Monday, April 30, 2012

Blessed are the ListMakers

This is a post from my morning pages completed at These early posts are frequently disconnected, semi-cohesive train-of-thought ramblings, and they very seldom see the light of day. I recently re-read this entry from September last year and it resonated a bit with me - perhaps because it is a product of my sleep-fogged brain. If you're interested in writing, sign up and get started writing your own 750 words a day. It's kind of fun! 

What is it with the ability to know anything at all, with the ideas that we float along in our heads, the half structured, the impending and the unknown tangible fleeting moments that scuttle around in our minds as we weave our ways through the day. Carrying in our minds this impending activity - one that, while started can never really be finished - that there's no urgency, only a vague kind of responsibility, a light and unfettered dusting of supposed-to, once that has gone, and it is so easily resplendent in the galaxy that we live in, so shy to coyly place the idea into another compartment, to weave through the distractions with years of deft, practiced skill, and to shine through the many different ways that the smoke haze delicately shovels itself around the notions in my brain, throughout the swollen strings and colorful moments of distraction. There are impending notices, messages, retrieved from the far away places, the recesses, the bell that rings with it's grey doldrums, diffusing the game into a societal discharge of scattered children, that run like marbles from a glass jar, speckled and chaotic, to the line where we all stand, waiting for the queue to form the next line to get out of the place that we are all in.

Should we ever allow the caterwauling piercings to puncture and probe their way into those comfortable places, then the guilt would set upon us like a jackal, like an old enemy, with a harsh momentary lapse of sensibility, that would sting with resolve and the methods of past, abandoned shuttles of collective responsibility and the right thing. We would feel apprehended by ourselves, because in truth, that is precisely what we would be. There is too much pain to be found in the process of sitting down and completing a task - it is too hard, too much like something else we might do, there are other responsibilities, more important other responses, that make up a list.

A long and weaving list of things that need to be done. It's horrendous, how this list seems to be a solution to the problems. Take the load off, unburden those responsibilities, and add them into a list. Then take the list, and abandon it, ignore it, let it to its job of removing the bodies stress, and sense of pending completion by capturing those sentiments down into a level of ink and paper, or bits lined up in a solid state hard drive in a very particular way. Breathe out. Let it go. Leave all those pressing tasks down there, and leave it all behind. Shed your pressures and stress, make a list. And then walk away, secure in the knowledge that you can't possibly forget to complete those things - they are on a list, after all.

And you walk away as the candle burns down, and the list is left there, abandoned - that thought, that half-formed proposal, or half-hearted promise, suddenly coalesced into a task and written down. So, all sorted out then.

Except that it was a moment, when there is too much to do, when the pressure of satisfactory builds up to a point where it is a skyscraper of bleak unmoving unhappiness, were you simply have to let it go. You have to mark all those tasks as complete, knowing full well that the tasks are not, and will never be complete. You have to get them away from your visibility, and into a kind of task purgatory, where things aren't done or not done - not completed or pending, or waiting on another. They're just there - marked as complete, but not done in any way, just - there. A record of a moment when you were organized, when you had full intent that you would be able to complete the activitiy, just a hopeless, disorganizes representation of the kind of person that you really are, but that your subjective ego won't let you see. And you see it, in those red, overdue tasks. When you know, in the heart of your hearts, that you will not be doing those things. And you never really had any intention of doing them in the first place, and as a result, while it makes you feel vaguely sad, it doesn't make you feel sad enough to be motivated.

Every day is a test - from the east to the west. It's easy to forget that this is who we are.