Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stand and deliver

Last weekend I managed to aggravate an old injury to my hand by spending far too much time on the keyboard. Come Monday morning, I couldn't pick up my tea cup. Worse yet, the thought of trying to drive up to Wernersville to meet Robin and Wayne for dinner before Robin began her silence seemed painfully imprudent. Argh. Ice, ibuprofen, a splint were prescribed. I know the drill. And time off the keyboard. What?!?

As Patient Spiritual Director put it when he called to see how I was doing, "That's like asking you to take time off from breathing."

So I updated the dictation software we'd gotten for The Boy when he'd broken a hand a couple of years ago. I'd switched my writing desk to a standing position a couple of weeks ago (and yes, I like it), so I could mic up and pace. Then I tried to answer my email, post on Facebook, and....(drum roll)...write.

Stand and deliver. I think on my feet all the time, I lecture about quantum mechanics, I talk about spirituality. However, I don't write linearly. I knew this, I just didn't realize how hard it would be to switch to a more linear style. Bits and pieces find their way onto pages, virtual and otherwise, to be rearranged, tucked off to the side, polished, hold space and ideas until, like a complex origami figure, I crease one last fold, blow a breath into the interior and it pops open to hold its own. In principle this could be done by directing the mouse by voice, but my need was not enough to sustain my patience and in the end, I stuck to email and the occasional FB update. I walked, read, prayed, visited a friend recovering from surgery, sat silently and above all -- kept my hands off the keyboard. It was a different kind of breathing, the inhale to the exhale.

Photo is from a walk at Wernersville, where I did eventually get by Thursday for my appointment with my director and got a chance to see Robin - but neither of us broke silence!

Incredible origami art by a father-son artist-mathematician team.


  1. I hope you can get back to your preferred writing style quickly but this seems to be working.

    I am glad you got to visit Robin but amazed that both of you had the discipline not to break silence. That would have been extremely difficult for a chatterbox like me.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. ah, bodies. they do interrupt the mind, so.

    I find it easier to compose and then reorangize by linear by a visual shuffle too.

    I haven't used a voice application, thought about it, trained one to my voice once but in the end waited out my hands.