It all started with a source who was supposed get back to me. Between calls from telemarketers about my expired warranty for a car I wrecked, my credit cards or that one about my errant social security card requiring a visit from the police, I figured I’d never answer the phone to take that call. The Berkeley, California street performer Rick Star said it best. “They never call you back from Hollywood.” That’s a testament to how persistent you need to be in this life. You have to keep calling.
Figuring out what I would write for my next blog post meant the return of certain feelings. Anxieties, from deadlines no one’s really counting on and a lack of confidence about the idea–strongly felt at this point, crept in. Weirdly, this idea inspired me. It’s an attempt to allow readers to crawl around in my brain to get a glimpse at the inner workings of this blog. Every two weeks or so, I peck out another missive to another form of hidden creativity. I’m trying to offer a respite to a mad world and insulate you from whatever political, social or COVID-19 variant upheaval it out there. I’m working hard and sometimes it is hardly working.
Lately it’s been a few other things in the way. Maybe my time management skills are flawed. I did start recording a poetry album, seriously, with this guy, and there’s still always the monthly TV show. What I’m not doing is organizing my time to do the research. Case in point I have tons of photos of different sidewalk stamps. It’s an idea I may have borrowed from the Pittsburgh Orbit. Nonetheless, it occurred to me that I don’t have much to say other than to offer a glimpse at these various stamps and to increase people’s awareness that they exist. A memo to the research department will get them digging into finding out who the guys are that built all the Portland sidewalks. They deserve a bit of acknowledgement.
My organizational lag may have something to do with the pandemic and the upheaval it caused to plans, schedules and the jumbled mess it’s made of my mind. It’s an easy thing to blame. Life was strange early on when everything was cancelled. But as things kinda, sorta, have comeback to normal my biggest challenge is dealing with all the preparations necessary to leave the house. Has anybody seen my mask? Those times were a bit unnerving in the Trump era. News of the pandemic before the vaccination felt like we were living in a sci-fi zombie movie. Then there was that feeling. Will the pandemic be stopped? It’s been gradual but I’ve been able to find a bit of breathing room.
So here it is in the fourth paragraph: The Truth. I’ve become one of those blocked up writers, procrastinating, avoiding, the guy who has every other thing to do rather than meet the needs of his readers. I’m letting car crashes, broken teeth–not mine, possibly rat poisoned dogs and work get in the way. The whole poetry thing is proof that I really can’t string a sentence together, only fragments. It’s never not been about not having ideas, there are plenty. It’s more to do with getting along with this scattered brain and making the time and finding the peace and quiet to sit down and think. All of this reminds me of the very old Saturday Night Live skit about Don Corleone from the Godfather movies going to therapy. The shrink kept telling him. “Vito, you’re blocking out.” Well, I have to tell you right now, at this moment, this typing feels great.
Don’t worry, my photo archive reveals plenty of ideas for blog posts. Dear God, I will return. I’m reminded of the principles of which this blog was founded, the search for unexpected creativity in the ordinary—fences, mailboxes, sidewalks. It’s a matter of hoofing it out to get the story and the glory. The obvious is to go back to the basics and reevolve from there. I really meant to write reevolve and not revolve. I learned something this week in a fourth grade classroom, something I’m sure I already knew but had forgotten. The world is tilted. No wonder everything is wonky.