Friends, life has been crazy the past few weeks. We are in the process of moving our entire lives from Oregon to Arizona and to be honest, keeping up with this blog has been difficult. But never fear, I will be back and in the meantime I’ve been blogging about our journey on my travel blog, The Girl Who Moved. Feel free to check it out!
Where do we go to find peace when those we love continue to crumble and fall despite our best efforts or intentions? How to find solace when past decisions stand unyielding with fresh honed blades before every doorway but the ones we cannot imagine taking? How can a person be expected to say goodbye to friends that never became as close as I should have let them?
Wine swallows fast and only polishes pain.
I try to get lost in books but find myself reading Night again and again.
I never wanted to stay here but now that the end is coming I cannot stand the thought. The journey won’t kill me but the same might not be true for him.
And the hardest part is proving to not be saying goodbye. If the end would come, at least it would be over.
Hope’s blade is proving to be the sharpest and shallow cuts inflicted slowly always cause the most pain.
There is an island that stays strung with Christmas lights
until March or June
where the people wish you a “Happy New Year”
all year round.
You can hitchhike from one end
of the island to the other
by pointing in the direction that you want to go
but only middle aged American expats will pick you up.
On the resorts, the palm trees have been neutered
but on the wild beaches
if you can heft a rock high enough
and hard enough
you can knock down a coconut
and spend half an hour tearing hair
from the clinging surface of the nut
for a few gritty mouthfuls
of sweet cloudy water.
Whovians, stop your outraged screaming for a moment and let me explain.
I love Matt Smith. That goofy faced, floppy headed, bow tie wearing bastard brought depth to the character of the Doctor that I never could have imagined. He brought us the girl who waited, the last centurion and a heartwarming relationship with the sassy River Song. But after two and a half years of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey awesomeness, it is time for him to step down.
Actually, it was time at the end of season six. But the writers can be excused for not wanting their viewers to lose the most popular Doctor yet and the Ponds in rapid succession. People would probably stop watching. There’d be riots in the streets. DVD box sets and bow ties would be burned in a bonfire of all things Gallifreyan.
Well, maybe not.
But now, it is time. The format of the show necessitates frequent character changes which is why the Doctor’s ability to regenerate is a vital key to the show’s success. As is the frequent replacement of companions, no matter how hard it is to see them go.
Think about it. Despite amazing writing and wildly imaginative story lines, the premise of every episode is the same. Go somewhere strange, find out about something terrible that is happening, save the day. Occasionally people die (or seem to. Ahem ahem Rory.) but by and large you know that no matter what happens the TARDIS will soon be whirling through space and time again. So in order to keep the viewer’s attention, the characters need to be thrilling. We need to get caught up in their lives, their unique quirks and their particular story line.
And eventually each of these characters’ stories comes to an end. It isn’t easily definable when that moment will be (although I think we’ve established that two seasons is a good length for any particular doctor) but there reaches a point when no matter how much you love them, nothing a character does will surprise you.
And Doctor Who should be nothing if not surprising.
I am sure that the masterminds behind one of my favorite shows know all of this already and I expect that with the end of the seventh season will come the end of Matt Smith. When that happens, don’t be sad my fellow Whovians.
Instead, rejoice that he brought bow ties back (and Fez’s) and encouraged thousands of people to eat the revolting combination of fish fingers and custard. Bow your heads and thank him for all that he did for the world. And then open your heart to the next Doctor. If the last seven years have been any indication, he’s (she’s?!) going to be amazing.
Last week I had dinner with a friend that I haven’t seen in a while. We became friends when we realized that were both reading the Song Of Ice And Fire Series. I was a barista at the time and he was a regular customer.
Heated discussions about the Lannisters turned to talk of other things; specifically Pathfinder, a modern take on Dungeons and Dragons. For over a year he was my game master but since I quit gaming a few months back we haven’t had much of a chance to see each other.
So last Friday we met for burgers because losing track of old friends is a sadness I’ve had just about enough of.
And the conversation changed my life.
We started out just catching up; he is seeing someone new and starting a new business venture. I am getting ready to move to Arizona. We had a lot to talk about. But then the conversation turned.
He has always been someone that I desperately admire. He is one of those people (I hope you know at least one) with an innate ability to make everyone around him feel at ease. Conversation with him is easy and I often find myself sharing things with him that I’m not comfortable telling my own mother. He is open and honest and those who know him trust that he will always tell them the truth. He is the kind of person I want to be.
And finally, I told him so.
“How do you do it?” I asked. “Have you always been this way?”
His answer was no, that it had taken a lot of hard work and self-reflection to become comfortable in his own skin. He described his journey a bit and then said the words that I will never forget.
“If you have nothing to hide,” he said. “Then you are free.”
Inconspicuous words, perhaps but truer words I have never heard. Another way of saying it might be, “Secrets keep you sick.”
Think about a time when you have had a secret, or something that you wanted to say but didn’t. When it is inside of you, it is huge and dark; it seems to take over your mind. It takes effort to conceal and that effort can be draining. Exhausting. And eventually you let it out.
If it comes out poorly, after a long time of lying hidden the resulting explosion of truth can be disastrous. But if you manage to speak your truth on your own terms, before it takes you over and explodes out, there is a feeling of undeniable relief. A sense of liberation and even of power.
Words left unsaid can rule you. But the simple act of telling the truth, to others but most importantly to yourself, can be the most freeing thing you’ll ever do.
Friends, you all know of my obsession with Ray Bradbury. I live half in the real world and half on Mars. I dream of floating above the Earth with everything and everyone I have ever known tumbling through space on the blue marble beneath me.
And now it’s possible.
I once dreamed of a career as an astronaut but a lack of scientific focus at college has made me consider other career paths. And when it comes down to it, I am a writer through and through. But I could still go to space.
Axe Apollo is going to send one person into space and I’ve entered the contest. Unfortunately, I just found out about it and the contest ends April 29th. In order to win I need the most votes by the end of that day. I know it’s a long shot but if everyone who reads this takes a moment to vote, it’s possible that you could make my dream come true.
It will take very little of your time and your action could change my life. Besides, don’t you want to read what the RedInkling has to say from space? I know I do.
I work in a library so the likelihood of me coming across a stack of thirteen year old ripped out magazine pages in a given workday is fairly high. Yesterday I was puttering around the back room when a picture of a gray-haired man in shorts and sandals with the headline, The Martian Tourist.
It was an interview with Ray Bradbury from 2000. I found a copy of it on his website (unfortunately without the dashing portrait) here. Honestly, it’s not a great interview. I don’t know if Bradbury’s answers were trimmed for length or if he’s just not very forthcoming but it kind of reads like he’s lecturing the interviewer, a Mary Roach.
I always imagined that I would meet Ray Bradbury someday; get a chance to ask him questions and talk to him about the stars. And then last year he died and now I’ll never get that chance.
But the fact that he’ll never answer my questions is not going to stop me from asking them. I think that it will always be valuable to think about exactly what it is that you admire in a person and imagining the questions you would ask them is a good way to do that.
So here are my questions for Ray Bradbury. If you want, think about who you would interview given the chance, and post some questions for them in the comments!
1. In your book on writing, Zen In The Art Of Writing, you talk about being passionate about writing at an early age and throughout your life. Was there ever a time that writing was harder or less of a joy for you?
2. Tell me about your writing routine.
3. What is the best thing about writing for you?
4. Of all of the worlds that you created or visited which was your favorite and why?
5. Will you tell me about your childhood? What it was like growing up in the Midwest in the twenties and thirties?
I’d love to read your questions and if the person you wrote them for is still alive, consider trying to get them answered. You’ll never regret trying, I promise!