time


A cloudy gray day down near the beach, temperatures in the sixties.

At the corner of Pacific and Main a girl with dark hair piled atop her head, in a loose halter top and skintight yoga pants, jogs in place waiting for the light to change. Her boobs bounce boobily. The second the light changes, she shoots across the intersection. A car waiting to make a left turns in front of her. She indignantly pounds on the cab as he passes. He doesn’t notice, keeps on going, and so does she, bouncing across the street while those who had been on the corner with her follow at a more leisurely pace.

Just as the pedestrian light starts to blink red, a ragged man in cammo jacket, shorts, bare feet, and humping a backpack steps into the crosswalk and limps slowly across. About halfway the light changes and he picks up the pace of his limping, waving at those of us in the cars not to run him down. We wait until he makes it to the curb and go on our way.

At the corner of Bay and Main, a portly middle-aged man in T-shirt and shorts strides into the crosswalk from Dogtown Coffee. He balances two large coffees on top of one another, a cigarette stuck between his fingers levitating above their lids.

At Vicente Terrace, a girl hastens purposefully up the street carrying a large yellow plastic bag, three giant poster boards under her arm festooned with lettering and sparkles while Elbow sings, “It’s all gonna be magnificent, she says…”

Just another Thursday morning, ordinary but unique, ephemeral, gone forevermore.

Random quote of the day:

“When you were young, you thought time was a burden, something to be discharged as fast as possible so you could be grown-up. But it was such a bait-n-switch—when you were an adult, you came to realize that minutes and hours were the single most precious thing you had.”

—J. R. Ward, Lover Reborn

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“We work not only to produce but to give value to time.”

—Eugène Delacroix, journal, August 19, 1858

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“The storm pushing against me was time, ceaselessly flowing into the past, which just as ceaselessly dogs our heels. It exerts a mighty suction which greedily draws everything living into itself; we can only escape from it—for a while—by pressing forward.”

—Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.”

—Henry David Thoreau, Walden

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

I have only ever taken one critique of my writing personally, and that was largely because it was meant personally. The critiquer mostly wanted to put me in my place and take revenge for an honest review I did of her Very Precious Novel. I told her that her writing was lovely, the characters in her book were interesting people I liked hanging out with, but I thought she’d done some chickenshit stuff with the plotting. Although I used, yanno, polite language, phrased things as positively as I could, trying to be supportive.

In turn, she said my novel was such utter dreck that she couldn’t make it past chapter 3 and didn’t want to waste anymore of her Very Precious Time actually finishing. Except, yanno, in semi-polite language. Though not very polite. Rather dismissive, in fact. Really hard not to take that personally.

Her novel went on to be published, mine did not, but mine got some positive response from agents. The ending was too controversial and “anti-market” but send the next novel along, and etc. Life took over and I wasn’t able to do any of that.

I admit to some perverse gratification when my critiquer’s novel was reviewed in Locus. They called her on the selfsame chickenshit plotting I had. Although the reviewer used, yanno, polite language. Though not as polite as mine. And I’d be lying if I said I was anything less than perversely gratified when the novel didn’t sell well.

Mostly, however, I take criticism like a grown woman. I ask people to read and critique my work because I want honest opinions so I can make it better. And I stay away from the perverse gratification as much as possible because I really do believe that negativity breeds negativity. It’s not healthy for me as a person or an artist to nurse grudges. They’re rather like hoarding useless junk. Too much of it in any one life and you wind up being one of those people buried alive and suffocated to death when a pile of old smelly junk falls on top of you.

No, envy and salacious glee at another person’s fail tend to choke the creative process. That needs to be as free-flowing as possible and if the artist encumbers herself with negative emotions she’ll stop moving altogether. I see it even more clearly now that I have so little time to do creative work, so little Me Time. An artist needs to be able to take those precious moments and run with them whenever they occur, wherever they lead.

And that includes being grateful for the time others spend reviewing and giving honest critiques of my work. I’m grateful for 99.9% of the reviews I’ve gotten. As you can probably tell from the opening of this post, I haven’t entirely succeeded on letting go of that one unfair one. I still grit my teeth when I see that person’s name. Fortunately, I don’t see it much anymore unless I masochistically google it. And I hardly ever do that. Hardly.

I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time for hoarding old newspapers of envy, scrap tin of grudge, and empty boxes of perverse gratification. I need to let go, lighten my load, and liberate myself completely from the junk preventing me from moving freely.

Random quote of the day:

“We who were in our thirties then and are in our fifties now can’t be fooled by the false accuracies of clocks and calendars.

—attributed to James Thurber

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.”

—Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant

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Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“Time bears away all things, even our minds.”

—Virgil, Eclogues, Book IX, line 64

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Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

—Albert Einstein, letter to the family of his friend, Michele Besso, upon
learning of his death, March 1955. Einstein died in April 1955.

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Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

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