Crafting Gentleness

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year on its way

I read a book last night. This is a big deal for me, strange as it may sound. I haven't actively, consciously sat down to read a book for pleasure as an alternative to looking at a screen for many, many months. I had prepped myself, as it happens. I find it interesting that my friend Dougald's blog is all about watching less or no TV. Well, synchronicitously as ever, I've been working on something similar. I have moved my TV out of the sitting room, and have replaced it with an old dual-cassette sound system and record player. To be honest, I've moved my sitting room out of my sitting room as well - my primary socialising space is now my kitchen, complete with sofa and wee wooden boxes to sit on. Anyway, back to the TV, I've moved it upstairs to my bedroom, which hasn't really worked as I prefer to go to sleep without distractions, so I think I'll be unplugging it altogether and moving it to the kitchen larder or garden shed for storage (less damp in the larder).

Last night was a big deal because my resolve was fading. I had done the deed, switched off the TV, and I was going to go out. I was going to go to the local cinema (down the road, close) to see I Am Legend (more relevant as I watched a documentary on Catastrophist Sci-Fi the other day, which was fascinating, all linked into the usual suspects in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, something to be returned to some day), and I was even daring myself to leave early so I could head into a pub on my own in the local bigger town of Strabane (my village is dry, no pub). Anyone that really knows me knows that I'm a little sociophobic and find walking into unknown pubs on my own a little bit daunting, so no surprise that I didn't manage that, but I was going to go to the cinema, really.

But no, I stood fast. I said to myself, I said, if I'm intending to read for pleasure this coming year and I wish to do something pleasurable, then why not stay and read a book? So I did. I read some more of Transforming Education by Elizabeth Minnich. Quite heady for an end of year, but a fine read.

And now I'm writing. Unbelievably. As of today I have started the book that I said I would have finished by last Summer, the book from my Ph.D. I think I have a new idea for it, too, a new direction to get me excited about it again, although not too excited as it can't be allowed to veer too far off track - I still need to get it finished as soon as. I'm aiming to make writing the central part of my life for the next few months, if only to displace the TV. I'm realising that I can write with heart and (somewhat) intelligently at the same time, and sure, I only really have to stay accountable and responsible for what I write, so that's easy, eh? :)

So, New Year's Eve in this part of the world (and a few other parts of the world) tomorrow. My dog Cassie is healing after a minor paw laceration, my cat Nila is traipsing about nonchalantly as she does, my house is considerably cleaner than it was last week (I have had four visitors in two days and no complaints). The weather's not bad at all after a squally couple of nights (Cassie is very fussy about going outside when the wind is howling).

Love to all and a very Happy New Year, may you all hold court with the loving and the courageous in the year to come! :)


May I find the sincerity to leave the doors I'd best not open
The courage to open the doors I can
And the wisdom to know the difference


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