Monday, September 20, 2004

Waiting for download

It is getting late, and I am sitting at my desk sorting various bits of data on my hard drive. This the modern form of paper filing, as our grandparents used to do with carbon copies of memos in 1950's office buildings. But we have a new phenomenon - data files that we pull from the internet. Personally, I like to save articles from the New York Times on random subjects. Why? I don't know, I rarely read the article again - if at all. But the habit causes me to sit at my computer and contemplate things with enough substance to pass the time (but not too much to get distracted), waiting for download.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Reflections

The mind grabs its own influences and inspirations - if we let it. I have trained myself for so long to channel its energy into frivolous (i.e. procrastination) and commercial (i.e. work) activities that consume most of my time that I miss the opportunity to expand its potential. I am afraid that my mind is slowly losing its elasticity, a quality that marked my childhood ponderings - I remind myself of play-dough and naptime in kindergarten.
A random association, to be sure, but appropriate as I slip into revelry this evening. From so many months away from the pen - journaling has sporadically filled the void but only so much - I find myself feeling more of this creative energy on this silent evening. For some reason, the feeling is much more intense as I return from a short trip to Europe, conceiving yet again the dreams I have set for myself this past year. Most have revolved around work but not as many have cultivated the intellect. Perhaps I am harsh - so quickly I forget meditations on Ayn Rand - but I do not think so fully. So many memories, so many people, so many friends, so much time, so little to show, what it must take, to let it all go. The whirl of songs that populate the playlist I constructed this evening nicely fit the mood - I am awash in reflections.

How time passes...

...when we traverse a path of ambition, letting our greatest impulses overcome us. For me, the result is over two months of inactivity at this blog. What have I been doing exactly? There was the trip to NYC and the follies of an emotionally confused Italian girl, almost a month in Russia and an exchange student reunion in Germany, a quick-fire application submission to an European business school and a rapid-fire response - I just returned from three days in Switzerland performing a grueling, all-day interview. And in between, a month of ping-pong business travel (Dallas-Cleveland-Orlando-Chicago-New York-San Francisco) that directly preceded those three days back and forth to Lausanne. Now, I am in San Francisco working, as my brother just left to Yosemite and Napa Valley for two days - his visit from Ohio for this week is just another moment added to the flow.
So here I am, typing these words at my computer on a beautiful afternoon in SF. I see nothing but blue skies and hear nothing but a bit of hammer pounding in the distance; someone's real-estate development will become someone else's residence soon enough. I am calm for the moment, yet extremely busy catching up from last week's European disruption. Anxiously awaiting the next chronicle in this hectic journey that is 2004. How time passes...

Friday, June 25, 2004

Still tired

I tried to get sleep last night, and I did - at least I thought I did. Today, I returned to the office to find the same state of malaise. What has happened to me?
I feel like I'm in a perpetual cycle of staring at the computer screen and accumulating fatigue. It was not my choice, or so I thought. I reconsidered that statement after talking to a friend this afternoon. We were supposed to be on a conference call, at which another colleague was supposed to join us. Instead, we started to chat. Our chat consisted of work topics, but work topics in which I found interest. I was engaged, I gained some bit of energy to go through the discussion and consider the topic. As soon as the conversation ended, though, I returned to the current state of malaise. What a great word to describe how I currently feel.
So here I am, sitting at the same desk in New York City, wondering about the Italian girl that I am going to meet tomorrow and her current state of being, figuring my next steps in an uncertain life, wondering who I will see next and what will happen as these days pass.
I guess I should expect this state when I consider what is happening all around. I thought that I would be energized, but I am still tired...

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Today Lost

Whatever happened to today? I was sitting at my desk, and then lunchtime happened to me. This meant a break, which I dutifully entertained out into the street. Descending 17 floors by elevator car, empty into the street, but only after a brisk rush down a wide-open foyer.
It is a beautiful day yet again in NYC, and I sit here befuddled. I have lost my ambition for a moment, much less to figure what this moment could offer me with insight. I am pensive and reflective again - it could be an encounter from last night which reminded me of my failures this past year. This is reinforced by the strumming of Pedro the Lion through my headphones - "Bad Things to Such Good People" is starkly rattling in my head. There were so many things that I was meant to do, that I thought this year would hold for me, and those thoughts no longer serve me. I guess that this is the end of utility, if you will, for my own mental reference point. There could have been more to this story, but it is not my decision to script anymore.
Still, there is some anticipation for what is possibly lingering beyond the corner. I'm just too tired to collect myself and reconsider - today lost, tomorrow uncertain...

