Monday Musings 9/12

I’ve gone back to the more structured list of Monday Musings. I tried the provocative free-writing, thought-wheeling, circle of unchecked creativity, and I found myself unable to write about anything. Once again too much freedom can sometimes become imprisonment.

  1. It is the Sunday after the start of the NFL season, which means I’ve embraced my most barbarous personality trait. I’m the Roman at the coliseum, watching the gladiators color the sand red with chains of fresh blood. The harder the hit, well, the more intrigued you are by the game. I don’t think anyone was surprised by the amount of damage the human brain receives playing football. It is a ton. There is nothing natural about top athletes ramming into one another at high speed. We enjoy it nonetheless. It seems like every human generation has its blood sport. I’m hopeful that social evolution will iron this out, but you never know.
  2. I went on a binge recently of the BBC television series Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. The story is about two rival magicians based in an alternate universe of 1800’s England. I loved it. The series used fantasy and magic in a very subtle way, similar to how Game of Thrones operated in its first few seasons. The more extravagant the story gets, the higher the fantasy introduced. All of this fiction is overshadowed by excellent acting and character development. No performance is perhaps more frightening than the fairy summoned by one of the magicians to resurrect a politician’s dead daughter. His performance is fantastic as a humanoid monster who delights in kidnapping Christians from across the English countryside. He acts interested in the human world, but also frightfully bored, like he is only gracing us with his presence for the sake of his own entertainment. He alone makes the series worth watching.
  3. This summer in Minnesota has been so humid, thick, and bug-laden, I feel like we were locked in some jungle tale without the animals, mystical cities, or Michael Douglas. It has been unbelievable. My wife and I went walking at Springbrook Nature Center and it was so lush and overgrown, I felt like I should have brought a machete, flamethrower, or that chain gun Jesse Ventura had in Predator. The bugs were insane. We had to constantly jog down the path to keep the mosquitoes off of us, which was difficult because both my wife and I have not had time to workout since we had the twins. We were a panting, profanity-laden pair, causing animals and birds to flee out of our way in elaborate living flourishes and desperate scampers. When we were leaving the trail, I noticed an older man with a giant camera muttering angrily, walking down a path to the parking lot. He was leaving the reserve in a huff. I assume we had scared off all wildlife in the surrounding tri-city area.
  4. You would never think in this day and age it is possible to get bored with your phone, but when you’re underneath a sleeping baby for two to four hours every single day, you can only look at Facebook for so long. I have the Kindle App, so I’ve been downloading the free public domain books, which are usually the classics you see in that giant display at Barnes N Noble. Recently, I’ve been reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. It is a great book. There are a tremendous amount of sentences, or one-liners, which have shown up in other pieces of popular media. His ideas about life and happiness are spot on, especially in this age of hyper-capitalistic indulgence. You’re given lovely descriptions of nature and survival, plus little bits of almost fortune cookie wisdom. There is so much thought in it, you need to take breaks from reading. It still holds up, however.
  5. I’ll probably write a bigger post about this in the near future, but as of right now I’m no longer working a job other than my writing. I’m on my own. I’m taking my writing seriously and my projects are now my sole source of income. This is terrifying. I feel both free to be who I am, and crippled by the stress of providing for my family solely with my writing. I’m living my dream, but at the expense of both my family and quality of life. I would do anything for them, but not embracing myself or taking control over my destiny has made me crabby and miserable. I feel free, but stressed. I guess that is just the way the world makes you feel when you swim against the current. If you want to support me along this journey, buy my books, share my stories, or get my Kindle editions. Thank you for the support.
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