Friday, March 8, 2013

Mar 8 - Screens and Journaling

In my last post I forgot to include a link to the post from November 2011 about creating our intaglio... so here's that link.

After reading that old post again, and after checking a dictionary source for assistance, I think the use of the word "intaglio" is really not appropriate for the rock art thing we created out in the desert. It looks like it might better be termed a "geoglyph". The dictionary says a "geoglyph" is a drawing on the ground made by arranging natural materials (stones, rocks, etc.) and the shade variations of the underlying ground. Hmm. But whether it's an intaglio, a geoglyph, just some crude desert graffiti, or something else... I'm impressed that it's still there.

I also discovered that it's visible on Google Maps. Link. (may have to zoom in) If any of the readers of this journal are ever in Q, feeling bored, and/or ambling around aimlessly in the desert... and you happen to stumble on this thing... whatever it is, take a photo and let us know how it's doing. For every report (with photo) we receive we'll credit your account with an additional year of free access to The RV Sabbatical Journal. How can you go wrong with a deal like that?


We're having a cloudy stormy blustery day here at "The Quartz". A rare good day for nomads to work on inside jobs... or to at least sit inside without feeling guilty about it.

Have you noticed that screens tend to keep people inside? TV screens, computer screens, tablet screens, even smartphone screens... none of them are really usable in bright daylight or even bright cloudy days. Sure, if you really turn up the brightness, and you hunker-down deep into the shadows, swivel the device so as to minimize reflections, or sit in a chair and cover yourself, head and all, with a blanket (???)... and you squint and force the old eyes to work harder... you might be able to get something done. But it's clearly not ideal. And it's clearly not a long term solution. No, screens are a chain that keep us inside.

Sitting under a blanket?? Yes, I've recently seen a photo of someone doing just that. In the old days if you ran across someone laying there, completely covered with a sheet or blanket, you assumed the worst and started digging a hole. But not these days. No sir, not with our modern technology. These days it's a fashion statement. My-Oh-my... we've come a long way haven't we?.

Besides this blog, for years, I've tried to keep up another journal of sorts... one meant for my eyes only. I use it in the traditional way that people over the ages have recorded their personal thoughts, emotions, feelings, opinions, and other things they didn't want others to read. I use it as a place to develop topics for the blog, to record the events of the day, as well as those private thoughts and ideas. Over the years I've found this personal private journal beneficial, especially during high-stress and difficult times. It helps me straighten myself out, organize my jumbled thoughts, and can provide some much needed perspective. Googling "benefits of journaling" brings up dozens of articles on the subject.

In the past, I've kept my personal journal as a simple text file on my computer. The idea was that I can type much faster than I talk (and probably think too) and by using the keyboard I won't slow down the process of getting thoughts on "paper". At least that's what I thought. And besides, I'm a computer guy... I like PCs and all the other electric thing-ama-jigs... and keeping my personal journal on the computer just seemed to made sense.

But not so much anymore.

Back to screens. Besides keeping myself sequestered and confined while writing the blog, writing in my personal journal was, at times, keeping me "in the dark" for even more of my precious little remaining time. It had been until recently when I changed course and went back to the old tried and true medium of the past... pen and ink on paper. I bought one of those old-fashioned bound "composition books" (about 7" by 10", less than a single dollar on sale), a new pen, and started to write. Now I can sit outside, on a rock along a trail, at the edge of a grand canyon, on the top of a mountain... and spill my thoughts onto those pages with abandon. No more screen problems for me... well, at least when I'm in my personal journal.

I've also found that the act of putting thoughts on paper with ink doesn't hinder the process like I thought it would. In fact, in some ways, writing with pen and ink enhances it... organizes it. I find that instead of just punching keys as fast as I think, I'm actually composing the sentence, the thought, before I put it down. That alone was a remarkable discovery for me. And both my pen and ink writing, and my penmanship, have improved since I started.

I'm finding real enjoyment in keeping this personal journal. I look forward to sitting outside, perhaps with a delicious bitter IPA or other adult beverage, and guiding that pen over the smooth clean paper. How quaint. How satisfying.