Archive for March, 2014

Different directions

For about a month now, I’ve simply been writing to put words down on the proverbial page.  I’ve started using it as an outlet, a reason to continue practicing this skill and a welcome break from both my day job and a novel I’ve been writing in spurts of fervor and stagnation.  I’ve been checking the numbers of hits I’ve received following a post and tried to determine how best to fashion and grow this blog based on my own interests and expertise (since apparently I’ve decided I have some at age 25).  This blog will contain posts about healthcare and science (the two topics I have at least rudimentary knowledge about), as well as thoughts and opinions.  I prefer not to muddle the focus of themes but don’t have a good way to do that beyond the categories section so it’ll be your job to determine what sections you prefer to read.

To the twenty(+) followers that have decided I have some worth as a writer (and to my wonderful wife who has graciously agreed to be my informal editor), I hope that you will check out my other sections and subscribe or forward as you feel driven.  Beyond that, enjoy.

Of Oregon

So to explain the name of this blog (which holds a bit more meaning than a simple play on words) I must first explain my own history.  Growing up in a suburb of Portland certainly shaped my worldview.  Okay, technically the capital of Oregon (Salem, for those of you geographically-challenged—and not the witch-related one) is far from being a suburb but if we’re going to be honest, Portland is the heart and lungs of the state.  There’s even a nature documentary on television where scientists attempt to catch Portlandians in their natural habitat.

Being transplanted into another state (successfully, thanks to my wife who’s from Oregon’s northward cousin) held more changes than I had seriously considered.  The driving is faster: my hypothesis is that this is due to the tranquil blue writing on a standard Oregon license plate versus the abrasive and harsh red lettering on a Washington one.  Hmm…come to think of it, California also has red lettering (further study required).  You also have to pump the gas in this state yourself, how archaic!  You’re saying that’s the way the rest of the country works?  Well Oregon has professionals that take care of such a complicated and hazardous process (gas can catch fire you know).  And a final but crucial change from Oregon to Washington is that the listed price of an item is a complete and utter lie.  This state (and a few others, I’m told) expects you to not only do math but also know which arbitrary county demands more of your money than the previous one you visited; the “Dollar-Ten” store certainly has a bit less appeal than the Dollar Tree.   Don’t even get me started on how they figure out the tax on a bottle of gin (or whiskey if you’re so inclined).

There are good parts about this state, the reason I still reside here I suppose.  The first reason being that my family has made a home here.  I found a job that allows my wife to stay home with our daughter and I’ve even begun to enjoy the inevitable 1-1.5 hour commute by bus that allows me to write for at least 90 minutes a work day (where I’m sitting to ‘pen’ this very post).  I begrudgingly admit that Mt. Rainier is superior to Mt. Hood in both girth and beauty and Seattle has the craziest fans.  The state of Washington has become a resting place for this transplant and without an obvious call from God, I don’t see myself parting with it anytime soon.

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addiction

You wake up early with a burning desire for your addiction, as if you hadn’t spent most of the night previous hopelessly devoted to it.  Every waking second you spend with it, if not in action then in thought.  How have you allowed it to conquer your life so?  How have you allowed all your other interests to fall by the wayside and to let this infection inundate your very being?

Your life is now an empty shell of itself.  Was there a time before this beast took the reins of your life?  You wish to talk with others about this but they simply wouldn’t understand.  They couldn’t understand unless they too have fallen under such a spell as this.  You procrastinate from your duties; allow others to pick up your slack while your mind prepares itself for the next fix.  A fix with the inevitable reprieve that cycles endlessly until you become little more than a shell of your former self.

The symptoms are the worst part, insomnia being the forerunner in your collection of ailments.  You don’t know if it’s the direct cause or caused by your mind running wild for it, but lying awake there at night you hardly breath, trying to convince yourself sleep is better than your drug.  An hour spent resisting, then two.  You know that just a taste would instigate the inevitable shaking, heart palpitations and chilling sweats that cause sleep to be little more than the dreams it would attempt to incite.

This drug is beyond the potency of any you’ve indulged in before.  At the time of consumption, you cycle through a racing heartbeat, chills, highs so high and lows bringing you to the edge of despair.  They never warned you of this obsession.  The one-sided account on the topic dealt with goodness and wholeness, purity that exalted the user to be on level with philosophers and kings.  If only they could see your thirst for it now.

It’s not a waist but a gain you say: the time that your addiction has appropriated from your life.  If not but the pleasure that pursuing it brings to your existence.  It’s not as if you need an intervention but that others just don’t understand the strength and satisfaction of such a pull.

It’s close you say, you can feel yourself coming to the unavoidable and humbling end to this epoch of your life.  The euphoric conclusion and a very real satisfaction that you have finally overcome your desire to continue.  And then you turn the final page on the addiction for the last time.

The literal page.  The novel that has engrossed your being, daylight to long past sundown has been conquered.  The satisfaction is bittersweet as your very being yearns for another such world to consume the void the previous has vacated.

Happy reading.

Okay, so I know that post was somewhat backwards but I’ve honestly had more of the aforementioned thoughts while reading a book than I’d care to admit.  I’ve endured the panic of not being able to engage the world for more than the length of the book I’m reading.  That is the sort of book I want to write some day; a book that completely captivates and grips the reader, allowing them to disengage from the world and become immersed in another.  I wonder, how many others have felt that way about a book?