Sunday, January 15, 2017

procrastination prattle

Thought I might start with a poem but decided to skip it.

What’s that? I’m no poet!

Over the course of last year, I did less and less writing by hand, noticing it late in the year but thinking nothing more about it other than a slightly curious and rhetorical “why?”. Then one recent day as I sat at my desk—the desk that is all fairly newly put together and just organized—ready to embark on a legitimate tome—oh yes! Legitimacy! A Tome!—I knew not where to begin—of course, it’s already begun, a piece here a bit there, photos on the wall, photos of all those people whose lives inspire, encourage, mock—so I took out one of my new pens and an old, mostly used-up pad of yellow legal paper, and I began a letter to a friend. Once it was finished, folded, put aside to await its envelope, address, and stamp, I lingered, hands and thoughts in mid-air. How I wished to have another person to write to, by hand.

So much writing is procrastination.

The thousand and one things that get done and thought about, even written about, while preparing to write, but not writing—not writing that one thing you want to write, anyway, or at least think you want to write. Feel you must write.

Ancestors whisper from the wall.

Because it’s destiny.

The friend I wrote to is the kind of person who uses the word “prattle.” What a great word! As I was prattling along in my letter to him, I became increasingly distracted by the piles of photos on my desk. I thought a great title for something or other might be: Prattle & Old Photos. Now, doesn’t sound so good. Maybe: Old Photos & Prattle. Or: Prattle & Letters & Old Photos. Or just: Prattle. (The Prattle of Pea Pickle Farm.) If it were a song: Shake, Prattle, and Roll.

Prattle & Tea
Just You & Me
The Shade of a Tree

Prattle on, merry folk!

So much of writing is procrastination.
presidential prattle
On the fence — it’s not a fence. It’s a wall. You just misreported it. We’re going to build a wall. I could wait about a year-and-a-half until we finish our negotiations with Mexico, which will start immediately after we get to office, but I don’t want to wait. Mike Pence is leading an effort to get final approvals through various agencies and through Congress for the wall to begin. I don’t feel like waiting a year or a year-and-a-half. We’re going to start building. Mexico in some form, and there are many different forms, will reimburse us and they will reimburse us for the cost of the wall. That will happen, whether it’s a tax or whether it’s a payment — probably less likely that it’s a payment. But it will happen. So, remember this, OK? I would say we are going to build a wall and people would go crazy. I would then say, who is going to pay for the wall? And people would all scream out — 25,000, 30,000 people, because nobody has ever had crowds like Trump has had. You know that. You don’t like to report that, but that’s OK. OK, now he agrees. Finally, he agrees. But I say who is going to pay for the wall? And they will scream out, “Mexico.” Now, reports went out last week — oh, Mexico is not going to pay for the wall because of a reimbursement. What’s the difference? I want to get the wall started. I don’t want to wait a year-and-a-half until I make my deal with Mexico. And we probably will have a deal sooner than that. And by the way, Mexico has been so nice, so nice. I respect the government of Mexico. I respect the people of Mexico. I love the people of Mexico. I have many people from Mexico working for me. They’re phenomenal people. The government of Mexico is terrific. I don’t blame them for what’s happened. I don’t blame them for taking advantage of the United States. I wish our politicians were so smart. Mexico has taken advantage of the United States. I don’t blame the representatives and various presidents, et cetera, of Mexico. What I say is we shouldn’t have allowed that to happen. It’s not going to happen anymore. So, in order to get the wall started, Mexico will pay for the wall, but it will be reimbursed. OK?

donald trump
Now wait a minute — Is this guy on drugs or what? We don’t need no hopped up on speed & ego prattle here! No mind-bending self-serving nation-destroying prattle, please!

If I taught a course in writing, Lesson One would be: Procrastination: Embracing the Prattle.

But we’d never get there.

Or: Kill the Prattle!

Or maybe: Survive the Prattle.
Someday you will learn, my children: seventy-five percent of life is prattle. Though recent studies indicate that percentage is rising at an alarming rate, some going so far as to warn of a pending prattle plague in which life as we know it will be reduced to nothing but prattle within six days.
I lean back, stare at this wall of photos, my ancestors whispering: this too shall pass.* My mind expands. I feel momentarily at ease.

We’ll get to it.

* The idea of ancestors whispering this too shall pass is lifted from an India.Arie song—“This Too Shall Pass.” Here is her latest—“Breathe.”