Friday, June 18, 2004

And so it goes on the road...

I was not quite clear this morning when I landed in Cleveland - so much so that I walked away without my backpack from the departure area. 90 minutes of endless wandering in the mezzanine finally brought me back to it via TSA (those seemingly unnecessary but government-mandated, generally nice people that get to control the security lines that come in and out of every large as well as insignificant airport in the US), and I was out of the airport. But I had lost more than my backpack for those minutes - this culminating moment totalled three nights of sleep that resulted from late nights working and a horrendous flight that saw me spending as much time on the ground as in the air on Thursday - 4 hours at both. Total: 8 hours. The night before culminating in a late-night "connection" at midnight through O'Hare (announced by the pilot upon descent but our taxi was as long as the flight to Cleveland was supposed to be). In short, the connection turned out to be a long walk to the completely opposite end of the terminal (completely under construction as well), but that was to be expected. I arrived at the gate just as the lights were going out in certain parts of the grand hallway. Not so grand, if you ask me. I hitched a ride from my brother away from the airport to steal 2.5 hours of sleep (stealing is what it felt like after I powered up my computer and headed back into the presentation on which I was working when my computer lost its power only 6 hours before). That left me in the airport, late to a conference call thanks to the second late AMERICAN flight in as many days (I hate singling out airlines because they really are all the same, but sometimes they are not - American's service was crap) and the lost bag. Full circle.
I understand the possibility of these things happening - I fly enough to expect it anyhow. Flights that never leave (and never find the gate), planes full of babies full of families full of chatter and crying. I was sitting in the middle - rather the back - of the action this time around and wondering when we would ever take off, then actually find the gate. Somehow I found Cleveland, and I am still confused (and still tired - do they go together?). And so it goes on the road...

Friday, June 04, 2004

Hello afternoon, Friday

Hello afternoon, Friday has descended upon me; my eyes are looming so close to my eyelids. I close them for an instant, and a weight lifts from my brow. Tension creeps out of my neck and into the back of my leather chair. I am released to venture into the outer regions of contemplation of an afternoon that sneaks into the weekend. Supergrass is playing softly in the background, Brit rock with some pop and melody, bubbling against the window and white walls of the room. I am drifting slowly away into this moment that seems to hearken me away from my myself and into another place.
Startled, my head jerks from the chair, pulse quickents slightly, and I look around the room. There are some chords from the song that have mysteriously vanished out of capture of my ear. I am disoriented, without normal sleep over the last three days. My fatigue has found me now. Hello afternoon, Friday could not have arrived sooner than this.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Fix Caffeine

Mixed up, straighten out, caterpillar fingers, go go go, for a moment's breath, another webpage, typing typing typing. Windowcleaners, wires hanging, phone cord, overlord, book I'm reading, action item, email, typing typing typing. Early morning, sun not shining, silver lining, lunchtime, windowpane, energy rush, darting, furtive, not quite pensive, expansive, thinking twice. Reply. Delete. Page forward. Home. Office.
Notebook, third time look, presentation, ostentation, graphic, elastic curve, framework, solid, done. Next.
Sip, bite, look again, revise, red marks, hearkening sound, turn around, paper, twice phone rings, courier brings fax, relax. Look out the window. Again.
Stop - write it down. Cross it out, write it down again. Typing typing typing. Stop. That's it for now.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Subway stops

It could have been another day, just as simple another train or a different meeting at another stop. Inconsequential the order or the meaning - the blend of days has become consuming. And what more can be expected?
Variety still exists, however, in the change of faces on the subway, women playing games on mobile phones, random Italians chatting like hummingbirds - with gestures, too. Conversation continues in the seats in the middle of the car, young Indian girls relishing some free hours from chores. A black man with mutton chops governs the others in his handsome suit and derby hat. He exits one stop before the gay man with close-cropped hair looks with eyebrows raised over longing eyes at the preoccupied writer across the aisle. No matter really - the train keeps moving after the stop.
Simple and puzzling the same to follow the parade. These are the same faces of those other days, similar intentions anyway. Yet, one notices the moment passing with a simple glance, as simple as the opening and closing of subway doors. Not much different really, except the entire mix of people and the mood that gives them instant color.
The parade might have included a lawyer, an Asian design student with playful horn-rimmed glasses and inquisitive eyes. Headphones and any-man hip-hop music from a young man without confidence. The young man's transformation may result in the older man with bi-focals leafing through a paper and sitting erect with his New Balance running shoes on; the shoes are grey but have scuffs to show wear. The parade could have included others but for the final stop and end of the rumination.
And so it goes, another day unfolds. Much the same really, unless attention heeds the stops in between. Therein lies the pleasure.

