musings over my lunch and happy hour and even an entire rough draft of an essay for a magazine. See the photo below -- I sent the same one to my tutee a few days ago over text message, triumphantly declaring that I "had written a whole essay in mini handwriting in my little notebook" or something like that.

"Cool," he replied, in 15-year-old fashion. 

But it is cool. I've been reaching for the notebook more often than my phone, and that makes me happy. I'd forgotten how much more legit it feels to pull out real paper and a pen, rather than my smart phone like everyone else. 

Yay for being a writer and rediscovering the parts of it that I love!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Social Media Overload, Solitary Media Underload....

First, a list of the different applications and social media whatnots on my phone:


Next, a list of the times I've written something personal, something for myself this week:


This is a problem. I'm spending too much time talking to other people and not enough talking to myself. It would be great if I could compose a diary entry, at least, or edit a poem in complete silence (on a piece of paper with a red pen or something, not on the laptop where someone can IM me).

And to top it off, I've been bitching and moaning about being uninspired and not writing enough.


It's not just me though. (Not that y'all thought it was.) I mean, when I ask a certain teenager whose name shall be unmentioned to write one of the poems for his poetry booklets on a sheet of real paper, I get a reaction like, What? Real paper? Retype it later? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? 

And, as usual, I have trouble arguing my point of view. That there is nothing to distract you from your own ideas with a sheet of paper and a simple writing utensil. And when I (or you) feel less distracted from our own ideas, perhaps we feel less competitive and more peaceful.

I love ideas more than anything in the world, and I love the ideas of others. But I get so freaking bogged down by all the ideas at my fingertips these days, it almost paralyzes me.

If that writer said that beautiful sentence, what will I say? 

Well, the answer is my own beautiful sentence. And who gives a crap if anyone but me reads it? Good gravy, I remember being an adolescent and not even wanting to share my work with anyone. Now, I'm an adult, and it's like if i don't get approval from the masses then i might as well die.

I don't think this attitude is helping me get better.

It's not that I never put down my devices -- i do it every night, right before bed, when i read an actual book or magazine (not on an e reader) before drifting off. But I'm going to have to do better than that.

I'm going to have to start capturing the world in a tiny notebook that I keep in my purse again, just like I did before I became a slave to something outside of myself.

That's all for now.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spiritual Two-Timing: Yay or Nay?

It's a Sunday, and I sit by myself at a church I started gong to after my friends recommended it. Ironically, I just saw my friends from across the sanctuary -- and normally i sit with them -- but it's too late. Here I am, alone in my chair. It makes me honestly take a harder look at why I am here. I mean, I was raised Catholic. And in some ways I still practice Catholicism -- I go to Mass whenever I feel moved to; I honor my background; I say Catholic prayers and I take pictures of cathedrals then sneak inside of them to douse my forehead in holy water while I'm on vacation in other cities.

Whenever I go to a church, the priest, pastor or whomever talks about becoming "a member." But I haven't become a member of any church as a grown person. Sometimes I attend places, and sometimes I even put a couple of bucks in the basket when it comes around, But I haven't declared my official commitment with any place --  not a cathedral, nor a contemporary mega-church, as they are sometimes called.

Sitting here in the mega-church now, I'm enjoying, as usual, the charismatic pastor. He's funny and says things that are useful and relatable. But there are other parts of this place I don't like so much -- the bland decor, the cheesy music, the lack of a liturgical calendar. In short, this church's weaknesses are a Catholic church's strengths. And vice versa. (Anyone who's listened to a priest say a homily lately has probably gotten bored!)

Still, because I grew up Catholic and was baptized Catholic, I never feel phony standing before a Catholic altar. Yet, here i feel like a fraud at times, even though I enjoy the message, and even though it's obviously my choice to be here.

So, I'm posing this question: Is it possible to need more than one church, even more than one style of worship, to be spiritually fulfilled? We require choices in other aspects of life, right? Just as I get my frozen pizzas from Harris Teeter and my wine from Trader Joe's, I feel like I should be able to get my songs from Mass and my speech from right here. I like both.

St. Peter's Catholic Church in Harper's Ferry, WV