packing//unpacking

Unpacking. It’s really such a pain. I went on a trip this past weekend from Thursday to Sunday afternoon and I still haven’t taken heels out of the luggage. When you say unpacking you could mean a lot of different things, because there are a lot of things to unpack. You can unpack a luggage, a suitcase, a bag. Or you could unpack a burden, thoughts, or feelings.

In a way writing is kind of like unpacking. You have to untangle everything in your suitcase of a mind, reorganize it, and put it out. You have to clear our a mess of thoughts and put them through the washing machine, dry them and fold them. Sometimes there are things hidden in the deep, hidden corners of your suitcase but you still have to get it out or else you can’t say you’re done unpacking.

This all reminds me of George Orwell reading, in which Orwell wrote that he felt compelled to write stories because there was something he had to wrench out of his mind, something he had to lay out for the world to see.

But writing is also similar to packing in that you need to gather all these things from the distant dregs of your mind and put them together, and it also requires a level of organization. All these thoughts need to fit into an essay or a poem or a book. And you can’t bring everything, even if it’s your favorite dress or your fluffy penguin socks, if you won’t be needing it for your purpose.

I suppose stream of consciousness is more unpacking than packing, though, because we’re not supposed to be organizing things or purposefully looking for facts and details and memories; we’re just taking out some of the mess inside.

This was written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (prompt here: https://lindaghill.com/2020/02/07/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-8-2020/)

And now I really need to go write my history essay-

life in a factory

Once I begin the march, there is nothing to do but finish it, lest some unbalanced force push me off. 

I put one foot in front of the other, propelled forward only inertia. Once set in motion, there is naught to do but stay in motion, waiting for some unbalanced force to make me veer off course. (The force within died long ago.) The inertia began with the first day of school— no, before that. It began with the force that set me on my course as a student, whenever that was. After stepping on the carousel, I’ve entertained no serious thought of disembarking, though I’ve been feeling dizzy for a while now.  The dizziness is confusion, is pain, is the muffling of the world around me. I’m a puppet strewn about by the strings of routine, jerking my body about its daily motions; I’m one in a million marching along a path seemingly set in stone. Once I begin the march, there is nothing to do but finish it, lest some unbalanced force push me off. 

Did I choose this?

What lies at the end of the path?

What will I do without a path to follow?

I’m speeding over a wide, paved highway, on my way to higher education, higher paying jobs. A higher life. I’m one in a million on a conveyor belt of identical twins, not one of a kind. You see, the problem with mass production is that all the products were made to be the same. There is naught to do but to stay in motion, and cross these bridges when I come to them.

a metaphor

You know how ducks always look like they’re gliding effortlessly along the smooth surface of the water?

You know how ducks always look like they’re gliding effortlessly along the smooth surface of the water? (Well, swans, geese, all waterfowl do it, not just ducks.)

However: underneath the water, their feet are paddling wildly (most of the time.)

The illusion of the effortless gliding is what we want people to see; but it’s also helpful to note that effortless gliding isn’t what anybody really does. If you’re in a place where many people admire you, chances are that you worked hard to get there, and you work hard to stay there. That’s a helpful thing to note.

 

I got this analogy/metaphor thingy from my school orchestra conductor (I don’t really like her, but she says interesting things at least.) She was using it to describe a musician’s performance. On the surface, everything should seem smooth, almost effortless. But in reality, there’s a lot of work going on inside to create that illusion. You mind should at least be working, and you’ve got to be working that vibrato! And for me, I always need to be aware of my bow position.

In hindsight, the music performance analogy only works for some types of pieces, because many also showcase the difficulty and skill level of a piece.

 

outlook of a plant

a poem

IMG_2020

It’s a competition:

who can reach the farthest, grow the longest,

stretch your fingers and extend your leaves to the sun-

lest there be no light left for you to have, lest you

be left in the dark to wither- for the sun is what we need,

and the yearning to bathe in its warmth is primal, hardwired

into your instincts; look up to those above you and

remember that you exist to overtake them someday-

your energies are dedicated to that default but without gist

you would flounder and lose- the only way to go is up, up, up,

take advantage of natural deviations of mind and body, never mind

the necessary detours you might have to take and keep going up, up, up,

never mind the others because it is the survival of the fittest after all

and those who are weak will make way for the strong to get stronger

 

and that

is how humans came into existence.

 

 

 

 

 

(ps i wrote this in seventh grade- before i failed my private school application- and i’m still really proud of it since i haven’t written anything of any notoriousness since then so yeah enjoy this gem it’s all i got)

(pps this picture is of an 8th grade art project that i’m also really proud of- it’s a splatter painted performing shoe with a tinfoil-plaster-gold-painted tree)