Saturday, August 09, 2008

Finger Organizers

I'm LOVING Eat, Pray, Love. Between Elizabeth Gilbert and Rumi, I have decided to start journaling to the Divine and the Beloved instead of praying. 

You see, my thoughts don't collect in my head. If you have a conversation with me, I'll speak in half-sentences, forget what we're talking about, and start going on and forget what point I'm making before I get there.

Even my thinking is severely disorganized.

How can I put this? This is SO silly I'm embarrassed to admit it. Part of the problem DH and I were having is he kept asking me what was in the package I was sending. Like, every single day.

I know you're looking at me like I have two heads.

You don't understand.

The process of trying to remember what's on my list and what's in the box is MONUMENTAL. It just won't happen. I do NOT have that type of memory. Just the thought of trying to remember all that sends me running under the covers with a Snickers bar.

I tell my students never to say I can't, so I guess I won't say I can't, but I will say that it would HURT MY BRAIN SEVERELY to try to recall what's in the box.

You know how I imagine my story before I write? Well, did I mention I imagine it out of order?

I'm fairly certain a large part of why I write is just to get the stories in my mind organized into chronological order. And you wonder why I use Mindola SuperNotecard. I see my story in snippets, then I organize it as I type.

Something magical happens when I type. I honestly don't think I'd be a writer if there were no computers. My brain is so disorganized, I need the computer like a backup brain, like an extra bit of RAM to get me through my daily processes.

This complicates the task of praying when under stress.

On a good day, my prayer sounds like this:

Dear God. No, Goddess. God, you don't mind if I pray to the Goddess, do you? I mean, I'll pray to  you, too. Can I pray to both of you at the same time? I know you're a jealous God. It's just I don't want to leave you out, even though I'm not willing to accept you're the only one.

Oh shit, have I just insulted you?

Anyway, life, well. You know.

Um, I'll feel really selfish if I ask for help.

But, um, shit. It's been one thing after another.

That's not to say, you know. I mean, geeze, what am I doing praying about this when there are children who haven't eaten in two weeks?



Well, um, okay. You know. It might be nice if you could make this just a little easier. If you wouldn't mind so much.

On a bad day, my prayers sound like this:

Oh, shit. Oh, fuck. Oh, sorry: I mean, uh-oh. Help!

So I got to thinking: I'm so accustomed to sounding like a bumbling idiot when I speak that it doesn't bother me, but I never feel like a bumbling idiot when I write. If you heard me teach you'd be shocked my students learn anything. I wave my arm around, sing a bit, and say, "you know?" I suspect we develop some sort of psychic connection because how else do they understand what I'm not even saying? It's bizarre.

I'm always sort of shocked that I write in full sentences and coherent paragraphs.

So why not type my prayers? So thanks to Stewart's suggestion, I downloaded the Star Message Diary (pretty!), and instead of writing Dear Diary, I'm going to write Dear Divine.

Do you still keep a diary? I mean, not a blog, but a diary, a private one? Who do you address it to? Did you find that blogging kinda stopped you from journaling, or not at all?

26 bonus scribbles:

spyscribbler 8/09/2008 11:29:00 AM  

Really? That's cool. I was wondering if maybe I shouldn't've admitted it!

Eric Mayer,  8/09/2008 11:31:00 AM  

Never kept a diary. It'd be boring even to me.

I have a lousy memory and I think it makes writing difficult. It would be great if I could hold all the bits and pieces for a novel in my head and remember what I needed to remember when I needed it. So I struggle with endless files and folders and organizers and, yeah, thank goodness for computers. I'd be lost with paper, or buried in it, or both.

Robin 8/09/2008 12:20:00 PM  

I think writing down prayers is an awesome idea! I love your description of your prayer, and I'm really relieved that God doesn't mind cursing because I have an awful "trash mouth".
I never had any real religious training, so I came up with the following prayer when I was a little girl.
"Dear God, thank you infinity much for making the sun and the earth and people and animals and everything else. Please bless my family, all my relatives, and you. Bless you God, Bless you. I love you. This prayer's from Robin Aaron. Amen.
Isn't that funny? Somehow I instinctively knew that Jews grovel when they pray. And I gave my full name at the end, just in case God wasn't sure which Robin it was.

spyscribbler 8/09/2008 12:25:00 PM  

Eric, I have the same lousy memory! It is my number one struggle with writing a novel. I mean, crap. Writing a novel with a lousy memory is like, like, like... I don't know. It feels to me like a big handicap!

I really envy those people who can hold it all in their head.

Erica Orloff 8/09/2008 01:03:00 PM  

When life is too stressful to pray coherently, I just sit in stillness and open my heart--I picture the various things overwhlemingly, and say, "God . . . you know."

Openness . . . more than a list of what's wrong. If you look at the wonder of the universe . . . if God created it, he or she clearly doesn't need words at all. It's too beautiful.


Melanie Avila 8/09/2008 01:34:00 PM  

Spy, I think it's a good thing you and I communicate online because I don't think our conversations would get anywhere. I'm constantly starting new tangents - basically interrupting myself - and it takes forever for me to get to the point.

I do, however, have a crazy memory. I remember conversations verbatim and I could tell you what was in that box if you'd just mentioned it once. It's kind of crazy.

Writing plays into my memory in that once I write something down, it's locked in. Last night I took notes about the conclusion for my book. I knew I'd most likely remember, but by writing it, I'll never have to look back at it. It's there.

I wish I could transfer some of that to you.

Zoe Winters 8/09/2008 02:57:00 PM  

LMAO @ your prayer. that cracks me up!

hahaha I love the part about knowing he's jealous but sorry you just dont' believe he's the only one. hahahahahahaha.


Yes, i do keep a personal written journal. I write down a lot of things in my personal journal that I'd never put on my blog. Lots of things that are just too far in the TMI category and would alienate everybody.

spyscribbler 8/09/2008 03:04:00 PM  

The full name, LOL! That's fabulous, Robin. You were funny even then. :-) "The sun and the earth and people and animals and everything else."

Can I use that? ;-)

spyscribbler 8/09/2008 03:07:00 PM  

Erica, that's beautiful. Not to get too religious here, but I think sometimes it's definitely that and getting rid of the mental impression I was given about God in the past, and feeling the love that the divine is.

spyscribbler 8/09/2008 03:11:00 PM  

Oh, Melanie, that's not true! Speaking in half-sentences makes me quite adept at understanding what people mean when they speak in tangents! :-)

Oh, gosh, Melanie, I WANT YOUR MEMORY!

spyscribbler 8/09/2008 03:13:00 PM  

That's it, Zoe! That's why I decided to start. I can spill all the weird gunk there, the kind of "everyone knows diaries are full of crap" diary. :-)

Robin 8/09/2008 03:19:00 PM  

Feel free to use my prayer whenever you want, Spy! But remember to change the end to Natasha, or I'll get the God credit.

spyscribbler 8/09/2008 03:24:00 PM  

Right, LOL! That might be part of my problem. I need to tell her who I am so she knows where to send the good energy!

Melanie Avila 8/09/2008 07:01:00 PM  

Gah, I just realized I never answered the question!

Yes, I keep a journal. I've started them off and on throughout my life but have kept at it since moving here. Sometimes it's the only thing that gets me through the day. Like Zoe said, it's a good outlet for all the things you don't want to share with the internet. Although I have caught myself almost writing "see blog" when I don't feel like repeating something that I already posted about, lol.

LaDonna 8/09/2008 08:25:00 PM  

Spy, you're one heck of a writer! Just love that prayer, and ya know what? I bet the Divine and Beloved love chatting with you. In fact, I need to find names that work for me too.

I'll check that diary link out too. I write in a journal sometimes, but mostly just speak to them.

