When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.
~ENRIQUE JARDIEL PONCELA
After I hit “publish” on yesterday’s post, this quote came up. Perhaps I am misunderstanding the point of it, but I don’t think this quote holds true.
Anyone who has read anything I’ve written can tell that it can be read without effort, and I can assure you that great effort did not go into it.
On a larger scale, anything by Danielle Steel, for example – read without effort. And so formulaic that you KNOW it was not great effort to write. On the other hand, anything Toni Morrison has written? Very likely, there was much effort in writing and that writing takes A LOT of effort to read.
So, what am I missing? What is Enrique Jardiel Moncela trying to say that I am missing?
Hello! Come in and have lunch. Just sandwiches but help yourself.
The ringing phone roused her from what could not honestly be called sleep. More accurately, it was a night full of tossing and turning while her mind played out every possible negative scenario. She had tried to sneak in a few possible positive thoughts, but they didn’t get far.
A quick glance at the clock told her that it was 4:05am, and it was time to get ready for the daunting task ahead.
She showered and dressed quickly, all the while avoiding thinking what could be coming. She fed the cats, taking time she didn’t have to sweep up around their bowls. She knew she was delaying the inevitable. It was time to go.
The drive to her first destination, normally a trip that took 10-15 minutes, seemed to take hours. The torrent of thoughts flooding her brain continued to prevent coherent thought.
Finally, she arrived to pick up her passenger. He was pacing. Nervous. Anxious. His partner was equally nervous – talking too much. The needed to leave. She hugged the partner, and ushered her passenger out the door.
The Passenger did his best to keep up a normal conversation, commenting on such mundane things as a trip to the local big-box store, and how hungry he was. She tried to keep present so that he would not notice her unease. She laughed when appropriate and commented on things about which she thought he would be interested. She wanted to keep his mind off things, as well.
When they were almost at their final destination, they were stopped by a train. The building was visible over the trees and surrounding buildings, but the train cars continued to pass. Slowly. In all actuality, they were only stopped for about 3 minutes, but for the Passenger? It was just one more delay. Finally, the train passed completely and they made their way up the hill to the parking lot, and into the building where the Passenger would be staying.
She and the Passenger walked in together – she didn’t want to leave his side until she absolutely had to. They looked around uncertainly until they saw where they would check in. They sat in the waiting area in silence.
The Passenger was taken into a separate room and questioned. It wasn’t long until their escort came to take them into another area, for further questions and preparation. He was weighed and measured, his blood pressure taken, and blood sugar tested. She was taken out of the room when someone came in to do some more personal preparations. As she waited in the room down the hall, the nurse came by to see if she was okay. She was barely holding back the tears or the nerves, but wanted to appear strong for the Passenger. The nurse had an Ativan to give to the Passenger. She wanted the nurse to provide her with one as well. The nurse wouldn’t agree. Understandably.
Finally, it was time. The Passenger was completely prepped, and the gurney was waiting. She waited in the doorway until he was lying down and covered.
The group of four – the nurse, the orderly, the Passenger, and She – made their way to the elevator, where she and the Passenger would separate. The elevator car stopped one floor down, and she was told that she needed to get off there. She hugged the Passenger one more time and told him she loved him. Then she and the nurse exited the elevator car, while the Passenger and the orderly continued their decent.
As soon as the elevator doors shut behind her, the ugly cry started. All the anxiety she had felt for the past few weeks erupted. The nurse waited patiently for her to collect herself again. Then they walked to where the Passenger would be after the operation. The nurse kindly talked her through what would happen, what she could expect, and gave her numbers for checking in. Then, the nurse said the nicest thing – “Take care of yourself. The Passenger needs you.”
And with that, she walked from the building.
Once in the car, she allowed herself one more cry. As she drove toward coffee, she noticed the sky. It was blue – a kind of angry, grey blue that happens before a storm – and pink – a mottled, bright pink that promised hope. The coffee tasted rich and soothing.
She got home, and tried to sleep. It was no good. She got back in her car and drove to the Partner’s house. They could wait together.
The call came. The wait was over.
“Dead man walking” stopped going through her head. Things were going to be fine.
Apparently, I am supposed to be a writer, will be published in the next year, and will become a motivational speaker.
Where did that come from?
I have over-documented love-mostly hate position I currently hold at the Gas ‘n Sip. So I won’t rehash that here. Again. For the billionth time. Last week, I was finally on vacation – first one since the end of 2011. Coworkers were literally begging me to go. True story.
