A few weeks ago, I had mused about writing my own book about running while writing what I thought of the book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami. I certainly have enough stories for one, and hope to still have enough for one going forward as I begin a new phase of my distance running with a new style of running. However, I’m not sure where it’d all fit into my writing and/or life plans, this running book I’m thinking about. To test those waters then, and/or perhaps just to make notes in case I write one, I will be dropping the occasional running vignette for my writings on this blog. Here’s the first one.
A few weeks back, I was able to share a short poem I had written this year that didn’t fare well in a local poetry competition, with anticipation of seeing the finalists and/or winning entries so I can “self-study” them as one more of many attempts to “get” modern poetry. Well, I got them and have shared them below, along with some self-study notes.
Over the past handful of years, I have been talking and reveling a lot about the science of happiness, and my happiness from having learned that science through courses at Yale and Berkeley online. I do this enough that there’s even a header menu choice for “happiness” on my blog, even though there’s not a huge number of posts under it. That’s how much I value trying to catch people’s attention with it to share it with them! For all of its value and my intent, though, I find that talking about the science and pursuit of happiness in life occasionally rubs people the wrong way, or lead them to think I’m really misguided since I’d never be happy if I’m always chasing something I can’t get, right? Yes, except that I’m really working to maintain as much of something as I can, though that wasn’t quite right, either. I am not trying to be ecstatic or even perky sort of happy throughout most of my days, which is not what the courses taught, either. I am just pursuing a general feeling of bliss throughout as much for as many of my days as possible, and minimizing stresses and/or things that get me down, stressful or not. But how to properly explain that? Well, recently, the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley which had taught me the Science of Happiness course came to the rescue. Contentment, was the word I was seeking and meaning to use, not happiness, and it makes a huge world of difference!
Where were you when…? That’s the question often asked about defining moments of a generation, country, demographic, or some other group could commonly relate to. These questions, and the moments they reference, tend to each be about an event that happened not to the group, but to something that impacted the group. On the contrary, with receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine, what we have is a defining moment more definitive, and more globally relatable, and more personally impacting to us all, than any of those other defining moments. For that, the question will be a little different. It won’t be where were you when…? But rather, where and when did you… get your vaccine? And quite possibly as a follow up, how was it?
Nothing cohesive today except the source of the writings, which were six writing prompts from my weekly Creative Writing for Newcomers class, and the twist I tried to make from each instead of going where the prompts were pointing me. I didn’t do it with the first prompt, only looking to fill it with something more interesting than what someone might have thought in response to the prompt. However, once I found it, I made it a point to not only find an interesting response for the following prompts, but to intentionally sideswipe or blindside the direction in which those prompts first led me. We only had two minutes with each prompt, but I generally liked what I got out of it.