Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Breaking it down

It was actually nice to give myself a self-decreed month off from publishing blogs; however, I knew I'd never take a month off from writing, which whether it's fiction, emails, journal entries, or essays on a topic, has been an ongoing part of who I am since I was old enough to record a few scribbled words. What I wanted was a time out from deciding if whatever I wrote mattered and even more important from debating it with someone else.

Then too, I wondered how much of what I do is influenced by keeping a blog? Do I sometimes do something just to share here? As I have said, I never have shared all of what is going on in my life (even though it might make a more interesting blog); but if I wasn't doing a blog, would it make a difference? (answer to that one after a month off-- not)

Sometimes when I am thinking deeply, working out an issue (especially about politics) I don't want someone else to come along and find fault with it right away or even agree, leaving me feeling I have now set my opinion in concrete.

Besides that, I wanted a break to decide if regular blogging was something I wanted to continue. Blogs are kind of like books except there is no The End. I wasn't planning to delete this blog whatever I decided but more maybe writing less frequently than I have been doing for quite awhile. (Still not sure on that one but once a week might work better if summer actually gets here anyway.)

Being honest, before I left, I was also irritated with the political atmosphere in this country-- lefties and righties equally but for different reasons. I was tired of rants even when they were my own.

I have always known I am not someone who fits into a neat box politically and what has been going on in the US has made me even more aware of that and with no apologies. I like how I think; but feeling as frustrated as I did, did I want to write about any of it. Does it really make a difference in anything we write here? I have a firm belief that anger and divisiveness are unhealthy; but so is avoiding important truths just because they're unpleasant. The challenge for me is in finding a balance between caring, expressing myself whether in a blog or to friends, and not letting it become consuming.

One early Tucson morning, I lay in bed thinking, which is my favorite way to wake, when I can take some time to mull over dreams, capture the thoughts from the night. I was also listening to the mourning doves. Do you know they sometimes make the same sound over and over? No difference. It can go on for hours especially in the early morning. There is no seeming attempt to share an idea but just that kuh kuh kuh-coo (sort of what it sounds like). Maybe they enjoy it just for the sound in their own ears. I've been hearing a lot of repetitive talk from the media with one difference. The dove sound is never aggressive. It can seem repetitive though if you don't like it. I do like it and always equate it with Tucson.

The coyotes, which that morning I was also hearing, appear to do more conversing which can sometimes reflect excitement, sometimes upset. One night when first here, I had been awakened with that startle response a person gets when something wakes them that doesn't fit. I think mothers learn that and never stop doing it but farm living can bring it on also. That night there were other coyotes yodeling. I think the sound, like a loud pained whimper that went on and then was repeated, came from a coyote but why? What did it communicate? I waited hoping to hear it again but it didn't repeat. Was something being killed? Maybe a young coyote being taught manners? It wasn't something I had heard before and I have heard a LOT of coyote yodels. While in Tucson, I can enjoy their conversations more than at home when I have to worry if they will try to get to the sheep.

With all the animal sounds outside, the cool desert air was coming in the open window like a caress from the desert to my bare skin. If you have ever lived through a desert summer, you know that early morning is a precious time. It will be the only cool air until the sun goes back down. I love Tucson summers with the way they regulate the rhythm of life.

It was then that an idea came to me that while not regularly publishing, I could write things much more freely. I would keep a journal that I could publish elsewhere for readers of the blog to access if they were interested. It would give me a month, almost, to decide if I wanted to share what I wrote; but I'd write whatever I felt without censoring myself-- well less censoring.

I figured there would be my thinking on politics, maybe links as I came across them. Later, after I had started on it, I saw a natural division would work better; and I'd do it in two parts. One would be all politics, what I felt about any particular issue. A lot of readers might not care what I think on something like immigration, the oil spill, the Kagan nomination, Obama, 'don't ask, don't tell,' or anything else. People wouldn't have to read the link.

The second part would be my daily life and what my time in Tucson was like on a more personal level. The second part would be where most Tucson photos would go. It would be stream of consciousness writing without deciding if this or that was important enough to blog about.

It might seem I write about just anything anyway but I don't. I always try to decide if something matters enough to take up a reader's time. For May I decided I wouldn't do that about politics or the journal. Someone would have to click on it. It didn't matter if it was important.

Doing my writing this way was better on many levels because I could always write on the laptop even if I couldn't get somewhere to post it. It gave me time to decide if I wanted to change something where I had come to a new insight-- at least new to me. This is especially true of politics where the more I write or think about something, the more my ideas crystallize.

