Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 63

Hi.

Coffee: Americano, Caribou Coffee

I’ve been writing this daily log for over four hundred days now. What have I learned from it?

  1. Discipline is difficult. I met a friend at a bar three years ago and told her I was writing everyday. Back then, I was working on a novel. She was impressed, which made me happy, then I stopped writing every day. Three years on, I realize that it’s the happiest times when discipline is most important. Easier to excuse yourself.
  2. It’s okay to not have anything to say as long as you’re honest about it. A lot of people are not having anything to say right there with you. Catharsis.
  3. I write a lot about taking walks. A lot of blogs I follow do too. What’s up with that?
  4. Holidays are special if you let them be. For most of my adult life, I’ve gotten progressively disenchanted with holidays. Writing this blog, though, has forced me to focus on them and that’s brought some of the magic back.
  5. An add on: life is magic anytime you allow it to be. There’s magic in joy, magic in boredom, magic in suffering. Looking at anything closely brings new color to it.
  6. You better understand your own responsibilities by verbalizing them, acknowledging them, calling them out. Accountability.
  7. I quote a lot from Bukowski.
  8. I have something to say. Probably you do too.

Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain

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You live and learn. At any rate, you live.

Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 20

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

I read an article about positive parenting. It followed a few researchers who lived with the Inuit. It reeked of Westernism – ‘they’re so happy!’ ‘They’re such a peaceful people!’ It said they were never angry. No-one’s never angry. Cultural fetishism aside, though, the article had some interesting points.

It talked about stories. The Inuit teach morals and manners with stories. Think mother goose, only it’s an Aurora that steals your head if you don’t wear your hat. All the kids in the city grew up with these stories. All the adults could recount them. They talked about tempting a two year old to hit his mother with a stone. When he did, she’d cry, exaggerated, performing a play, and when he didn’t, she’d hug him. But it was always a story. And that’s how people learn.

As a wannabe writer, that stuck with me. I thought about what stories I’m telling. I thought about what stories I’ve been told. I grew up with Goodnight Moon. What man has that made me?

A funny thing happens these days. Kids are coupled to computers. Their eyes go wide with games and movies, and more than that they’re wrapped up in YouTube. They stream themselves. We watch other peoples’ watching. We consume media so we can talk about it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s a different kind of story-telling. You can’t trick the kid to think he’s owed a visit from the tooth fairy. You can trick the kid to believe he might be famous if he posts an insta pic of that lost tooth. In 2019, kids skip a step: they’re becoming storytellers without having been a part of any story. They’re not the heroes but the narrators.

What do you do with that?

Novel Count: 30,349

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami; FINISHED! 

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Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere.

Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon