Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Thoughts While Listening to Hail Stones Falling on a Tin Roof

When we first moved to San Francisco, six years ago this past Sunday, Brian and I were completely befuddled by how green it was, when it never seemed to rain. We'd come from just outside Boston, leaving behind two feet of snow and freezing rain that seemed to blow in horizontally from underneath the railroad bridge two blocks from our house. Green was a revelation. Sunny was another.

By the time we'd lived here a full year, we had figured out San Francisco's secret: nonstop rain from November to February, leaving green hills that slowly turn to gold as the summer extends dryly into fall once again. This year, the rain's been lingering into March, with blue-sky sunny days that suddenly turn into hailstorms, and long cold days like this one, when the sun only makes the briefest appearance.

I've been doing very little lately. Freelance work has dried up, and I've somehow forgotten how to do all the things I wanted to do back when I was working a job and a half while New College was crumbling around me. Every night I fall asleep with schedules running through my head: I'll get up at eight, start writing at nine, and not stop until I've found my groove. I'll walk to the library and research Turing, or Steinmetz, or some one else who will get me excited about ideas again, get me thinking and working and doing, and not just staring at puppies and daydreaming the day away.

It's been a year since I left my job. I've forgotten what it's like to be busy, to fall asleep with a head full of ideas and to wake up scrambling madly to get them all accomplished. Is this just a part of a natural cycle of fertility and fallow-ness? Or do I need to get off my ass and start getting shit done?

At the very least, I should probably clean my room.


momeester said...

Stick with Steinmetz or Caroline Hershell. One hole in children's literature right now is readable biography. There are lots of "servicable for reports" and picture book biographies, but kids are looking for chapter books of just over 100 pages. Landmark did a great series back in the 50,s but they were "flawed" by reconstructed conversations. Today's standard is for kid bio to be just as accurate as adult. I have no problem with accurate, but kids need something that makes the person interesting. So there, there is a challenge for you.

tom said...

Yes, residual memories of dead routines are always problematic. Even worse: the dreams. For ten (or perhaps twenty?) years after escaping an unpleasant ROTC experience in the 1950s, dream experiences of anxiety over not having one's shoes and buttons properly polished (aargh!).

Happily one has so far escaped New College nightmares almost entirely. Perhaps this is because they occurred so vividly in "real life"!
(This must mean the reality of ROTC was nowhere near as bad as the reality of NC.)

(Let us not speak of those hailstorms, lest they return in one minute...)