So for those who want to know some of what my month of May was like, the breakdown follows.

Photo above is our dining room table in Tucson. A table is a good place to sit and talk over the day or issues that have arisen. Out beyond, you see the desert, our Tucson backyard.

Theoretically this link, [Tucson in May] will take you to more photos if you aren't interested in words. I say theoretically because it worked, then it did not work; then it worked again. Try it and see what it does now!


Paul said...

I hope that you enjoyed your respite Rain !

Always Question said...

I think I hear where you're coming from. I've been going back and forth myself on whether or not it's worth speaking my mind about the issues of the day. I'm coming to a point where I think I need to, because neither the right nor the left seem ready to open a dialog, and that Edmund Burke quote keeps banging around in my head. The center needs to be heard.

Dion said...

Firstly, I've missed you, Rain.

Secondly, I'm no longer accepting our two party system of government as anything but a smokescreen for the fascist rule of corporations.

Thirdly, I don't have permission to access your new blog.

Lastly, I'm becoming convinced the Earth and all life she nurtures is about to go through radical changes that will redefine life as we know it.

Rain said...

Thanks for telling me about that, Dion. I did not have that blog listed among mine but didn't realize I needed to go looking for a special permission to allow anybody to view it. Check it out again as I hope I got that fixed.

Rain said...

and thanks for missing me :)

Annotated Margins said...

Those desert flowers are gorgeous.

donna said...

Good for you for taking a break when you felt the need. I hate reading "I don't really feel like posting today, but I need to post daily, etc".... With RSS feeds we don't really need to post just to keep people interested in our blogs anymore.

I did mostly political and personal blogging when I started, but switched to blogging about Tao for a while, then art journaling, and other subjects. I find a different community depending on what I blog about. Sometimes those communities overlap, sometimes not. These days, I'm finding tumblr, twitter, and even Facebook to be interesting outlets, but I do come back to the blog for some things.

I've tried journaling and can never keep at it, there are just too many days I don't feel like journaling, and I hate "having" to do anything. So I have many journals and pick up one when I am in the mood. Anyone trying to organize my life later on would be very confused, but that is not who they are for. They are for me. I rarely share my journals, and when I do, I let people know they are very privileged to have that look.

I understand many different political viewpoints and doubt that any one party ever meets all of an individual's needs or beliefs. But I don't argue over them anymore. I just state my views and am done with it, these days.

Rain said...

That is the key to say what we think and let the results go. It also can be hard when it's something we feel passionate about. The only way it works for our own lives though is to be able to release it. More power to you that you can do it.

I don't journal regularly anymore either and didn't do it after I left Tucson. It's not that I don't like doing it though but more I just don't think about doing it. There were times I did it religiously.

Darlene said...

I'm happy that Tucson is giving you some lovely mornings. I love this time of year. Your photo slide show is gorgeous. You have some fantastic shots (It makes me want to throw my camera away.)of Arizona and the cacti. I love the photo of the sun drenched red of Pusch Ridge.

I think I need to clarify something for you regarding my objection to the AZ SB 1070 law. No one objects to having to carry identification. As you pointed out, we all do it; health cards, blood type, driver's license, et al. And no one objects to having to show ID. That is not the issue. The issue is that we are not asked to show this unless there is a reason to do so. If you need to cash a check you show ID or if you are speeding the officer has a right to ask to see if you have a driver's license. Immigrants need to carry a green card or other proof that they have a right to be here.

Okay, what's wrong with a law that says you have to show your ID upon being suspected of being an illegal? The amendment to the constitution says it's wrong because the innocent as well as the guilty will be asked to show ID just because a cop thinks they look like an illegal. We citizens have a Constitutional right to privacy and that means no one has a right to invade that privacy without just cause.

Let's be honest here; no Polish illegal immigrant will be caught when this law goes into effect. This law was aimed directly at Mexicans and other South American illegals. Therefore, the color of your skin, hair and eyes will matter. (incidentally, calling them 'brown' is just a way of identifying the race like you and I are called 'white'. It is not a derogatory name). And if you don't think there will be racial profiling, you haven't lived in the Arizona I know of 'Mexican haters' long enough. Sure, the old prejudice saying of "Some of my best friends are black." is applicable. This is the main reason AZ is being sued and boycotted. It is a mean spirited law aimed at one group.

Totalitarian governments always ask for ID with no provocation. It was a way to catch Jews in Germany. This law smacks of that kind of power and that's why it's wrong.

