April 19, 2011

the powerful play goes on

I'm here, although a bit late.
I said spring, didn't I?

As you know, I shut most of my online-self down around the first of the year, figuring the wild, wonderful Canada Reads ride would give you enough to read, hear and see of me without my endlessly chirping along in the blogosphere as well. :-) It seems so long ago now, but please know that I am forever grateful for your support and enthusiasm during that amazing, busy time!

In turning down the volume on the non-stop buzz of the Internet, I also hoped to find balance between creativity and the webby corners of my brain. There's lots of talk these days about the value of the net vs. the net's ability to drive a wedge into the creative process. Only speaking for myself, I can say with confidence that my long-term projects tend to thrive when I limit (and strategically halt) my "connectivity."

"And so we ask the Internet to keep interrupting us in ever more varied ways. We willingly accept the loss of concentration and focus, the fragmentation of our attention, and the thinning of our thoughts in return for the wealth of compelling, or at least diverting, information we receive.
What we're experiencing is, in a metaphorical sense, a reversal of the early trajectory of civilization: We are evolving from cultivators of personal knowledge into hunters and gatherers in the electronic data forest. in the process, we seem fated to sacrifice much of what makes our minds so interesting."
 - Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.


In recent days, I've also been struggling to find a new kind of balance in my life after the sudden loss of my father. When I started writing my second novel, both my parents were still alive. I had no idea that I would be without both of them as this process came to a close.

It's too soon for details, too fresh in the heart. (Except to say that cancer has done many terrible things to far too many people in my life (and in every one's lives.)

These are days of wandering, of the sun coming up far too early.
I've yet to understand what it means to be an orphan.
Thank heavens for family, friends and poetry. I have turned to the arms of loved ones, and the words of T.S. Eliot ("April is the cruelest month,") and Auden's Funeral Blues, and again and again to Whitman, who always manages to see me through.

I'll write more soon, but until then, I wish you a better today than yesterday, and a heart that beats with hope (even when it frets) towards tomorrow.

peace,
Ami

166. O Me! O Life! (Walt Whitman from Leaves of Grass)

O Me! O Life! ...of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless - of critics fill'd with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light - of the objects mean- of the struggle ever renew'd;
Of the poor results of all- of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest-with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring-What good amid these, O me, O life?

                                      Answer.

That you are here-that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.