Monday, August 21, 2017

The Dog Days of Summer

The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.  
Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

It's summer. And it's hot. And I can't seem to find my writing groove. I decided to turn the novella The Little White Christmas Lie into a novel...and I wrote a few scenes. But it couldn't hold my attention for long. So, I resurrected my novella Making Music. It also really deserves to be a novel. And what about the murder mystery series I started? Today is the eclipse. Tomorrow I'm going to the beach. And then I'm going to Washington.

Vernon Howard in his book Psycho-Pictography tells us that we need to be "totally engaged in the act of the moment...the opposite of this is a scattered mind....You may wish to relax, but your mind is hopping...When the self-united man is relaxed he is like a cat dozing peacefully before the fireplace--he is in a mental state that knows nothing outside of itself. He doesn't merely feel relaxed. He is relaxation."

And that is the problem. I can't be like the cat relaxing before the fireplace--because it's hot. And that's because it's August. Maybe things will be better in September. Emerson tells us we need to trust in the process.

"All our progress is an unfolding, like the vegetable bud. You have first instinct then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. It is vain to hurry it. by trusting it to the end, it shall ripe into truth and you shall know why you believe."

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