Okay, down to cases. I haven’t posted in several days. Why? General emptiness of head. Dunno, mebbe exhaustion, mebbe the lack of something necessary for cognitive function, mebbe just the general shock and distraction of modern life creeping in around the edges—it’s been an intense (though very nice) month.
In any case, I have approximately one week to write two papers and my reading remains well behind curve. Also, the head office is sending people to train me in more touchy stuff again at work. In addition to these other tasks, my (professional) writing is suffering, I have to get busy and get some shit done on that front because I feel as though I’m only just barely holding up my end of the bargain.
Speaking about writing, I’m not doing enough of it, nor am I reading enough. Biggest reason: time management. Not poor time management, really, just the fact of time management. My time right now is relatively regimented and regularized. This is not the way I function. I woke up at 8.00 this morning with a mind full of words and the absolute drive to read and write. In another time and place, I’d have rolled straight out of bed and over to the laptop and probably been typing still. Instead, all through shower/shave/dress I was running over phrases and thoughts again and again in my head, trying to locate in my mind’s eye some point during the day at which I could get them all down. Of course, then I had to go get on the subway and cross town. Then I had to work for four hours. Then I had to walk to school and get something to eat. Now here I am, finally, in the afternoon—and there are no more words or phrases or ideas; these were around hours ago. The same goes for reading. Frankly, right now it appears to me to be siesta time, not study time. Everything is bathed in a kind of haze of perception.
The most productive periods in my life (big ‘P’ productive) have been those during which I kept extremely irregular hours. The least productive have been those in which I kept extremely regular, rational hours with a well-defined, productive (small ‘p’ productive) schedule.
It seems to me that creativity/inspiration/high-order function and labor/responsibility/rationality are fundamentally functionally opposed, perhaps because they have primordially different natures. High-order function of the most representative kind embodies a certain openness and deep metaphorical intuition. Analysis itself is perhaps the apex of metaphorical thinking. Labor and generally socially adaptive behavior, on the other hand, require concessions, socially conscribed thought processes, and disciplined (i.e. categorical, compartmentalized) action.
Basically all the traveling I’ve ever done has been a) North American and b) completely without aim. That is to say: depart almost on a whim, drive until I’m tired of driving, stop and see what’s around, have a local bite and a local brew and find a local bed, c) move on.
I suppose I have always known that most people plan for travel, and that for most lifestyles one must plan if one wants to get out. I’ve just never had to confront that mechanical reality before. Now, however, I think I sort of do: there will be no “spontaneous” wandering for me for a while. If I want to go somewhere, I’ll have to dream up the plan in advance, then actually execute it.
I find this to be a little foreign and also mildly intimidating.
To what extent do basic avoidance and contrariness figure into my life? Can such a question ever be honestly answered? (By me, I mean?)
I want to read a novel so badly right now I’m about to start having convulsions. Of course I won’t because there are things that I’m paying to do that really, really need to be done.
Posting to this blog is not one of them.