Monday, May 24, 2004

(Un)Clear Landing

From the recollection of a moment yesterday...

I am nearing Newark Airport from the sky, sledding the glacial cloud banks of a storm front. The white, jagged puffs drop precipitously into an ominous blue-grey haze that obscures the countryside 20,000 feet below. Jagged is the approach that pulls the airplane around and level with the cloud line. A balanced proposition at this altitude - stay above the clouds and flirt with the pinkish sky full of dusk light or descend into the blue-grey abyss and hope little for a clear landing. The pilot chooses the latter option; five hours seems enough motivation to withstand a charge into the abyss.
In the distance, the sun electrifies the edge of a nondescript cloud, neon razor blade taunting the sky below, as if to suggest that the sun always reigns yet chooses the fates anyway of all below. There appears no such strong response from the abyss, only a murky pervasion that slinks to cover the earth. I will face its milky froth soon enough, onlooking from a window seat in the second row.
These are the images that I see from the plane this evening. I have no hope except for the clouds that frost the sky above the blue-grey mirage. I have no anticipation of another parade of people that I will soon meet - NYC, Chicago, SF, mayben even LA. Back and forth - I may just be experiencing inertia and fatigue.
Yet, in this state of even candor, I must admit the peculiar nature of my situation. So much hope for work, for school, for life, for love. I feel kinship with this moment as I reflect and peek out the window to see the sun's neon-orange globe now hanging like an omniscent eye in the middle of my view, in the middle of this crazy, uniform sky. It is clear and piercing directly on the horizon, staring at me. For the moment, extreme clarity, but a passing wonder. The sun intently stares back and ever so methodically drops itself like a magic trick into the soup of blue-grey haze. I smile - the moment has passed, and I was there.
Somehow beyond the watch of the sun, we land. Quiet allows only the polite whir of internal electrical systems to distract the plane's meander to the gate. The ground seems normal, except haze engulfs it and the sun is nowhere to be found.
The pilot finds his chance to turn right and point towards a gate. In time, the plane follows the pilot's command, there is a bit more shuffling, pause and muffle, then the lights turn up again. We have arrived at the destination, with a moment to pause and wonder about the world.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Dea(r)th in the Afternoon

I am a bit rangy this afternoon. As much as I try to concentrate on wielding spreadsheets and answering client questions, I keep yielding to fatigue, distraction of websites, and general thoughts. I cannot seem to focus long enough on a task to complete it, and so I sit here with more work to do and not enough time to finish it.
I am being paid for this, that should be motivation enough. But is it a job worth having if all you feel is a lack of energy to do it? I know - I should have a career so that I will not have to work another day the rest of my life. But come on now - does that really happen? Will I really one day wake up to find that what I always imagined will be my career and my life? Am I naive enough to believe the mantra?
There, again, a thought slips out, and I am further from where I need to be - the spreadsheet, the computer, the desk, all perched over Market Street. I look out the window and see the older buildings drowned out down the boulevard - but then so am I, virtually secluded in my corner cube. A prim(e) location for afternoon siesta...

Monday, May 10, 2004

Off to run

I have little to say, except that I need to leave the office. The office is new - new cubicles, new carpet, new bathrooms, new fixtures, new lights. But everything is just the same. At least the sun was brilliant today, although I did not see it - my eyes ache from halogen lights too dim for full light.
The good news is that this post is the end, and I will find my apartment soon enough. Off to run, off for a run, then off to Sacramento for an hour or two. A little drive, a little sleep, and start again in another day.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Updating the resume

There is a certain reflection that occurs when one updates the resume. It is a time for looking back across a certain period of time and capturing achievements from a professional perspective. What does this document hold? It seems a little light, considering how many hours go into each line item of experience. After all the assignments and tasks, there are 10, maybe 15 bullet points that encapsulate the professional life - and this does not even begin to cover the personal maturation and development that happens in parallel.
Updating the resume makes me think of how simple we like to make things. One page holds my life, and yet there is so much more than this. Somehow, it should be so much more than this, but it is not. Oh bother, I'll go back to work and busy myself, not think about it. Just as well - just thinking about updating the resume.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Stop to run

Whatever happened to the carefree days of youth? Right, they vanished when responsibility displaced the disheveled state of mind and bedroom that claimed our earlier days. We get older, sometimes fatter, often tired, seldom placid in the carepay days of adulthood. I bother to find myself floating in between sleepy time and deadlines of budgeting sheets; when I look outside, the pitch-blue skies taunt me with their azure clarity.
I'm going to take this moment to wring myself of this computer, start a move towards the door - and stop to run. I'll chase these carepay days to the sun, and if I'm lucky, find my stride somewhere in the daydream of Fort Mason behind the Golden Gate's watchful eye. Carefree days shall return - at least for the next 30 minutes when I traverse Cannery Row and back up Lombard Street with a mind full of nothing but the pitch-blue skies that are so triumphant this evening.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Data piles

It's a Monday morning, somewhat early. I'm trying to figure out what happened to the weekend, and I realized that I did not finish work on Friday. It is affecting me now, as I get behind on my tasks. I committed to do certain things, and I did not deliver. I am too concerned about living in San Francisco and having a good time instead of worrying about work. What has happened to me? I used to be so focused on work, and now I only care about hanging out with friends. I feel as if I am reverting into a college state in which I never actually found myself - too much work and involvement at uni kept me away from living such a period in my life. Certainly, now I am living in the moment and not caring for the future, but I don't know. I don't know anymore, only about today and only about my plans after I leave the office today.
If I could motivate myself to do some of the things that I am meant to be doing at work, I would be ok. This feeling could be a sign that I am wasting my time during the day on a job that has less relevance to my aspirations. Since all such work gets lost on a computer anyway, it has become just a cluttering of data piles that is nothing but distraction.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Evening sheen

Mystical the light at this hour. It is almost 8pm, and I sit 17 stories above Madison Square Park in New York City; the sun is setting behind the scattered buildings. As it sets, the sun splatters red, orange, and yellow shades of itself in faded mix across the sky. This evening is particularly colorful, as the warm colors blend up towards the vestiges of the day's clear blue and sparkle down towards the 1920's buildings that populate this area. I think of Howard Roark of "The Fountainhead" when looking at these buildings of the skyscraper's early years, simple and vertical for many floors only to erupt into ornament crowning on the top floors; some of the buildings look like Beaux-French chateaux resting on running marble stilts, checkered with the windows of their lower floors. Some buildings, more squat and ornate still, are decorated all the way up their facades, colorful by nature and highlighted by the glorious kiss of the evening sun. I think of Howard Roark because he would not have cared much for these buildings in his relentless pursuit of the clean modern form of 1920's architecture, but in this moment and in this light, these buildings are as stunning as the supermodels that often wander in this part of the city.
And as the words scatter across the screen in the same vein as the waning sunlight, I stop with a floppy smile to burn this image into memory. I have no camera, only mind's eye to file this image away for the days that will take me out of this city. The office is quiet at this time of the evening; many people have left for their personal engagements. The buildings around the park start to take their own color, windows gaining confidence in the light that comes internal from their floors. The sun slowly loses its energy, perhaps to return for tomorrow. It leaves the park and its building neighbors with the evening sheen of hopeful spring sunsets, with all the hope that such twilights promise.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

So I was sitting here...

...at my desk. Nothing extraordinary, except the weather. Sunshine pouring through windows, into my veins. Better yet, keystrokes falling like the pitter patter of raindrops smearing on the windshield of my brain. Such a fine, fine afternoon, no gloom, thinking of Howard Roark and "The Fountainhead" as the 1920's buildings squat to the sky outside my window. Ornamentation on the facades, gothic and columnnades, other forms in between on the grid and columns piling up to the rootop water towers sometimes still in use. I can see these buildings jutting straight out of the pages of Ayn Rand's novel, thinking of an architect of that period trying modernism against the world with this sort of construction going on. What a wandering brain.
That's about it, really, today. I created a presentation for a couple of people to see and have decided to leave work early. Which means that I need to end this elegant blog. Stream of consciousness, looking straight pass the rooftops of jazz age buildings down Park Avenue South below, falling down into Union Square and the subway lines running like veins through the city. People as bloodrops rushing in and out of subway cars, full of life, to give this city color and life and all that blood can give a body. When the people stop, that's when New York City no longer exists. But subways always run, people always pass, buildings sometimes remain while people pass in and out and around and down and up. Always up in the end because everyone would like to go there anyway - not sitting here...

