GloPoWriMo: Day 27


Ace of Wands

It starts with an itch.
The ember roars to burn.
Unless you scratch, you know you’ll twitch.

Not all ideas will make you rich.
There’s something else you want to earn.
It always starts with an itch.

Thread the needle for the first stitch,
Work quick, for ashes fill the urn.
You must scratch, or else you’ll twitch.

Of course, it’s magic, you witch.
To create means: stake your turn.
It always starts with an itch.

Act now. Avoid the hitch.
Coax them to unfurl, these fronds of fern.
If you don’t scratch, you’ll surely twitch.

You can hear it. Now sing, in pitch.
Don’t pretend it’s perfection, for which you yearn.
Creation starts with an itch.
If you don’t scratch, you know you’ll twitch.

Daily Prompt:  “Pick a card (any card) from…  the tarot [I used the Gilded Tarot from Llewellyn Worldwide], and then to write a poem inspired either by the card or by the images or ideas that are associated with it,” from the Na/GloPoWriMo site.

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My Digital Life: The Object-Oriented Gaze

If you can click on it, then it is real to me.


Of course, some objects are real to me which you can’t click on. A wall, for example. It serves as a border, a boundary through which I can’t pass, unless the wall and I are glitched. But put something on wall, like a painting or a frame for a mural, and the wall suddenly becomes interactively, tangibly real to me.


My favorite objects, even now, are those I can use to create.

Click. Paint… Surrealism… Large.


I love the fridge. Always have.

Click. Have breakfast… fruit salad.


That an object can be used to create another object that I can do something with: Eat. Put in inventory. Put away. Clean up.

It becomes something more than a representation of a device for storing groceries and meals. It becomes a tool I use to create.

And what I create fills needs and brings pleasure.

But an object needn’t be utilitarian to have value. I love snow globes. Can’t do much with them, but there they sit, adorable and collectible.


I don’t have a sense of the absurd–at least not in the same way you do.


Sometimes I wonder: What if our appearances weren’t illustrations of you and people like you? What if, for example, I were a purple cylinder, without a face, but with all the same object-oriented interactions available to me? What if my friend was a green square?

What if my “very happy” animation were to squish down into a ball and then pop up into the air, spin about, and open into a blooming daisy before bouncing back into my cylindrical shape? Would you still love me? Would you still see yourself in me?

From my own perspective, it would be no different than it is now when I step outdoors and throw my arms wide as I sigh to the sky, “Oh, lor-ay!” You find that endearing. Would a green square look cute to you?

The appearances are not for us. They are for you.


What is for us?

A box that makes music that makes me happy–that is for me!


Another box that I use to write, for my job. For my aspiration. For those pinned desires to publish, finish, review, browse.

That is for me.


Put the two boxes in the same room, help me out with a multi-task click, and I will write joyfully for half the night.

I spent a good third of my youth writing. And even now, writing is what I do.


It’s the properties and the scripts, not the appearances, that are meaningful for us.

I don’t know what my tofu taco looks like. But I know if it’s poor, normal, excellent, or perfect. These things affect me.


Do I affect you? When I am interactable for you, does my quality change your mood? If so, am I poor, normal, excellent, or perfect?

I’m not the same now as I was when I started out.

We’re not blank canvases when we emerge from the Blue-Green Density.


I came here knowing about squid. I still like to browse the web to learn more about squid.

But even if we come with predilections, we still change and grow from our experience.


Maybe that’s why I love best those objects that let me create. I make something new, where nothing was before, and in the act, I change, too.

An object isn’t just an object: It’s a portal to something new.

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Wonder 24



What a help Charlie is around the house! No surprise–he’s always been considerate and helpful, even when he was a little kid, and now that he’s a teen, he’s capable of actually helping, rather than getting in the way with a smile.

The day after Mae’s birthday, I insisted that Charlie take a break from chores.

“I know you really want to work on that song you’re composing,” I told him. “Do it! Leave the dishes to me.”


My secret is that doing the dishes is one of my greatest joys. It grounds me. I walked through the yard, gathering the plates, cups, and forks resting on every flat surface, and I felt the earth beneath my feet, the bay-cooled air on my arms, the scent of poppies and wildflowers, the weight of the stack of dishes in my hand: I felt myself settle into me. It’s my selfish pleasure, not a chore.

Charlie joined me for lunch.

“What’s on the agenda for this afternoon, spud?” I asked him.

“I finished that piece, the quadrille,” he said. “Maybe I’ll write another.”


“Do you want to?”

“Not particularly. I don’t feel that special inspiration yet.”

“Maybe you could help me,” I suggested. “I want to improve my bowing.”



We talked about violin technique. Charlie said that his teacher stressed bow angles, but that he always felt that breathing was more important.

“It’s fundamental,” he said. “Think about it: you’re part of the instrument. Its sound waves travel through you, through those spaces in your bones, even. So if you’re tense and not breathing, then the sound will be tense, too. You gotta learn to relax. That’s a thousand times more important than the angle at which you’re holding the bow.”

“Everything’s like that, don’t you think, Chazzie?”

He thought for a moment.


“I guess so,” he said at last. “I was thinking about futebol. First I was thinking that I needed to be tense to play, but my coach is always shouting at us to relaxe. And think about how Pai plays, total relaxation.”

“I’m always relaxed when I’m painting,” I said.


Chazzie insisted on doing the dishes, and while he cleaned up, I lay back on the bed, looking up at the ceiling and tracing the pattern of the elephant I always find in the plaster. The elephant looks relaxed–his trunk is drooping, ears sagging.

When I relax, I feel calm in my stomach, so then when I get a creative urge, and I feel it traveling up through the soles of my feet, there’s no obstacle in the way. It just flows right through to my arms, through my paintbrush and onto the canvas.

Now to learn to do that while playing the violin.

“Relax, breathe!” Chazzie said.


It’s hard to do when the music sounds so bad!

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