Saturday, November 22, 2008

Travelling Thoughts


Starbucks, this morning, a man behind his laptop eyed me as I waited and then proceeded to the bathroom, I wondered if he was people watching and if my entrance in his frame of view might somehow affect or appear in his writing. Now I hide behind my laptop on the end seat at JFK Airport, watching sun pockets blind arriving and departing passengers and eying pairs, families, and singles as they walk with purpose to their destination. The confident and determined, tired and meandering, frazzled and rushing, and just sitting and musing all in one place. A peak-ceilined terminal that hums with movement but is relatively quiet otherwise. The TV behind me plays news over speakers and I just heard that Clinton will be Secretary of State. To my right is a genius invention, “10:minute Manicure” a business for travelers in a hurry who want their nails done or a massage – I may walk over in a minute.
Starbucks in front of me, appears to cater to a large crowd but I resist the red holiday cups, remembering the Peppermint Mocha Twist I had this morning. Cellphones ringing, bags in hand, and eyes wandering, there are friends and business associates slowly making their way out. Few seem to not see anything around them. A couple with an infant, strapped to its mother’s chest, she sporting a cowboy hat, the father a small black velour beanie; a man, tall, handsome, in a long black trench coat and bright opaque blue sunglasses; final boarding call to all passengers at gate 7 to Barcelona; pigeons flying across the terminal; families with strollers and toddlers walk at the speed of their little legs, a pace not dissimilar to that of older passengers, taking their time and being careful; If you are traveling to Capetown please proceed to gate 6-your flight is ready to leave; flight staff and pilots looking trim and official make their way to gates, toting baggage marked with 9/11 stickers. There is a strong smell of body odor, the news is highlight a woman who weighed 375 pounds and is now 175 and riding in a hot air balloon; a man in a rodeo jacket, cowboy hat, and boots rushing towards gates 19-30…I wonder, do people think about why people are going where they are going? Do they take in the facial expressions of exhaustion, excitement, wonder, concern, and contentment as they pass? And the shoes – so many shoes from all over, clicking, stomping, shlepping, sliding, and tredding lightly on a speckled white and grey floor that glows with a nearly setting November sun. Travel is something everyone must experience and airports represent a sense of transition, change, and departure that is unique to a place that transports people to areas as far away as Cairo and as nearby as Providence. The hum consumes my thoughts and the blur of people constantly moving distracts me, I can’t think about anything other than moving – sitting makes me dizzy, people watching is tiring here; perhaps, like the man this morning, I would do better in a small town cafĂ©….

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Month and Twelve Days

For someone who loves to write and reflect this post finds me having thoroughly neglected my space to write. But I developed a new love for a Writer's Notebook. Something we have talked about in my literacy class to use with writing students in a writer's workshop setting, but that is apparently also enormously effective for adult writers, thinkers, or whoever. I happen to be both - and I crave places to record or share the random insights I observe or infer throughout the day but really there are few people around who are willing or really care to listen. So, since my laptop isn't always with me (and therefore my blog which I suppose is a virtual writer's notebook), I purchased a small orange notebook that says 'thoughts' on it and fits nicely in my backpack or purse.

Before one pictures me as Harriet the Spy and carting my pen behind my ear and my notebook in my pants pocket, writing down awful things about people - stop - that's not me. In fact I don't write in it nearly as often as I'd like. But I've found - since discovering this medium, that there are moments that actually * require* a notebook or something blank to jot down - not even in complete sentences. And all by themselves, they are art or at least a representation of my frame of mind at the time. Certainly the purpose of the notebook is to later go back and develop some thoughts, snapshot images, descriptions, questions, heart maps (a list of things important to me) into greater written works but right now I don't have the time for that and maybe later I will.

Still not sure what this writer's notebook looks like? Still skeptical that I'm that nerd with a pencil and lined pad?

An entry from 9/8:
crystal clear blue skies with no clouds amaze me.
one of the last frappacinos before it gets cold.
my apartment to myself and the freedom to cook.
schools smell the same, i love that smell, it's familiar and inspiring and just feels right. I guess that's a good thing.
daydreaming wit ha friend I've experienced the last 4 years of my life with - ready for what's coming but unsure of what that means.
Usually I hate Mondays.
What should I make for dinner tonight?
I'm in an art room - funny I never had a good experience in art - bad teachers, lack of a classroom, no encouragement in creativity but then I taught it, now I love it!....hmmm.

And From 9/30
Wilbur Cross - absolute silence but for the occassional flutter of paper and clearing of throats.
the girl next to our table is reading Iraq and the lessons of Vietnam.
The guy on my right sneezed and was embarrased.
An owlet is a baby owl.

And from 10/1
I love music of the 60s and 70s
Also the leaves are beautiful
My first graders couldn't sit still.

So you can kind of see there's no rhyme or reason to what goes in - but a snapshot or words (from a crossword most likely) a quote or perhaps a question. It is not a diary and I wouldn't care if someone found it and read it - I keep a prayer journal for the things just for me and God but this is something different, new, and somewhat unknown. I'm really enjoying it and I've only filled 6 pages....more to come.