In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Today’s Ten-Minute Write

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I don’t know what I think until I write it down—Joan Didion

typewriter

In my web journeys today, I discovered a site called Life in 10 Minutes that collects and features ten-minute life writes. Much to my delight, this site celebrates what I do most days anyhow, write for ten minutes to a timer just to get a little heat to my brain and fingers, a warm-up if you will. After the free-write, I am ready to take on larger writing endeavors, like an essay or poem or whatever else that needs writing.

Though I have never thought of publishing these exercises in their entirety, taking only bits and pieces to flesh out into something grander, I might tinker with this idea of setting them out here as-is for a while to see what they bear.

I hope you enjoy today’s ten minutes of life.

June 27, 2016

Today feels like yesterday, except less fatigued and more awakened. My muscles after a half hour of yoga to start the day feel thick and rubbery like those industrial size rubber bands that bind a ream of paper’s worth of words—a manuscript, for example–together with firmness yet flexibility. My strut is glide-easy balanced between the push and pull of gravity.

And though the heat is slightly oppressive and my father is calling me on my cell phone once again from just inside the other side of the house, disrupting my writing—yet again, to ask me one of several questions he asks daily: “Are you hungry? What are we eating? Do you need anything from Sam’s? The answers to which are all 90 % of the time “No, I don’t know and no,” I sit in good-willed contentment and compassion. It is how he communicates, after all, how he crafts the world—plot, character and theme all food.

So today, with soft-hardness under the pads of my feet and surrounding the gooey gray matter inside my hard head, I have promised us both not to take it personally, not to react like night to day, inevitable and expected, even as nothing is ever guaranteed. I let the word “Dad” that flashes on my Samsung phone screen evoke a nanosecond of knee-jerk irritation before I exhale with the word ‘calm’ unformed but sunk-in performed. We will have this day of little perturbation, only small speed bumps that we will drive over slowly, braking down, deliberately pressing the gas pedal with a long whispered inhale and even longer exhale.

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