Please excuse my mess. I am currently in the process of changing my website’s appearance and focus. Reopening soon!
How many ways can one procrastinate? I have a long way to go to reach the pinnacle of procrastination. When I wrote papers for my classes from grade school through graduate school, I was obsessed with having them ready to turn in before the due date. Once an assignment was given, I began working on it right away. Whether the assignment was due the following day, the next week or at the end of a semester, I felt pressured to have it ready on time. Now the pressures rarely have any of the dire outcomes I anticipated if I was late for anything, but often I create my own dire outcomes.
Procrastination may not have come easy, but is an art I am rapidly learning. Putting things off is one thing, yet stuff needs to be done so happily or grudgingly or at times obsessively, I still want to do things on time. If I don’t get to the airport well before the suggested 2 hour time frame I panic. I need to get to the theater at least a half hour before the show even if the seats are reserved. That gives me plenty of time to judge all those folks who are scrambling to find seating at the last moment, or even worse once the show has begun!
I am however becoming a master at doing lots of things in preparation for doing or starting a project and can spend an inordinate amount of time planning my planning. Getting any necessary supplies together adds to the slowness of my completing anything. Lists must be written, and I will even rewrite a list that has a grammatical error or is messy-like anyone at the grocery store would notice or give a shit that I misspelled cereal. Which I would never do!
All this preparatory writing is to set the stage for what I did today.* Going to the gym and the bank was done in a very timely fashion, but once home with plans in mind for what I wanted to do, the effort to follow through took multiple turns and as I write this I still haven’t done anything I’d planned. I am working towards my goals but have sat here at my desk shuffling through all the lists that clutter it and deciding what to throw away. Ultimately I don’t throw anything away and end up with neater piles of scraps of paper. I’ll do it tomorrow….
I do not need to write this and as I do I consider the fact that nobody needs to or will read it. Not only that but what I am putting off are things that I look forward to having time to do, like painting. And painting is a good excuse for putting off vacuuming. I used to be fanatical about having a house devoid of fur tumbleweeds, but now? Sitting on the porch doing nothing is a perfectly good alternative and gives me time to contemplate all the stuff I could be, or should be, doing. I get a goodly amount of mental exertion by running ideas in circles around my head. That is comparable to the circles I spin while standing in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or walking through the house. I need a spinometer. That is an idea that I can take hours pondering. Hmm?
*Today refers to June 4th, 2019. I am finally posting it on June 16th, same year at least! Today, I am finally getting around to start reformatting this website. I’ve been thinking about it, but….
Weird continues. My weird Art Gallery is expanding and 5 of my paintings are in a local art show here in Gainesville, FL as I continue on my fast-er-slow road to fame and fortune! Well, maybe infamy and missing-fortune.
Even as my mind has been focused on colors and shapes, the letters and words are still in the picture. At times it’s hard to decide whether to pursue painting or writing, yet one seems to mix in with the other. Paint brushes and fountain pens are comfortable and satisfying tools. The laptop can also be a useful tool but doesn’t beat the pleasure of my pen scratching on paper. I am unplugged and free from autocorrect! Plus I don’t get distracted by cute kitty videos and online shopping.
So back to the book I go ready to follow the story that is swirling in the mix of colors and words.
Apparently I never got around to reading The Round House by Louise Erdrich. Maybe the fact that she had inscribed a copy for me created the illusion that I had taken in the words, but then my book group chose this book. I pulled it off my bookshelf and set it on the table figuring a quick peek would be enough to remember the story. As our meeting approached, I finally picked it up and realized that I had no idea what it was about. It’s not that I forgot. I’d just forgotten to read it.
Wow, how glad I was that I was brought round to the Round House a mere seven years after its publication. The first sentence, “Small trees had attacked my parents’ house at the foundation,” was indicative of my reaction to this book. I attacked it. Maybe it attacked me, but I was captured within the very trauma experienced by the mother, the family and community that surrounded her, and the larger reality of how so little has changed for people whose history was written by men and women who profited by creating false realities.
As with a lot of nonfiction The Round House, based as it is on a modern Native Indian family living on a reservation, brings to the forefront some truths about the awful realities and conditions faced by the majority of American Indians, past and present.
Readers should be captivated and upset, horrified actually, by this story. A reader might want to pass judgement on the actions of the characters, yet the reactions of the characters to the situations, agreeable or not, justifiable or not, legal or not, cannot be separated from history.
The Round House is a story that I will not forget-well, the characters’ names maybe and some of the action-but never the feeling that surrounded my conscience.
The Afterward in this book details some facts of which few outside of Indian communities are aware. Few people know that Native Women along the Northern American and Canadian border are being murdered and/or disappearing. Newsworthy? Why bother? Who cares?
Given the current attitudes that seem to be reverting to hate and discrimination, it is frightening to read Erdrich’s story and realize that gains and protections for women and minorities are rapidly being whittled and legislated away. The continuation of lies and covering up of facts is a purposeful act. Not knowing, caring or acting is a purposeful act. To read Erdrich’s book and remain unaffected and unchallenged is testimony to the strength of her words.
I have a shelf of Erdrich’s books and all are fascinating, but this one affected me in a way the others hadn’t. Maybe it’s just too close to the reality of so many. Me Too.
I am writing a longer post about my newly acquired taste for procrastinating, but have set it aside until later. I have put off posting anything-not unusual-because I plan to change the look of my website, but that requires a lot of contemplation which is another term for an excuse for not getting around to it.