Monday, December 06, 2010

Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

I "made" pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, and roasted the turkey, and boiled and mashed the potatoes. I'm thinking that cooking isn't what we're to talk about in this accounting, though. I also "made" posts for this blog, and I wrote a poem about snow back in October. I write haiku more often than other forms of poetry these days, because I can't spare the time away from my studies. "Can't" is a questionable term, though. I don't spare the time. I need time and a rested mind to write poetry. If I could make poetry a regular part of each day, writing poetry, not just reading poetry, that would be a wonderful thing. If I could make anything else, I think it would be watercolor painting. I have the materials, and the encouragement, in that John is an artist, too, and we have cleared lots of other time-eaters out of our schedules. Next May, it is almost a certainty that I will have much more time. Poetry and watercolors...that will be my prescription for rest and recreation.

How does music fit into the scheme of "making" things? Making music is important enough to both of us that we have scheduled regular time for it. There is construction involved, but not literal, material. We have the instruments, some of the technique required, friends who like to help sometimes, access to lyrics and chords if we want them. Carving out the hour or two on Saturday night is the key. It really does happen. Last Saturday it was mainly instrumental (after I practiced some carols for a performance next week) - John just sang a little to remind me of melodies I could play on my violin while he played guitar. We played some that no one had ever played: that is creation; that is making, I think.

I'd like to build a snow angel again, and maybe a snow dragon, like we did on our first Thanksgiving together. There are pictures on John's cell phone and in the digital camera memory. The snow we have today is not the right snow - light, fluffy, very cold so it doesn't pack at all - while that Thanksgiving day's was wet and workable.

This light fluffy snow, however, has led to a two-hour delay at our local schools. If I were still teaching there, not on leave, I'd be celebrating with extra Facebook time, an eggs and toast breakfast, etc. after sleeping in a little bit after the phone call came. As it is, I'm up and writing anyway, a little late because I could sleep last night. I couldn't sleep because I had put in a grueling day of reading reading reading. About half of my reading was of student papers sent to me for comments on their revisions. The other half was extremely dense material about the origins of collaborative reading and writing among composition theorists in the past century. It interrupted my brain wave patterns and disrupted my sleep.

I'll feel better some day. Soon, I hope.

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