Wednesday, 17 October 2012

What inspired you today? Fragmented musings of a girl on holiday

I know, right? Term breaks and holidays exist for a reason. They are necessary and need to be honored. But it takes discipline and skill to stop a lot of the things we do when we work -- dispositions and habits of mind that I am still slowly learning.  It is doubly hard when the /my professional and personal lines are blurred and quite tangled up.  My work makes up a huge part of who I am. What I value as a human has everything to do with what I write and what I do with you guys.  It is also tricky because I am staying put in Singapore to enjoy my new city instead of flying off somewhere far to "unplug".  :) Anyway, there are no vacations for writers, I guess?  Thinkers, mullers, sharers and over-analyzers alike.  No such thing.  So here I am.  Writing and writing you.  And this won't be long.  I just wanted to share three things that I inspired me today.  

 A quote by a writer,  Joan Didion

"To shift the structure of a sentence alters the meaning of that sentence, as definitely and inflexibly as the position of a camera alters the meaning of the object photographed. Many people know about camera angles now, but not so many know about sentences."

a poem by Rumi

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
From Essential Rumi

and this video by Aaron Koblin


These ideas consumed me the whole day -- ideas of restructure, allowing everything in to learn and relearn, and how our world and storytelling are ever changing, shifting blobs of important stuff.  I wish I found a way to remix all three pieces together to form a new whole but all I had in me was to gather the bits and enumerate them in this manner.  Bad or good thing?  I don't know.  Maybe I just wanted to keep in touch with you guys.  And well, practice what I teach.  Whatever the case, I meditated on Rumi's and Didion's words, and watched Koblin's videos until my eyes were dry. It feels like a fragmented, incoherent dream right now, sharing this with you.  Maybe tomorrow, it will happen, come together.  Maybe the following day, I can remix.  Or not.  Maybe this is my version of a vacation.  I don't know.

Anyway, what about you? Where in the world are you and what inspired you today?     


  1. Paula! I just read your post about Miranda July and thought I'd send you this link
    which should take you to a movie short with MJ --the director had just broken up with her or knew they were about to break up and so, he said, when the shot was over he couldn't bring himself to say, "cut," and end the scene, so she kept walking out of view until she was blocks away. And the movie is good too.

    1. Chris! Thanks for sharing that. I really loved it (and MJ) and am finding a way to share it here. OR blog about it in my other blog. Thanks for passing by as well. Let's get together with Jay Atwood soon, okay. :) How you been?