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Whatever happened today?

Somehow, I ended up sitting in the office until 8pm. I don't know why, I don't know how, considering that I am supposed to be not currently busy. Somehow, I ended up looking at the computer screen checking emails. I do not feel productive.
Now, the office is quiet. I have not called friends. I do not understand what is happening around me. The air conditioning system is still whirring contently. I should be working out. Yet, I am still sitting here. I thought that things would change, but they have not. It is a good sign that I am not engaged in my work, slightly more in my life. And is that enough? It makes me ask the question of whatever happened today?

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Feeling great, feeling good

Perhaps too much to explain, but I have a streak of happiness distracting me from the moment. It could be the bitter coffee that is bursting across my lips; the caffeine is a powder keg of energy that is moving my fingers in schizophrenic spurts across the keyboard. A stray email here and there is keeping me connected to friends, and the instant messenger application is flashing with a few conversations diverting my time from presentations. All together, a jumbled mess of a moment arranging itself across my computer screen. I will be sitting here for another twelve hours - so why the sudden feeling?
I don't know why, I don't know how, but I am fully here in this moment, and that is enough for me. It sometimes takes quite an effort to find myself here in the present moment, instead of somewhere else. But where else are we except in the present moment? By the time that I find these words again, the moment will have already left like all the other moments previous; but for this brief moment, all is well in the world - feeling great, feeling good.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Ink blot

I am exhausted. I stayed awake too many hours last night - coffee and chocolate wired me open to the darkness. I patiently waited for a sleep that hardly came and then passed as soon as it started. Then, sitting in an airport in the morning, then on a plane, floating among clouds and dreams half awake and half clouds. This all might make sense if I was coherent in mind. My spirit has scampered away into the recesses of a mind that cannot focus on this moment. Only six more hours of work, if I can stand it. And all to show for this day is this little ditty, my little ink blot.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Blank

In the middle of the night, when darkness and stillness combine in the dead of sleep's wander, there is a moment of silence that belongs to ponderance and revelation. But in that moment, there is actually nothing except for darkness and stillness combined, nothing except for that brief moment before morning prepares the order for the day. Sleepless night that leads to this, remains of the day - blank.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Busy day

The flow of a day of work at the office is much more obscure than most things. Especially as the proverbial "knowledge worker." What do I spend the day doing? Sitting at a desk and typing. Do I produce a body of work that says anything? Usually not, little messages here and there. A stray document that explains a very precise point, without much more than context to a fine grain of a thought. Typing, reading (more perusing), thought (short burst, scattered, ridalin spurts), and then action...which comes as typing. Then talking in a meeting. Interspersed about document review and chatter with co-workers. Stop for lunch, it fits somewhere in the day to break the haphazard monotony. Finally, the day is complete.
No commitments too great, no ideas big enough - somehow, the day finishes without resolution. Here I am, sitting at a desk, with nothing much to show except broken thoughts, schizophrenic keystrokes, and playful shapes depicting issues, resolutions, and "action items" on a presentation page. Action, indeed - busy day.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Blue skies ahead

I spent a weekend in philosophical discussion. Nothing extraordinary, except for a few precious moments of clarity. One stream consisted of a discussion of traveling and cultures. As addictive as heroine, always in the bloodstream. Another stream consisted of a discussion of ambitions and pursuits. As shifting as desert sands, and less certain of their settling. A last stream consisted of the human experience. As complex as the universe, and everything contained therein.
Which deposits me at Monday morning, sitting again in an office in New York City. There is a line of clouds that appear elastic and stretched across the horizon. Building outlines are clear - the mark of an unusually cool April day (snow tonight? c'mon - where is spring now?). Dialogue driting somewhere in memory, I regain my senses. Above all else, there are blue skies ahead.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Another random Wednesday

It will be another long day at work, but it is eerily quiet. The moments of reflection lying in my bed last night have toppled over into the early day's work at the office. The list of items to complete is filling up on my desk, in the notebook, and I have nowhere else to go but stay here with this work. I have found happiness - it is the mundane of this silent moment, whir of the air conditioning system ventilating the room, just loud enough to muffle the sounds of keyboard typing from the laptop computers. Everyone else sits in silence, too.
I stop typing just to hear that muffled silence. Weird. As the rain contemplates its contribution to the day (should I pour or drizzle or stay away in mist?), I sit typing away on another random Wednesday.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Whatever happened to March?

