Published in The Long Island Advance, May 29th, 2008
It’s not easy to come up with something witty, relevant, amusing, or important to write about every week and I’m always impressed that Mark, Brian and Sarah seem to do it so effortlessly here in the The Long Island Advance. There are times when I’ve written three pieces, one right after the other, times when I’ve woken up and written at 3 AM, and other times when it’s a bit more of a chore to come up with anything to say at all. It’s easier for me when there’s some sort of drama going on in my life that I can’t help commenting on, or I find some kind of amusing disparity between living in New York City, and living in Patchogue. I haven’t had a four column run in a long time and right now, all I have are random thoughts running through my head.
Since the deadline for this week is looming I’ve decided to just sit down and write, and see what happens. It’s kind of an interesting exercise to do that once in awhile. I took a writing class over the winter where the teacher suggested carrying around a marble notebook in which to spend at least 30 minutes per day writing. I was not good at that. I usually have a notebook handy, but when I don’t, napkins, discarded flyers or the margins of newspaper work just as well.
I’m a “when the spirit moves me” kind of writer.
The dilemma right now is, do I tell you about how interesting it is for me to live in an area where I regularly pass women on the street who are not only veiled, but may also be wearing a chador, or do I try to describe in words what it was like to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge for the very first time, or do I tell you how I wonder what the people I work for now where thinking by hiring me, or that I found out first hand recently that a good friend of mine in a “man magnet?” Or, maybe since I’m so conflicted about what to write, do I try and tell you a little bit about all of the above, and then try to string some common thread between them all as a means to wrap up at the end? Perhaps I’ll just give that a whirl and see what happens. After all, I can always hit “delete” and start over again.
Having recently read the book Reading Lolita in Tehran, I’ve become fascinated by women who live in this country and who hopefully are choosing to wear a veil, and are not doing so because there are people in their lives who are trying to make them invisible. I could write an entire column on this subject. The only problem is that I have way more than 750 words to say on this topic. Since limiting myself word-wise is usually difficult, the implications of what wearing a veil means for women is a hard subject to tackle in 750 words or less.
My policy is “if it can be said in three words, why not use three paragraphs, or better yet, three pages.” I have a friend who writes for a living and who is always saying, “Get rid of the extra words!” He has no idea how hard it is for me to part with any of my written words.
I have now almost finished four weeks at my new job. I sit at my desk and sometimes wonder how it is I’m here, at this place with the amazing view. It’s easy to forget how hard I worked to get here and that maybe I do really deserve this. I think that oftentimes people forget that they deserve good things to happen for them.
And, since I’m on the subject of my job, words cannot describe what it was like for me to walk home from work over the Brooklyn Bridge last Friday. It was one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen, and to think that I was afraid that by moving to the city, I would miss the scent of sea air. How silly of me.
Now reminded of the scent of the ocean, last Sunday I sat down at the bay with my friend JoAnn, who was visiting from Florida, and I had the opportunity to witness first hand her abilities as a “man-magnet” and it was pretty darn impressive. Some guy walking his two dogs started a 20 minute conversation with her, all based upon the logo that was on her tee shirt. (And, if she was veiled and wearing a chador, he would never have seen the logo to begin with!)
And, here I am at 840 words with no common thread to string all these random musings together. Oh well, maybe next time individual columns based upon all the above will develop. One never knows what I might be writing about at 3 AM.