12 Dec 07

Staying home from work today. I feel rather overwhelmed at the moment. I pushed myself to attend several social engagements in the past week. December is a busy time, and I haven’t given myself enough time to recharge.

I bought myself a few toys, though: a replacement still camera, and an 80 GB iPod Classic. My only other iPod was a first-generation Shuffle, bought because it was cheap enough I was willing to experiment. I’ve listened to so many podcasts in the car now that I’ve proved its worth.

This full-scale iPod sports far more features than I need, though. Games? Don’t I own an iPod so I can listen to music during idle moments?

Perhaps I’m cranky because I’m spending less time on the computer. Thanks to a wonderful conversation with Brennen, I re-evaluated my tendency to fill my spare time with computer usage. It’s wonderful to spend so much of my time in the moment, cooking or drawing or gardening or what-have-you.

This also allowed me to finish Stanislavski’s An Actor Prepares in a tiny fraction of the time I’d normally allowed. It’s a fantastic book for any creative person. It discusses the importance of living in the moment, being self-aware, and observing what’s going on around you. He recommends that, every night as you lay in bed, you try to remember as many details as possible about your day. When did you leave the house? How fast did you drive? What did the clerk say? What was the color of the car next to you? What clothes did your friend wear? When you greeted her, what did she seem to be feeling?

Since memory is a muscle, practice improves it, and gives you great oceans of material for creative projects. Think of how many inventors describe the genesis of their inventions by starting, “I just noticed that a lot of people were….” They fully saw the people around them.

May we all have such presence.

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