Earlier this year, it seemed that promise existed for something more than this - almost April, almost spring, almost home, almost sure of something beyond uncertainty. My perspectives change by the day - literally, since I have been traveling without abandon. Kansas City, Dallas, San Antonio, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York. Soon, Cleveland, New York for a month, then some days in SF. Much past these days, I am not quite sure of my plans - return to university? Some time off? A trip out of the country? Just some days at home? I cannot say any more - again, beyond my control.
I wonder sometimes where this time falls, in what mode that it collects itself. Do I hold a reservoir of these days for introspection, or is it only the moment that remains as my reflection, like raindrops that settle on the pavement and then evaporate at the turn of sunshine? Sometimes, I wonder these things, before I am distracted by the days that have passed. Sitting at my desk at the end of March, I wonder first - whatever happened to March?

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Crossing Central Park

There is a certain life today in New York City, a buzz quietly forming in the streets around Central Park. It is the first nice day of 2004, and the park fills with people. Runners return, dogs walking, by-standers, picnics, strollers, newspapers - the usual activity. On a rock, I watch the passing groups and wonder how the movement seems so effortless to create art. I am fascinated by the flow.
I am sitting near a rock where one summer hence I had penned lyrics to a song. Today, no such inspiration; however, joy was present in the entertainment of my people-watching. Solitary moment, smile returns, and the sky fills with promise. It is clear and sunny, even if the trees are barren. Soon enough, spring will arrive - at least for today, it is already here. Alas, I gather my things and return to my hotel; I have work to do. Just as soon as revelry dissipates, I become part of the flow, too. Crossing Central Park carries strong memories of this wonderful city.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Softly Steal the Night

Softly steal the night
Of dreams beyond sight,
Days brighter still to be
As yet to live so fully.
Here they stay, soon to go,
Passing branches, river's flow
To carry days away instead,
Lying silent in my bed.
Moonlit memory, wading barge,
Sheets and pillows act as charge
For reflection, silence, stare.
Contrast image clothes the chair
Marking room's corner, end
Of vista, corner's bend
Toward window's glare of park
Lights peeking in as lark
To sing such cresting limerick.
Dreams soon drown the prick
Of life's ambitions, dull
Hasten morning's full
Interpretation of room's last bastion.
Life and passion unfasten
Hopes and fears so plain -
Night's domain leaves much to gain.
Await anew the next found day
For all the dreams to dance and play.
But first they come, in all their might
To softly steal the night.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Listening to a dial-in meeting

There is some chatter, white noise, multiple voices rollicking lyrically across the telephone network. Vocal sounds crossing in the foreground, background, all around until "we" hit the ground running on some item or another. I just sit patiently, waiting for the call to reach logical pauses, then collect certain items from spoken word to convert into documents and actions and thoughts and lists. This is work, all over the country, all from the handset of a phone, in front of a laptop, below a broad New York sky. I sit still while the words rush by.
Perhaps I should pay more attention and rein in my mind - remember that I am listening to a dial-in meeting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Three cups of coffee, two plates of chocolate chip cookies

Working on two successive nights of four hours of sleep, full days of thinking work, and facilitated meetings with groups of people in a large meeting room is no way to live a life. Half-opened eyes do not bring clarity to a situation. Each cup of coffee buoyed the mind for a sporadic fit of creativity that sustained a short burst of energy, but that was it. The cookies helped, too, but left little mark. That leaves the words, which are incoherent and insufficient.
Such is work. Such is consulting. The words come under guise of the half-opened eyes, ears trifled with a droning conference call that booms in the room. Three cups of coffee, two plates of chocolate chip cookies later, I am still here. Working.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Sitting in a meeting