Edie 8/09/2008 10:27:00 PM  

Spy, I'm going to make you a heroine in my next book. I won't use your name, just your character. :)

I'm disorganized too. And I get snappish when my husband asks me the same thing time after time.

Sometimes I imagine myself sitting in God's lap. God is a black woman and she's hugging and rocking me, surrounding me with love. If you want, feel free to use my God.

Aimless Writer 8/09/2008 10:38:00 PM  

My thoughts are so scattered I have a friend who calls me "Remote". She says I'm like a TV remote that keeps flashing from channel to channel.
Personally, I think its a sign of intelligence. By the time people catch up with my brain I've already moved forward to the next subject. (Or at least that's the excuse that makes me feel better :)
And that's a normal day. Don't catch me in hypermode.
I have a friend who journals to St. Francis. I tried that but ran out of things to say.
I talk to Karma alot. When things are tough I just say, I give this to Karma. And the universe takes care of it.
And I do talk out loud to God everyday. Good thing I have time to myself or people would think I had invisable friends.

lainey bancroft 8/10/2008 10:16:00 AM  

As LaDonna said "Spy, you're one heck of a writer!"

When just feeling personally desperate, I might mentally run a few lines of your 'bad day' prayer: "Oh, shit. Oh, fuck. Oh, sorry: I mean, uh-oh. Help!"

The rest of the time, it is just a random plea to 'the universe'.

I never used to be so scattered. I think trying to write fiction ruined me for real life.

I kept a detailed diary (a la Anne of GG) all through school, but I haven't done it in years. I'm afraid if I saw pages and pages of my thoughts in black and white, I'd realize how completely loopy I've become. :0

spyscribbler 8/10/2008 10:18:00 AM  

Melanie, that is way cool. Before I started blogging, I had a file where I put the real "shit," as they say. Every time I went to Borders to write, I'd dump it all out of my head. I still do the same here, but, LOL, it's not the same and I can't share everything.

Do you ever read your past journals?

spyscribbler 8/10/2008 10:20:00 AM  

LaDonna, LOL! Yeah, the names change it for me big time. I grew up half protestant and half Catholic, so judgment was big and love wasn't mentioned after Kindergarten when we sang that "Jesus Loves Me" song.

Finding a name that reminds me that someone bigger than myself might actually love me, or at least be all about love, is kinda cool.

spyscribbler 8/10/2008 10:22:00 AM  

Edie, I'm definitely going to use your God. And me? You want me? LOL! That's too funny. :-) I bet I'll be the crazy sister!

spyscribbler 8/10/2008 10:26:00 AM  

Aimless, I really like your reasoning. And I'm going with it. I can stick by that. :-)

I talk out loud to my cats, and sometimes in the car I redo conversations and say all the things that I didn't say when my mind was blank during the conversation, LOL.

And very cool of your friend to journal to St. Francis. Way cool.

spyscribbler 8/10/2008 10:28:00 AM  

Lainey, LOL. Me?

That's funny, what you said about seeing things in black and white. I never re-read my blog, look back over my journals, or anything.

I'm definitely scared to look!

Melanie Avila 8/10/2008 11:36:00 AM  

Aimless, I like your reasoning that it's a sign of intelligence, that people can't keep up with what's going on in my (ours) head(s).

Spy, I recently reread a journal I started two months before I started dating my husband. I only wrote about 20 pages and the only reason I have it here is I figured I could use the rest of it at some point. Most of my belongings are in storage at my parents' so it's strange I even have this.

It was cool reading it because it talks about the time right before we started dating and all my mixed-up feelings. I also documented the first time I realized I loved him. I might have to read that to him. :)

Edie 8/10/2008 08:03:00 PM  

Spy, maybe you'll be the crazy sister, but you'll be my heroine. The sensible sister would be too boring.

As for talking to your cat, I thought all people talk to the animals in their house.