Exciting title: Day 3.
It sounds like an HBO thriller title. Day 3 is just about when the shit really hits the fan for zombie attacks, outbreaks, aliens, you name it. In reality, I don’t have anything quite so shocking planned. In fact, breaking all rules of writing, I started this process without even considering my audience, so if you are here for zombies and aliens, you may have to wait a few days and I might not deliver. When I set the intention to write for 30 days, I didn’t really think about my audience because the goal in my commitment is very personal. I should have known better. My mom, of course, is part of my audience. She is probably just emitted a small gasp because I typed the word “shit” and in general, I have a “no swearing,” motto.
My dad, who has already been the subject of my writings, is also my audience. My dad has unfortunately been in the hospital with pneumonia for the same number of days that I have been writing (plus a few hours as he arrived there around 2 AM). This, of course, means that I have a second dedicated addition to my audience. If you are reading this and you are not my mom nor my dad, then I have a bonus audience, which is quite exciting, but also a tad bit nerve wracking.
Committing to writing for only 30 minutes per day, means that to maintain my sanity and keep my personal and my professional to-do lists in order, I cannot write for 30 minutes and then spend the next 4 hours rewriting. I actually have to stop after 30 minutes. I think I am beginning to understand why Thoreau ran off to the woods. I actually love writing and just getting my ideas out there so much, that I could easily run off to apond in the woods (or maybe a mosquito free beach in the sun). Which is an interesting segway, I hope my dad like’s stream-of-consciousness writing (I think he may not…).
The year that I lived in Boston, I was lucky to know a few folks in the area. One of them happened to be the professor who taught my Scientific Writing Course at CU Boulder. She was now working for the Library at MIT and she lived on Walden Pond. Well, actually she lived on a pond (beautiful view) in Concord, MA. I don’t recall if she specifically lived on Walden Pond. Given my pledge to be authentic, I suppose I shouldn’t start by bending the truth, even for the sake of a good story. Especially, since Sally taught scientific writing, which aims for accuracy. Bad karma would most likely result from bending the truth here and now, and so I will keep to the details, as perfectly or imperfectly, as my human recall allows.
For someone raised in an academic and not a materialistic household (my mom always worked at the University of Colorado), moving to Boston was a bit like moving to Disney Land. Probably a bad analogy for 50% of my readers, but my point is, not only does Boston have Harvard and MIT, it has the Freedom Trail, the Old North Church of Paul Revere legend, it has Harvard Square (think Car Talk) and First Unitarian Church. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a Unitarian, as were many other Enlightenment thinkers and writers. Technically, most of these things that I am referencing are actually in Cambridge, MA, but I think you get my point. Living in Boston and her surrounding metropolitan realm, I was in the theoretical, lost in the clouds, thinking persons Heaven.
As I mentioned in my lead-up blog post, published on my professional blog last week, I used to pass my free-time simply walking the streets. If only I had a pedometer or an iPhone in 2000-2001, I probably put a good 10,000 steps to my name every day. Sometimes I got up early and got off my train before I had to change from the Green Line to the Red Line to get to downtown. My ride started at Cleveland Circle and continued until Park Street, where I would switch to the Red Line, but if I got off early, at Fenley Park, Boylston or Copley Square I could walk along and by the old Redstone rowhomes, the tree-lined streets, and Boston Commons. Coming from the wilderness and plains of Colorado to the density and history of Boston made me feel like a belonged to something bigger.
To be continued…