I am sitting in a meeting room with no windows. 10 chairs, six people, one phone that no one uses. Router on the table with a tangle of CAT-5 cables, empty plastic bags from lunch, slight scent of stale sandwiches, half-empty bottles of water. There are voices that push and pull the air, many words that deserve plaques and recompense. Ultimately, these words have uncertain value; at least they produce keystrokes and debate. Each person has a computer with a different screen. We are all supposed to be looking at the same presentation.
Productivity can be measured by this time that passes with all these laptop computers open and implements surrounding. There are pens and notebooks on the table too, but they are muted - except for some words that produce a quick jot on paper. There it goes - another flurry of words between two meeting participants, another tries to add his weighted observation. Pause. Another quick jot on paper. This continual process rolls over another wave of special words, a few more quick jots, and the story goes on. It will last another hour, ended by a flurry of jotted notes (quick, quick quick), then dispersion. The clutter on the table remains, now left inanimate without word flurries - the remnants of sitting in a meeting.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Stirring thought

While sitting on the plane last night, I was struck by an idea. Suddenly, my computer was open, and I was typing. I was not quite certain of the outcome, only that the impulse that led to my thought dragged me through a stupor of insight and description. I fought to avoid the Xanadu experience and uncover the thinking before it disappeared. It was the start of a story.
Today, as I sit at my desk, the thought still haunts me, lingering in my head like a residue of sorts. It is the start of another creative outburst, and I will bear its burden on paper. I don't know where it will lead - mysterious and mystical as it unspools in velvet folds - but a stirring thought to grab my attention.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Rainy Day by the Bay

Sitting at the snug desk that nestles against my bed, I am listening to the raindrops fall in a wild rhythm to the trip hop songs spitting out of my radio. I am trying to complete some documents and move on to the next tasks, both personal and professional, that I am racing to complete before I have to fly away to another city in Texas. I am following the patter of the water to divine an answer to my present mental conundrum - what to do with my lack of motivation for most things. It seems that there are so many things rushing about me that I freeze in the moment and accomplish nothing.
I am using the rainy day by the bay to breathe fully, contemplate, and re-focus. The rain is meditative; I feel liberated. In reaching this state, the tasks fall away like the rain; I will continue work until the clock calls me away from my desk.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Lingering

The funk that grabs me now is the same funk that grabbed me last year at this same time in January. It seems that the year-end holidays for me are a time of romances unrealized that wander in my head, brought to teasing reality at the year's start, and then put away by circumstances undecipherable. I am left standing still as the world circles, human traffic moving about me with its purpose and certain urgency. Frozen, I feel like a man in the scene of a freeze-frame movie that sees the speed of his environment rushing in a blur about him as he smiles contently at the result. My smile is wan and light, reflective and bemused at the fates that tussle with me in cruel joke.
Music plays in the background. At this moment, it is tripped-out EBTG; earlier it was Elliott Smith (a troublesome story in itself, his disputed knifing suicide last November a reminder that the delicate melancholy of his songs was heartfelt and hardly manufactured). Music fits the mood; I see myself as that freeze-frame man smiling, fading, then closing my eyes, feelings washing over me. Then, I fall into myself in a rush of sentiment that haunts my place. I am lonely, although these sensations are consuming.
Slowly, I am returning to myself - just like last year. I think that I will be fine, I think that I am ok, I think that I will recover in quick pace and resume the frenetic pace that has claimed me for the past five years. Even still, melancholy, this sallow friend, clutches me and bathes me in creative angst. I hear the words hanging in the room: "Do you like being single, do you want me back, do you want me back?" As much as I want to move on again, I am lingering.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Rain Falls

Sitting in my room, music filters the sound of raindrops that pitter on the wooden deck outside my window. In the distance, I hear the horn of the ships that traverse the bay; every so often, the oncoming bells of the cable car mark the turn of the hill from Columbus up Mason Street. I am reflective because I am thinking about a girl, someone who I like and who likes me. Still, little is meant to be, distance and circumstance conspiring to leave me empty but for a moment's reflection on the possibilities of our connection. Alas, the chance is remote - we live in different cities on different coasts. We are barreling down different paths in slightly different ways - and yet we are stongly and vaguely similar. This leaves me confused slightly, a state of inexplicable lack of explanation.
I should know better anyway - these things never quite make sense. Still, the rain falls.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Just saying hello

Some days, there is not much to say. The day has been filled or planned, and nothing is left to consider except the act of living. There is the moment, and it passes into the next moment, and so on. Through this procession, life passes, and so do the days.
Perhaps, though, there is room to consider the activities of others, those with whom we have not talked in some of those days, those with whom we have not visited in more of those days. They have lives that pass equally and discard moments as surely as us. I want to call them, visit them again, so many of them, just to say hello and find out what they are doing. The act of living that consumes me deserves their thoughts, too.