Taking a Break

Yes, I know it’s Camp NaNo and all that but damn if my brain isn’t burnt out.

It makes me think of that poem, “The Lady of Shalott” by Alfred Lord Tennyson. I recall reading somewhere that it was believed he wrote that to express the frustrations of an artist trying to mimic life. How are we, as artists in whatever form, supposed to share and reflect the real world if we aren’t out there connected to life? According to the wiki, there are other opinions as to what he was talking about with this piece, but this one interpretation rings true to me. It rang true back when I read it in high school for the Speech and Debate team and it certainly rings true now.

There are two versions of his poem and for those curious, they can be found here (1832) and here (1842).

It doesn’t matter what your art medium is – be it words, paints, pencils, photos, etc. – if you aren’t finding inspiration in life. Writer’s block happens some times I think because we have disconnected from the world around us, and thus ourselves.

My life isn’t fancy. My work tends to lean toward the uglier, more difficult topics. Once in awhile I come up with a light, airy, and playful piece. But in the long run, whether we want to admit it or not, it reflects how we see and experience the world.

I’m a gamer and I always have been.

My old LiveJournal account is filled with posts centering around this passion of mine – be it PSO, Neopets, FFXI, or Guild Wars. I even posted about Minecraft here. Eventually I will get all the old posts moved over here. I’m hoping I will get that done before they feel the need to delete my blog over there.

The point that I’m trying to make here is I think I need to remember and embrace who I am. I need to remember the things that I get excited about and return to them.

I got a new PC recently, I think I noted it in one of my weekly assessments, and I only just now got around to putting Minecraft and FFXI on it.

I suddenly remembered that awhile ago I had tried to create a custom adventure in Minecraft explaining why Steve is the way he is and what he’s doing there in Minecraft. Map making is hard. Building a custom adventure is harder. I have a great deal of respect for the game design teams out there, even if they are making games I don’t play. The process in getting a game to work is complex. The process in making it compelling to the market is even more convoluted.

Having said this, I started writing the story I had for the adventure on the PlanetMincraft community site. It was for a contest and I never finished it. A part of me is wondering now if I should revisit the story and finish writing it. I find myself wondering if I should take a closer look at some of my older work and discover what I can do with it, or if it’s really done.

It felt good to revisit FFXI. Hard to believe that I have let it sit for so long since last November. Helps to remember why I write.

So in this vein, let me shift to real life recent events that have nothing to do with games or writing….

I took the boys out to eat yesterday at our favorite place. It’s been a really long time – since before last November actually – that we’ve been over there last. The head chef and his mother were waiting on tables. It was good to see them again even though I thought the amount of weight he’s lost since I’ve last seen him is alarming to me. Since he knew of my woes with Abilify, he asked me about the ones he was taking and his weight. I don’t know why he’s taking the meds and I didn’t ask (that class of med is used for a wide variety of conditions so I don’t want to assume it’s for psych and I assume if he wanted me to know why that he would tell me), but I did tell him that the class of meds he’s on typically do mess with the metabolism. Usually it’s towards weight gain, and he said he had been switched from one to another. He wanted to know if there was a connection. I told him it was highly possible.

But I can’t help but feel that it could also be a result from the stress in his life, which he shared with me last night. His news took me by complete surprise, but given what I have confided in him with in the past I’m not surprised that he shared it with me. I believe he knew I would understand, and I do understand – all too well. I wish that the people I knew and cared about where having an easier go of it than I am right now. That doesn’t seem to be the case this year so far and it’s heartbreaking. There’s more I wish I could say on this, but it’s not my story to tell.

He knows I’m taking Topamax now and the worries I have about my appetite and weight because of it. When I ordered his Penne Vodka (which I could never get enough of while on Abilify – three plates minimum back then), he offered to add chicken, shrimp, or steak to it to bulk it up. I went with the chicken and I didn’t expect to clean my plate, but I did. I even contemplated ordering another plate, but I always seem to fuck up the process of reheating it so I didn’t.

This man really knows his shit with food. Both him and his father just seem to know what it is I need to get myself to eat. Maybe I ought to start going back there more often? I wish I could afford it. I know at their place I wouldn’t walk away hungry, even if all they did was whip up a salad (which they have done for me in the past).

It’s rare now a days to find places like this one, where they remember their patrons’ preferences and allergies. I’ve watched him accommodate religious needs, which is something I have never seen in all the years I’ve worked in the food service industry. Hell even the nursing homes I’ve worked in tend to fail in this regard (usually it’s the majority that gets accommodated and to hell with anyone else). This family fucking cares about people. Sometimes I wish I could work there and be a part of that caring process for the community. I’m not sure what prevents me from applying.

2 thoughts on “Taking a Break

  1. It should do you good to get out and see someone who can lend an ear or for you to be there for him. A change of scenery can also be good. I hope the kids enjoyed going there. Probably does them a bit of good getting away from the negativity. I hope to run into you in FFXI. I really need cp points. Still can’t equip a level 119 weapon.

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