Thursday, October 01, 2009

Writing in the dark

I often write things in my head long before I get anywhere near a keyboard. I don't think I control the process as much as it controls me: Any time, anywhere, the words simply begin to dance.

And so it was this morning, in the pre-dawn darkness, as I lay in bed with the furnace/dog draped over my legs. A column that I had begun to slash out on my laptop before bed last night decided to complete itself. So I got up, grabbed the laptop and its handy dandy gooseneck USB LED light (best $7 I ever spent, btw) and parked myself on the living room couch to finish it off in earnest and send it halfway across the continent.

It's my first piece of beginning-to-end, actual, professional writing that I've done in what seems like an age. I re-read it countless times to ensure it flowed OK and wasn't rife with evidence of my decidedly less-than-focused state. Confident it didn't read like a Swahili-language breakfast restaurant menu, I sent it on its way.

I can't say I enjoyed the process. I still feel overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings that I can't understand, let alone adapt to. I still feel like I've lost my edge, and worse, I've lost one of the most critical members of my audience. But if the show goes on for the proverbial performer, it has to go on for the proverbial writer as well. Write, invoice, live. It goes on...albeit painfully.

One more thing: I wrote and published this piece for Betanews, My father's laptop: A humble machine's simple lesson, last week. I hope you'll take a moment to give it a read and let me know what you think.

12 comments:

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

makes me think
so
a good one!

kenju said...

Carmi, it is as good as everything else you write, and another good testament to your father's life (at least the last 11 or so months of it. The legacy of internet technology will be greater than the things you mentioned, but in essence, the beauty of it is just what you said - the connections we forge daily with family and friends are worth innumerable billions.

Thom said...

Bravo on the aritcle Carmi. Well written and it was as if we could share in his technology. Wonderful my friend. I'm glad you wrote yet again :) Aloha my friend :)

quilly said...

Carmi, the more I read about your love for your father, the more I love him myself. It takes a special man to inspire that kind of devotion from a grown son.

His foray into the world of technology, and the way he embraced it whole-heartedly, also speaks of his pride in your accomplishments. There is not greater compliment than a father who wants to follow his son.

You were both greatly bless3ed to have each other.

Mojo said...

Losing your edge? I hardly think so. The "Swahili-language breakfast menu" line almost put coffee through my nose.

And the Betanews piece was marvelous. Seems most of the commenters there agreed with me. I suspect all of the ones here do as well.

And the random [expletive] that didn't? Pah! He'll get it one day. Or not.

lissa said...

Mojo - ditto. Though I was kind of looking forward to that Swahili breakfast menu. You know...in case I ever need to know what's served...

lissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lissa said...

I just read the article...I cannot begin to describe all that it invoked in me. As well, the first comment (which had me creating an account just so I could log in and give him a thumbs down) had my blood boiling. There's always one in the barrel! Mojo - I don't think that (expletive) WILL get it...seems to be a negative soul who is just going through the motions of life. I'd pity him. But I won't waste my time.

Carmi - describing your connection to your father, his connection to technology and yours in that vein as well, is poignant and eye-opening. You made me think (and smile...and ache for your loss all over again). It's quite a new experience, either discussing or teaching someone of our parents' generation about computers but it's incredibly rewarding when they use it and defer to us (or the kids!) for help and support. It allows us to give back some of the teaching they gave us. And it's so special.

I have emailed the link to the story to 3 people - so far. It's just that beautiful. (of course, I'm always tempted to email ALL your writing!)

Sheress said...

U made me feel a connection with my dad that I have not felt in years. I read over some other writings that you have.

Cloudia said...

Slowly slowly it returns...


Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Gallow said...

That's a great article. I'm amazed at how many people are now using computers in our parents generation. Facebook has really become much more cross generational, and has attracted many more people.

Star said...

I love the article about your father's laptop. Funny how a laptop goes from being a piece of equipment to a personal extension of the user. It was a good thing that you got to share your love of technology with him. Another form of communication.