Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yet Another Beginning

Periodically I'm inspired to awaken my dormant inner writer, encouraging him to stretch his legs and maybe even take in a little sun. I've done this frequently enough that evidence of previously aborted attempts to keep my little writing friend from retreating back into his hibernatory cave are strewn throughout my life.

Reporter style flip top notebooks full of fragmented ideas tumble through my drawers from past periods when he would jot down random thoughts, anticipating the next opportunity I'd grant him to explore a bit. Little leather journals half-filled with dryly recited litanies of daily events are stacked in my closets from times when I'd pay him only half-hearted attention. Computational notebooks with a handful of fervently scrawled diagrams and notes are occasional reminders of those happy moments when he'd awake of his own volition and lend his abilities to whatever other passion was engrossing me. From time to time an oddly named text file clutters up my search results with partially completed essays and articles he would worry over while we basked on a sunny porch.

So, here I stand, peering into the mouth of his cave once more, trying to catch his attention. I'll tell him how I've grown older, and gained some hard won experience. I'll argue how I understand myself much better and have learned how to hold up my end of our relationship. I might even show him some of the ideas that have been percolating in my head since he and I last shared quiet observations about the world around us. As I ramble on, I hear something suspiciously like a shuffling noise in the dark shadows of the cave. One or two of my comments seem to be slightly echoed by the occasional snort - perhaps a guffaw? Eventually I must either charm or irritate him enough, because the messy little fellow finally sticks his head out, blinking against the glare of the light.

And so we begin again, he and I. Full of high aspirations and lofty intentions. We'll change the world, or give up trying. No one will contemplate their own navels so thoroughly as we. We'll help people talk, and read, and think. Maybe even about something worth their time. Hubris? No, of course not! Sure, no one will notice right away, but certainly some one, someday, will pay some small attention. How can they but help it? He's jumping with all the energy of a 3 year hiatus and I'm brimming with the optimism of a new turning point in life.

A fresh faced graduate student searching for the theory that'll make his name; an established voice in the field who's looking for deeper insights into her own area of expertise; or even a piece of software scanning the kazillabytes of data for keywords like Family, Iran, Middle-Ages, Oligarchy, Culinary Taboos, and Traffic Laws (won't that list confuse the poor AI?) may never find anything meaningful in the products of our relationship. Still, we'll have explored ourselves a littler more thoroughly. Our opinions will be a bit better formed and our passion will be better focused.

And so it begins. Again.

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