Saturday, November 24, 2012

The More Things Change...

The more they stay the same. I don't know whether reading back over years'-past blog entries is inspiring or depressing. Of course, life changes and, hopefully, we move onward and forward. At the same time, it seems very little changes, particularly with regard(s)* to one's hopes and aspirations.


Somewhere the other day, Maya and I read that some writers' most creative hours are early in the morning, when it's quiet and no one else is up. Or maybe it was an article about people who get three or four hours of solid sleep and are then wide awake in the wee hours and who use that time to be productive. Or maybe it was an article about both. I can't remember. It doesn't matter. The point is, I'm up. I'm a writer. I used to use these up hours to write, but I'd stopped doing that because of my iPod Touch and an addictive, time-wasting, soul-sucking app called Facebook.

After reading that article -- whatever it was about -- Maya said, "Maybe you should use those hours when you're up and can't sleep to write." So, that's what I'm doing. Writing. She also suggested that, in order to accomplish this, I would have to leave the iPod Touch in the other room. It's currently sitting on the coffee table in the living room. I am in our office/studio.

Now, if I could just figure out how to block access to Facebook from my computer. Perhaps it's time to look into parental controls...


Night Photography : Bike Path : Ferney-Voltaire, FR / Janet M. Kincaid 2012


Maya's friend, Irene, sends her a subscription to The Sun magazine every year for Christmas. It's a scrappy little periodical with no advertising and an unvarnished view of the world. It's sort of like The New Yorker -- provocative, thoughtful, well-written, but less verbose.** The magazine's editor, a guy called Sy Safransky, has a section near the end of the magazine titled "Sy's Notebook" or something like that.

It's where he rambles on in seemingly random, but often interconnected thoughts. Back when I was a more prolific blogger, I used to do this a lot. I don't know what the official term for it is, but I called it free form writing. A friend called it stream of consciousness.

I wonder if Sy does his best stream of conscious writing in the wee hours?


I live in an apartment in France. It's on the fourth floor. In the States, that would be the fifth floor. Anyway -- it's got a view of Mont Blanc, western Europe's highest mountain. As it's the middle of the night, though, the view is currently darkness and three really annoying streetlights. Why haven't we figured out better ways to manage light pollution? Why aren't the streetlights hooded, so the light shines only on the street below it and not glaringly into my eyes when I look out on the darkness.


Off in the distance, I can see traffic lights in Switzerland. It's a quirky thing to live in a border area. It's neither really France nor really Switzerland. It's sort of Franzerland. It's an in-between-ish place where you can be saved from doing math when counting in French, because the Swiss don't tolerate that "quatre-vingt-dix-neuf"*** business and have invented a shortened version that is easy to remember. It's called "nonante-neuf". On the other hand, the French know there is more to cuisine than variations on melted cheese. It's a great place to live, this in-between-ish place.


I'm not always sure where any of this is going. I'm just meandering right now. It's an hour later than it was when I started. I've only looked at Facebook three times while I've been sitting here contemplating the lint in my brain. And why? Who knows. It is as much a mystery to me today as it was when I signed on three or four years ago.


Here's a random thought: I wonder if my brother and sister went to see Skyfall? I wonder if they liked it? I miss them.

Here's another random thought: Right now, my feet are too warm in socks, but too cold without. Is there an in-between solution or should I just shut up and suck it up?


If you've stuck with me this long, thank you. It won't always be like this. But it's good to write again in the wee small hours of the morning. I leave you with this: An interview with Parker J. Palmer in The Sun -- If Only We Would Listen.

* In the U.S., we write/say, "with regards to". In most on the non-U.S.-English speaking world, the phrase is "with regard to". As I have readers in both Englishs, I'm try to cater to all. Use or omit the "s" as necessary. 
** Seriously, I love The New Yorker, but some of its articles are a bit too long.
*** "Four-twenties + ten + nine" is seriously how you say 99 in French. The Swiss-French, on the other hand, simply say "Ninety-nine." Brilliant!


Miranda said...

Glad to see you writing again. And the counting in French usually gave me hives when I took introductory French language courses a few years ago.

Maya said...

Franziland. I like it! The best (and sometimes worst) of both worlds...

Janet M Kincaid said...

Miranda: Thanks. I'm hoping to sustain a streak. :-)

Maya: Franzerland. And yes, it is the best and worst of both countries.

RoeH said...

Hey! Remember me?? I was just on Angie's blog and saw your blog name and thought--- what the heck's she been up to lately. So I had to jump over and find out. Still in Switzerland, I see. I think I'll move there myself. Might save governmental frustrations here. At least there'd be no fighting between Republicans and Democrats. Sheesh! I've had two blogs since we talked so I kind of got lost 'out there' in cyber-land. Hey. I get bored with my own blog. What can I say. Sounds like you're doing great. :))

Janet M Kincaid said...

Hi RoeH:

Yes, of course I remember you! I've kind of dropped out of the blogosphere in the last couple of years thanks to a stupid little thing called Facebook. I'm hoping to get back into writing, though.

And yes, still living on the border of France/Switzerland. Are you sure you want to come over here? France is often accused by the Americans of being socialist and the Swiss are accused of being racist. Regardless, it's never a dull moment over here!

Hughes ap Williams said...

Regarding the streetlights and light pollution: There are lights that reduce light pollution. Our township requires them when approving construction (i.e. building floodlights and parking lot lighting). It involves a hooded top and, where poles are involved, the height of the light.