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Invisible Riot

We like to think of private experiences as “interior”, but we know this can’t be true. There is no location for the soul, or even the mind. While it may be true that lack of evidence doesn’t necessarily mean a thing doesn’t exist, I personally believe that calling private experiences part of the “inner” life, is just as outdated a metaphor as saying that there’s a place above us that we go to when we die.

But maybe we’re just looking in the wrong place. It’s possible, that somehow, in some way we can’t understand, that the workings of the mind all take place somewhere “outside”. I bring all this up because sometimes, while writing this book, it’s sure seemed this way. Like the ideas and characters that give form to my book are all features of some external landscape that I stumble upon, that I only discover when mind and body are in the exact right place at the exact right time.

This happened recently. What with moving and now holidays, I haven’t had as much time as I might like for working on the book. Let me be honest with you: this sucks, and is a whole level of stress I can’t even begin to describe… but probably will at some point in this very blog (if I haven’t already). Not having time to write becomes indistinguishable from not making time to write, and pretty soon I have a whole other class of self-attacking failure demons to contend with on top of all the usual types. But then last week, I was out having dinner with E somewhere, and a half-glimpsed sliver of a headline entered my brain and exploded into a fully fledged idea that unstuck me from where I am in the story. I didn’t know I was stuck. I was just sitting there, paying rapt attention (as always) to E, when some words caught my eye, and ker-blam, I was struck full force with the next idea I needed to take the chapter I’m working on to its conclusion.

Which made me wonder lots of things. Was I ever really stuck? Or is there some animal writerly part of my brain that made me stop and wait til I had this idea? Are we ever stuck? What would have happened if I’d just forged ahead and not had the time to have this accidental collision? What is the noetic landscape I navigate, and how much of ideas come from inside, and what does inside mean and what and who and

I feel like I’m wandering amid an invisible tumult, an undetected riot, and sometimes I’m jostled and knocked and I bump into something and my vision is arrested and shifted. And we call these collisions ideas, and we say they come from somewhere inside, but who knows. Maybe we are surrounded by an unseeable world that shapes our lives and stories. Or maybe we are ourselves the shadows, half-perceived instances, thinking we live and know and feel, until something else comes along, and we accidentally touch the real.

What I Did For Dinner

Well I’ve just got so much free time on my hands, I figured hey matthias why not start another project. Good idea matthias, what were you thinking? How about a writing project? Great idea! I’ve only got this weblog and my novel – I could definitely use another writing project! Perfect, let’s get started.

Without further ado then, ladies and gentlemen, we proudly present… my dinner. I created this as a tongue-in-cheek response to the #1 question we get asked whenever we have company over for dinner, namely, “Do you eat like this all the time?” I’ve never known quite how to answer this… until now. Now you, and the entire rest of the world, can see for yourself, how I eat, all the time. Enjoy.

The Best Adventure

My last day at the office was October 24, so, when I go back tomorrow, I’ll have been out for 18 days. For most of those 18 days, my wife and I have been focused on moving, unpacking, settling in, feathering our nest, and attending to all the myriad little tasks and projects that keep popping up throughout this sort of undertaking. We’ve have seen many ups and downs, and we have ridden a rollercoaster of stress and excitement, but I have to tell you:

This has been one of the most exciting and wonderful periods of my life.

I feel a little like a motor that’s finally been installed in exactly the right machine. I love feeling our home come to life around me. I love the parts that are all mine (drilling! toolbox organization), and I love the parts we figure out together. E and I don’t always agree, but mostly we do, and even when we don’t, more than half the time, E’s ideas are better than my own.

But what’s even better than that is that the process of building a home from the blank slate of a new, empty condominium is a deep dive into what a marriage is, in microcosm. Marriage is an emotional and maybe even a spiritual home you build for each other, and now we have a physical home that we can call ours, and shape to our needs and quirks as we shape a marriage. It is the craftmanship of two people coming together, and the real-life work of fidelity and love carved into physical space. I’m happiest when my worldly actions propagate through multiple levels of metaphor, and building a home with my sweetie fits that bill better than anything I’ve ever known.

We’ve had a wonderful year with many adventures: trips to Florida, Indiana, and Missouri. Last year we went to Italy and we got married. Over the course of our five years together we’ve had multiple amazing adventures that I cannot imagine any single man can rightly say he outright deserves. I’m grateful for it all, but I’m most grateful for the past eighteen days. All this time with my favorite person, doing some of my favorite things, in a great new home, in a great new neighborhood… it’s all been pretty much perfect.

But all good things must come to an end, and tomorrow I head back into the office. Sure I have mixed feelings about it, but I also know that it’s because they have to end, that some of the good things are so good. So I’m ok with it, because I know that some other things won’t end: our marriage, our love, and the fun we have together. I’ll still get to come home every day to my best friend, and, some day, maybe soon, maybe later, we’ll have have another magnificent adventure together.

Peak Inefficiency

Everything’s gone as expected, and we closed the sale yesterday. We move in on Monday. We are excited, stressed, happy, and all sorts of things, but mostly excited. We’re about a third of the way through packing which is one super-inconvenient place to be. Enough stuff is in boxes to be disruptive to our natural lives, but not enough is packed to make room for all the stuff that’s in boxes. We are in a state of near peak inefficiency. Once Friday evening rolls around though, I’m off work for a couple weeks, so things should start moving a lot more quickly and easily.

Next time I write here, I’ll probably be blogging from our new pad! Wish us luck!


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