Ive been thinking about things unexplored quite a bit recently (note yesterdays change in the Clapboard tag line), and Josh, a guy that runs a board I read regularly, compared the unexplored places in our psyches to the old maps that had large uncharted areas on them. There were always sea monsters in the empty spots, speaking directly to our fear of the unknown. He wrote: “The Old World mapmaking shorthand for areas nobody really explored or knew too much about was Here There Be Dragons, and I think that is actually sort of an old wisdom. When you go off the map, off-book, off script, you need to have an unerring sense of self, direction, and purpose– otherwise you quickly can get lost and confused.”
There are moments in the irrational parts of my life when I feel like the dragons should be my best friends, and might be the only things out as far as I am. I know, rationally, that lots of people are doing what Im doing, that lots of people have it harder, professionally, socially, personally, whatever, but its not a matter up for comparison, really. Im more sort of talking about the things that you think about when youre alone in the dark with no external forces to act as a rudder. Do I have an unerring sense of self? of purpose? Usually I think I do. Usually.
Whatever – its just going through my head. Better than a poison-tipped arrow going through my head, Ill bet. Better than a frickin laser beam.
Ive been working on some backstory for the “guy who disappears into Brooklyn” story recently, and, while its fulfilling to be writing prose, Ive realized that the story is floating without a rudder (two rudder references in the same post? Im just a nautical FOOL this morning). Im not happy about that, but I think its some mild testament to the fact that Im a little more mature as a writer that I recognize it early. Ive been in a situation like this before and written reams of nonsense, not realizing that while what I was working on was satisfying to me, it wasnt *going* anywhere because I didnt have, say, a plot. Thats sort of where I am now. I think Ill work a little more on the backstory anyway, just because it is fulfilling to me to write it, but never lose sight of the fact that Im sort of wasting my time because Im not writing towards anything.
Last note of the morning is that its still taking me twelve minutes to climb the hill in the morning. Ive definitely hit my first real plateau. I recognize that its going to be hard to shave *minutes* off a 12-minute climb, but Ive always sort of been aiming for ten. Im starting to wonder if I shouldnt start doing the thing twice. Its weak, though, because Im not in good enough shape cardio-wise, to really make use of the climb (I still feel like Im going to either die or throw up every time I do it), but I just have to keep telling myself that if I keep at it, Ill eventually see some results.
That is all for now. Thanks for reading.