I want to return to writing in earnest

Last Thursday, in a 1-1/2 hours session at the Free Speech Movement Cafe, I had one of the most productive spurts of work-oriented creativity in a while. There’s something incredibly freeing about sitting before a pad of blank paper with several pens, some-multicolored, letting my mind wander in structured serendipity. At some point, I might scan in some of my “mind maps”/”cognitive maps”/scribbles to show better what I’m trying to do on paper that I have yet to pull off on a computer. I’m not one to insist that I’ll be able to fully replace paper with digital media such as some researchers are aiming to. I like paper and pens and pencils too much to throw them out. And I skeptical about embedding digital technology into pen and paper fully — though I’m prepared to be wrong on that front.

While I’m excited about my semi-verbal, visually situated, personally meaningful, even colorful mind maps, I’ve also been anxious to return to writing on my weblogs and in many other different forums. I have found writing to be an equally important way to sort out what’s really going on in my head. There’s writing to myself — and then there’s writing for other people. Of course, writing for others can take on many forms, but I have found the free form writing of my wiki and blog to be very liberating. There’s an energy there that I often lose in more formal writing.

So what’s the bottom line here? I will write more — that’s all I can hope to do. And as I write more, I hope that quality of expression and depth of thought will gradually increase.

Breezes and Strong Winds

A number of developments has pushed me to become more expressive, more courageous in that expression, more honest, more open to new possibilities, including that of being shown to be wrong. It’s been a rather vertiginous time — but it’s been like a sweet breeze blowing through the somewhat musty chambers of my life, mind, heart, body, and soul. I am, however, bracing myself for the whirlwind that is surely to follow. This anticipation, mind you, is not pessimism or the thought that all good things must come to an end. Not at all. Rather, it is the anticipation that if I am open to the truth and to life as much as I can embrace, then I will be profoundly unsettled. A lot of days, I’d rather have the gentle breeze than the hurricanes. Yet I need to remember that whirlwinds, though absolutely overpowering, can also be the very presence of God (see, for example, Job 38:1-3: “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: ‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.'”” For someone who is pretty good at questioning others, I need to keep in mind what it might feel to be questioned by the One who knows all.)