Friday, September 7, 2012

What I've Seen

Well, since last time promising to "see" more, I have seen a few things:

the confluence of the Red Cedar and the Iowa Rivers--a lovely, not much visited spot in a town called Columbus Junction. When we were there last Sunday we were by ourselves on a trail through the woods along the Cedar River. And we couldn't help but see what had been left behind--plastic water bottles, beer cans,plastic bags, even blankets. Reminded me of Pigpen from the Peanuts comic strip, who always was surrounded by a cloud of dirt. I guess some people just trail stuff, litter, junk. It must fall out of their pockets, off their shoulders faster than they can pick it up.

But I didn't just see junk--in my swiss chard/tomato garden I saw this one nearly perfect tomato. I want to save seeds and grow more of these next year. They are not as red as grocery store tomatoes on the outside, but inside they are sweet and juicy and tomato heaven.

And today, I've seen this gorgeous bread my friends and I baked this morning--polenta asiago (makes really great sliced tomato sandwiches).

But that's not much to see in a week. What got in the way of seeing more? Of course there was all that time spent watching speeches at the Democratic Convention. But, really, there was something else.  And I think it's called Doubt, doubt that I'm getting it, getting onto the page what I want to get on to the page.  Doubt is like fruit flies in summer--too often present and hard to eradicate. And it makes me jumpy, unfocused.

So my plan is to write more, be crazy, write ridiculous, write more, take more chances, continue looking. And keep the kitchen counters clean. 

What do you do about fruit flies--of all kinds?


  1. The polenta asiago bread looks divine. And I bet it did make for the perfect tomato sandwich!

    As far as the fruit flies comin' around? Well, they'll always do that--those pesky little ear buzzers. So, more swatting, but even more typing will do. For the more time I spend in a story world, the less I think about or "see" the real world. So those flies can populate all they want, but the Muse's whisper is louder than their cumulative, endless buzz. :)

    Great post, J! Lots to think about, as always. :)

  2. Those pesky little ear buzzers...isn't pesky a great word. I think you are right, more time in the story world, deeper into the story world, actually the bic treatment.
    Great to hear from you.

  3. "Pesky" is a fine word, indeed! :) I do think there is truth to the BIC method in relation to the way it can extinguish doubt (while writing) anyway. I used to run track and field, play soccer, etc. I always entered "the zone." Can't tell you how, but all I know is that while in the zone, my worries about faster time, longer jump, slide-tackling, stumbling over a hurdle, etc. etc. went away. I realized that the more I practiced (full-heartedly and with guts), I was more likely to enter that zone--and hence more likely to do so during a meet or in a game. I've realized that the same mentality, work ethic, etc. is required of a writer. We can surpass our own expectations, write more, write better, "see" better, the more we practice doing all of the above (full-heartedly and with guts). Just my two-cents, though! :)

    Great to hear from you, J! :)

  4. I like your two cents, worth way more!

  5. Aww, shucks, J. Well, cheers to a new week of "seeing" better, writing more, and doing so with all the guts we can muster. :) Happy new week to you and yours!