Another problem with the law is that immigration is the Federal responsibility. AZ has taken powers upon itself not granted by the Constitution.

The other problem with the law is that it is divisive. Remember that not all Latinos are illegal. Many families ancestors were here before Arizona became a state. But you can bet, they will be asked to show papers no matter what the law says.

I am all for enforcing the law of the land and that includes immigration. However, this law will not solve the problem and it certainly will do nothing to secure our borders. It just makes Arizona lose revenue and cost untold dollars fighting the legality of the law. So what really has been accomplished?

I do hope the government takes up immigration as no one wants our borders secured more than we who live in border states. But this is not the way to do it.

I am leaving for California in a few hours, but had to take the time to clarify my thinking on the AZ law.

I'm sorry we couldn't get together this time, but understand why.

Rain said...

We will have to agree to disagree on what is going on with the law, Darlene. They did tweak it and it only allows police to check ID when they have a legitimate reason to stop someone which could be traffic infraction or other things that lead police to stop people. It likely will be thrown to the higher courts to decide if it's Constitutional. What has added to my irritation is Arizona's earlier law requiring businesses to check for ID in hiring people and be held accountable when they hire someone illegal, that one the Obama administration is also going to challenge in the courts. They claim there is an existing system in place that is working. They have to be kidding.

Where it isn't your goal to allow illegal immigration, there is a sizable faction in this country where it is exactly that. I didn't realize how many or what the stakes were until this all arose and I began to research it.

Yes, we really didn't have time for much given our shorter stay. We didn't even make it out to Sabino which I regretted also but it just wasn't going to work. We did hike as much as possible but at places closer to where we live than in the past. There will be future trips.. I hope as it's darned cold up here right now for being June and frankly I'd like to be in Arizona right now-- but taking the cats next time as I really missed them.

Rain said...

There is also a lot of misinformation out there on what the law is and I think we can thank those like Maddow for that. i watched her interview one guy where her only purpose was not to discuss the law but to point out three people in their large organization who had 'racist' backgrounds. She was practicing gotcha politics with the best of them.

I believe though that there are good people on both sides of this issue. I have quite strong views on it though and feel the federal government not only has not done its duty but has done what it can to block anybody else from doing it. I find that very weird but wrote a LOT about it in the politics blog; so will try not to rant here on it anymore... although I have one set to go asking people who are against the law in Arizona what they would do to resolve this issue. It is not acceptable as it is and only Arizona has done anything to try and fix it and they are being hammered by the press for that.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Yes, I missed you, too, although I've been going through what you've been pondering about the blog myself. I think what you've written here sounds like a plan. I've felt so guilty I haven't been reading my friend's blogs much lately, but that's just a phase, too. Yours is one of my favorites.

When I've been in New Mexico and Arizona, I, too, have loved the coyotes howling. I grew up in Sunland,CA where that was common. I have mourning doves here in Redondo Beach early in the morning.

I am also sick to death with politics. This oil thing makes me ill. Though I don't agree with the AZ immigration law, I think boycotting the state is ridiculous. That just hurts everyone more. And for the life of me, I can't understand why Israel fired on those ships.

Anyhow, I'll look back on a few of your last entries.

robin andrea said...

I so appreciate how you think about things, rain. I love the Tucson photos and diary of the time there. I was really struck by the photo of you with your two children, when you were young.

How ever you choose to present the many facets of you, I'm just glad that you do. Nice to have you back.

Ingineer66 said...

Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos Rain. I have been checking daily for a new post.

mandt said...

"What I wanted was a time out from deciding if whatever I wrote mattered and even more important from debating it with someone else." Oh indeed it does matter for us Rain----not just the digestion of complex current events, but your always thoughtful, balanced, passionate integrity and honesty....not to mention the pleasure of reading good writing---often lyrical, as above. By all means as long as the heart is in it, we are all graced. peace, Mandt

Joy Des Jardins said...

Hi Rain,

I hope your time away was everything you hoped it would be, and that you truly enjoyed yourself and feel rested and rejuvenated now that you're back. You were missed. Your photos are wonderful... ~Joy

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Rain, my dear...I have been catching up on ALL that I have missed...(I had no idea that yu were back blogging...Has it actually been a month, I thought??)
Anyway....your travels and your pictures of these travels are fascinating and wonderful!! And, so very informative, too...It is such BEAUTIFUL Country, isn't it? And with so much History. I LOVE all the pictures and am going to look at a lot more, now!
Thanks for all your visits, my dear. I truly appreciate them and your always wise and warm words!