Today I reverted to writing in my desktop version of Microsoft Word. Additionally, today was a day where it seemed like a good idea to shave my beard (well technically it was yesterday, but for dramatic purposes I’ll go with it). Your right that is a double whammy. Not only did I revert to writing in a desktop application, but also, I’m doing this writing today without a beard. That may or may not make a difference, but it changed my mood and how I relate with the world. Seriously, it has been over a year since the last time the wind hit my face directly. From time to time I can feel the cold hitting my face. That is a real thing and it is somewhat unsettling. Maybe that is enough to get going and to get writing at a higher clip. Sometimes getting outside of your comfort zone can help ramp up the words.
Sunlight was just showing up on the horizon. Daybreak was about to happen and the clouds were holding back the sunrise for just a few more moments. It was a magical time of day. A world of different possible futures existed at that moment. Driving behind a windshield enclosed in a car it was like watching a painting. Things never really felt fully tangible during the morning commute. It happened every day. These things happened every day all over the country. Maybe this one was going to be the best ever or it might just be another in a long string of things that happened. Every little bit of color that appeared on the horizon took a second to process. It was something that should be magical, but it was just going to be gone. These things never lasted very long. Most of the time it happened without any appreciation or anybody documenting it for posterity. In some ways the moment was fleeting without purpose or necessity. Maybe this round of daybreak would be more impactful. Today just might be the day where things happened. It just might be the day where things turned around from promising to perfection.
Somebody in the distance was shouting, “next.” Maybe they were just shouting something that sounded like that word. It was really had to tell, but it was enough to make me wonder exactly what was going to be next. The day started off with a drive to work and from there it was mostly the same thing with different people every day. Sometimes you appreciate the routine and sometimes you start thinking that maybe more would be better. The idea of more remains powerful to some extent. Opening the door to what might be possible is highly dangerous in terms of potential disappointment. Imagination quickly can outpace the possible. Sometimes the things that are happen in your routine are good enough. They are not just past perfect or anything, but they are good enough to make a go out of it. That is the real questionable part of planning to move on and do something else. It really does discount the value of the things that are happening now. Comparing a vision of a perfect possible future to the contemporaneous value of the now means knowing the moment and the possible. Boiling it down to just that thought could be enough to help figure some things out. It might be a good roadmap for that type of consideration or it could just be a distraction from plunging forward with a single minded purpose that gets things done.
Most of the drive was now over and the sunrise still stood off to the side now. Turning down this road was enough to put the morning light show off to the side of the car. It was out of my main field of view. Maybe that was an analogy for something that should be apparent or maybe it was literally what happens when you turn down this road. Roads are build in a variety of directions and some of them go directions other than East or West. Parking would be easy enough at this hour. Maybe that first deep breath outside the confines of car would be full of the smell of fresh cut grass. It could be of something else entirely. Maybe some standing water from that ditch had built up a smell of some type over night. Either way at this point the sunrise no longer seemed to be drawing my attention. All of my thoughts were focused on that first breath. Pretty much the entire day now rested on the positive or negative value of that moment. Sure that might seem like a reach, but it was about to happen. It was about to happen with one good pull on the car door handle…
Probably the most compelling aspect of reading a traditional newspaper is the daily summary aspect of the whole experience. It brings you a highly curated summary of the previous day in a highly expected and repeatable way. One of the hardest elements of giving up reading daily newspapers is the ongoing dialogue or the continuity of events that reading the same writers day in and day out brings you. For better or worse they bring a certain degree of perspective to each article. Maybe it is the continuity of a curated set of materials that I really truly miss. My current news routine involves digging into the Google News feed and reading the things the algorithm things are both important and will draw my attention. That is not as fulfilling or it lacks something compared to what I remember form before. It is entirely possible that the algorithm is not as fulfilling as what the editors were curating by hand. Maybe they brought enough things together that they caught my attention.
This week should prove to be very interesting. Today for the first time in a long time my thoughts aligned on what it means to be a good academic. Accepting that writing a paper every 4 months is the minimum standard to publishing or at least writing 3 solid papers a year. You might think that sounds pretty basic and that accepting that would be easy enough to achieve. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It has not been the case and it is only sort of becoming the case right now. Last year based on my personal standard for writing, I was not a well behaved academic writer. Sure I wrote a ton of words and some of them were interesting. More of those words should have been devoted to academic purposes. This will be the year that I get back on track. It should be easy.
For some inexplicable reason the dog woke up 6 times last night and that was enough to kick start my day way before sunrise. Most of the time when I get woken up during the early hours of the morning I cannot go back to sleep. Being awake right now provided an opportunity to look at the window at the darkness and start to write a bit without interruption. Maybe that is worthwhile or maybe a few more hours of sleep would have been better. A few notes have been taken in my Moleskine sketchbook. Right now I’m still using that medium nib Parker Sonnet fountain pen that I picked up last year to scribble down notes on unlined sketchbook paper. I have always preferred to take notes or write down my thoughts on unlined paper. Today is going to be a big day in Kansas City. Like a good portion of the western united states it snowed last night here in Denver and from what I can tell in Kansas City as well. Today will be an interesting playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts. My plan is to have my trusty ASUS Flip Chromebook at the ready during the game to capture any thoughts between eating nachos and watching the game.