February 16, 2015

Dr. Seuss says it best.waiting

Everyone is just…

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come,

or a plane to go or the mail to come,

or the rain to go or the phone to ring,

or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No

or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite

or waiting for wind to fly a kite

or waiting around for Friday night

or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake

or a pot to boil, or a Better Break

or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants

or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting. (Dr. Seuss, 1990)

Westerners are so obsessed with the order of things: goto school, graduate, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids, raise kids, move, retire. If I could only get through today (or this week, or this month, or this stage of my life), I will be happy. We just continue to wait for that moment when everything comes together. But as soon as things turn our way, we wait for the other shoe to drop; wait to lose everything that we have been working and waiting for. Everyone is just waiting.

This is what occurred to me the other day as I was reading Oh, the Places You’ll Go to my kindergarteners. Later on, as I tried to sit down and make myself write an entry for my post-travel blog, I realized that I have been trying to force this natural order into my writing, which has in turn demotivated me to write.

I had forgotten about what really drew me to Native American literature. Unlike its Western counterpart, an overall theme in Native American literature is that time is circular and nonsequential. The past affects the present and vice versa. It’s all experiences and perspective. This realization opened up new doors for me, spiritually and artistically. When you look back on your life, you will not think in terms of order. Human nature forces experiences into categories of what made you laugh, cry, change, dance, hide, embrace. Why do we force order on life, which is so beautifully/tragically random? We wait for what comes next when we should just live what is happening now. Why not just do what makes us happy and comes naturally?

Then, in the shower where I was forced to stay still and think (without the stress of what needs to be cleaned/done looming over my head), I meshed this worldview with my own writing process for this post-travel blog. Why am I writing about our trip in sequential order? When I think back on our adventure, it comes in vivid scenes that weave into what I am experiencing or feeling that day. Perhaps off topic, but Quentin Tarantino wrote Pulp Fiction from many different perspectives and completely out of order. Vincent Vega (John Travolta) is graphically shot in the head, but just when you are beginning to miss his character, he comes back in the next scene alive and well. And yet, this movie is done so well that you couldn’t even imagine it in sequential order. It just wouldn’t be the same story.

I have known all this for years, and still it is in my nature to force order. However, order need not be required in storytelling.

That’s why I love it.

With that being said, the rest of my blog entries will be told in whatever order I see fit. I am Author. I am Creator.


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