Monday, July 18, 2016


I have been participating in The Write Practice, an online group which provides training and practice opportunities to writers. I wrote the piece below as a practice exercise and was quite pleased with the results. Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Exhausted, nose and sinuses clogged. Like a drain. Weather’s nice today. Summer cold. What a dumb thing, summer colds. Daughter wants to go to the library. We do. It’s a fine day, not too hot like it has been. At the library I check out Ray Bradbury’s “I Sing The Body Electric.” We go to the park after. Maybe I’ll try out this new Pokemon game. I do. It’s silly. More fun to watch the young people playing it than to actually play it myself. I have Bradbury to read.
My daughter wants to climb a tree. I set aside smart phone and Bradbury and we climb into the only suitable climbing tree in the park. We sit together on a branch. There is bird poop up here. We can see all around. People playing on the playground. Playing Pokemon GO. Enjoying the sunshine or the shade, each as he or she prefers.
My daughter wants to get down. She wants to jump down, but she is nervous. I point out the ground isn’t that far below her feet. It doesn’t help her relax. I jump down myself, show her it isn’t so hard. She follows. The experience was about as disappointing for her as the Pokemon game was for me.
We’re home now, and I’m typing my practice. Word association. Stuffy head. Stuffy-achy-fever-so-you-can-rest medicine, or something like that. Half-remembered slogans. I still remember the product, though, so that’s a win for the advertising agency. Nothing like a memorable ad where I can’t remember what the product or service was. I think of trees. Of childhood. Why does time always escape into the past? Is it lost forever? We only have memories of it. Memory is fragile. I know. As a magician, I count on it. Mandela Effect and all. So many people thinking their version of reality is the only valid one. Or the most valid, anyway. But none of us even perceives reality. Not the REAL reality. If there is such a thing. For our subjective experience, reality is merely a construct, an approximation of what the world is. Then we act on it as if it is real.
Too many distractions. Not from writing, but from everything. Our brains filter out so much of what happens, just so that we can make sense of what’s left. Then we have a memory of sitting in a tree with our daughters and don’t understand quite what happened up there.
Distractions. Pokemon. I’ve been reading about people stepping into traffic while playing that game. Or the teen who nearly ran over a three-year-old while chasing one of the mythical beasts. Not reality at all.
My girl wants to read to me, cutting my practice short. The words she will read are another version of reality. In the end, hearing her voice is worth it all.

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