Archive for July, 2014

Progress Report #94

July 26, 2014

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these. I have to say that, right now, progress is slow. A while back I saw myself zooming forward, marching boldly through the final draft. But it hasn’t happened that way. I’ve suffered through a couple of ailments in recent months, first a severe cold and then a bad back problem. I’m fine now and working, but progress is, as I say, slow. There are two reasons for this. I find the beginning the most difficult part (and I’m speaking of the beginning of the last draft). Everything has to be set up just so and you have to find your voice. I’m working out all the issues. I’m seeing what Street Song wants to be, beyond my own ideas for it. Books make their own demands. The second reason is that I’ve been working on this thing for eight years now. I still have no contract (My agent hasn’t started looking for one yet) and I feel like I’m swimming across an ocean with no land in sight. It’s disorienting and exhausting. I swim and swim and it’s hard to see my progress. What have I completed? A preface, Chapters One and Two, and two completed chapters from the middle of the book, which, realistically, will change once I work my way up to them. (These were written as samples for the proposal that my agent will take around to publishers.) I’m working sequentially now. I’m currently about halfway through Chapter Three. I also have a completed outline that may change some as I work my way through. What I need is to gather my energies and really get down to business. I’ve had too many distractions lately. A real deadline (i.e. a contract) would help immensely. But that will come in its own time.

Writing a book is hard. It’s crazy-making. But I will finish it.

Is There a Place for Technology?

July 19, 2014

Today I was perusing the New York Times web site and came upon an article about “what role poetry plays in a technologized world.” The full article belonged to the premium level of the web site, so I was only able to read the teaser. But I thought, “That’s backwards.” The root of existence is utterly pure—pure poetry. It’s the place where there is no commerce, desire, anger or lies. It’s the pure playing out of what really is. We have arisen from that, as has everything else. The poetry is karma, which is not reward and punishment, but cause and effect. Karma is the events that arise, in part, from the decisions we make, some of which are less pleasant that others. And karma is inexorable. As Stephen Gaskin once said (I’m paraphrasing), “Karma can be compared to taking a swing at a golf ball in a fully tiled bathroom. It’s going to get you.” Technology, along with a bunch of other of our creations, has been leading us away from an awareness of the purity of reality. Technology is not reality. It’s virtual reality. If we don’t reduce our obsession with the distraction, we’re going to suffer greatly for it. So the real question is what role technology might play within the pure poetry of the universe.