I was done on Friday. Saturday, I went to get my hair did. (It’s lovely, BTW). After that, I wandered around the Port and headed to one of my favorite shops – Leaping Lizards. It is a cute little boutique-y type store that sells crystals and incense and metaphysical books…stuff like that. Even if I don’t buy anything, I feel better going in and playing with stuff.
Anyhoo, I went in, and yadda yadda yadda, I had a reading done with an Angel Reader. I’ve never had an Angel reading before. It’s sort of like Tarot, but she reads your ArchAngels and Goddesses. It was kind of cool. I don’t know how deeply I believe in all that, but I do think there is something to it. She said that I need to find a more creative job (true) and that I need to find something that I love to do that is creative in nature. Okay. I can do that. I asked her if she meant painting or knitting or writing. She said the goddesses were telling her writing – I should take my laptop, go to the beach, and just write.
(Side note: Um… no. If I’m going to write at the beach, it’s going to be with a pen and paper. I don’t need sand all through my laptop. Sure, I know people do it all the time, but with my short-attention span, I would put the computer down, pick it up, put it down, etc. So, no.)
Right before Lois was done, she pulled out her “Ascended Masters” cards. She felt there was one last thing she was being led to tell me. She shuffled, I set the intention, and she drew a card. The card was “WRITE”.
Oh Em Gee, right??
Fast forward to this past weekend. It was my annual Girl Camp weekend. (More about that another time).
A psychic came in on Saturday and for giggles, I went to her too. Bonnie talks with her spirit guide, Henry. I didn’t tell Bonnie anything about my reading from the previous week. She told me that my grandmother is watching over me and is very proud of me. (This is my mother’s mother – whom I have never met because she died when my mom was 13). But that was cool to hear. She knew my mom has cancer, but said she was going to be okay.
Then Henry, out of the blue, said that I am going to be writing a book and that I will be showing it to Bonnie at next years Girl Camp. I told here I’d be charging her full retail.
(Side note: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m betting that it takes longer than 12 months to write, edit, find a publisher, convince them your book rocks, then get it out to the shelves. But, hey, who am I to argue with Henry?)
I just found it interesting that 2 independent parties each told me that I need to write. I would like to think that I have a book in me, but here’s the thing…I don’t have a plot, characters, story line, outline… minor details, I know. And as self-absorbed as I can be, I don’t think I have a memoire-type book in me. There are a few stories, but not a book’s worth.
So, if anyone wants to help me out with ideas, or even get me started as a book reviewer, I will take the help. I have been trying to find book-reviewing gigs, but they are sparse in this area. And unless the Wonder Twins decide to start contributing to the household expenses, I cannot afford to move to a larger city without a stable job.
What say you, my Goddesses and Grandmother? Help a sister out?
“You shouldn’t go in there.”
“I should lose weight.”
“I should be able to do that.”
“You should be able to fit.”
You get the idea.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary that I keep on my desk at work (don’t judge) defines “should” as:
past of SHALL; used as an auxilliary to express condition, obligation or propriety, probability, or futurity from a point of view in the past
I have developed a real hatred of this word, should.
Why “should” I do anything? Who is the supreme ruler of my life that dictates whether I “should” do this or that?
I don’t like to think of “shall” being sullied with an association with “should”. “Shall” is a perfectly lovely word – I shall go meet you for tea. I shall enjoy this meal without guilt. Yes, I shall have that walk with you.
“Should”, on the other hand, just sounds like judgement. Almost as if when you don’t do what you “should” you are a big failure.
“They should get married.”
“You should move to a bigger/smaller/less expensive house.”
“You shouldn’t have paid so much.”
Can we stop with “should”? Even “ought” seems to be a better option. It feels more affirming to me. “They ought to get married.”
Since you are the only one who can decide your state of mind and level of joy, how about you stop “should-ing” on yourself. “I should get up and put that laundry away (because if I don’t, I’ll look like a lazy slob).” Try to “ought” yourself instead. “I ought to get up and put that laundry away, (but I’m so cozy here in this bed/chair/embrace that I will savor this moment a while longer).”
I’m going to stop letting outside influences “should” on me. They don’t know what’s best for me or what’s in my heart or why I am doing/moving/acting the way I am. Mostly, I’m happy. When I let “should” in, that’s when the doubts start. That’s when I question myself.
The next time someone tells me “You should….”, I will look them straight in the eye and ask “Why? Why should I?”
I might try to bring back “shall”, while I’m at it.