Cycles of Seven

For a long time, I’ve been very intrigued by the idea that people endure changes every seven years.  I’m not just talking about weight gain/loss, wrinkles, declining health, etc.  There is a specific belief that humans undergo dramatic changes in perspective, personality, and spirituality after seven-year cycles.  I’ve spent a lot of time trying to pinpoint the origin of this belief, but to no avail.  Perhaps the best explanation that I have found on the subject has been this link.

I’ve been very introspective this year so far, especially since the end of last year, and after reading the following passage, I’m beginning to make sense of my thought process and sudden jolt of action for change in my life.

The cycles of seven, fourteen, and twenty-one all deal with internal changes, and the cycle of twenty-eight is the first step in external integration with the rest of the  world. Very often the thought is, “Okay, world, what have you got to give me?” At that time, you are experiencing your first Saturn return and here the person begins to reach outward from the self. You enter your Saturn return every 28-1/2 years. It is a cycle. We are not talking about astrology when we talk about this. Saturn deals with teaching and relationships to time, even though it is timeless. It does not come to “get you”. It comes to present you with an opportunity.

So, I guess since I am going to enter my “4th cycle” at the end of this year, coupled with the fact that the world is going to end in 2012 (j/k…. or am I??), I should definitely seek out change for myself.  I decided early on this year that I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone (as indicated in my last post) and try to live each day productively and as if it were my last.

I’ve recently encountered a blog from StumbleUpon that includes lists of very important things, with titles such as “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself,” “50 Books to Read before you’re 30,” etc.  I’ve had a lot of fun reading the lists and was inspired by a few of them.  I was really caught off-guard when I read “50 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do.”  The very first thing I learned how to do yesterday: How to Build a Fire.  When I saw that, I literally had goosebumps.  Sometimes there are signs like this that allow me to believe that everything happens for a reason and I am somehow on the right path.  To what, exactly?  I don’t know.  But I do have this overwhelming feeling that this is going to be an interesting year.

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Cycling through writing

I could just dive in an inundate whomever is reading this with useless excuses for why I haven’t written in years. It would be even more boring and depressing for me to realize that the reasons which kept me from writing in this public forum were not in direct opposition with my writing habits and the things which inspire me to write, not even in the slightest. The simple fact is I became lazy… and now I have to relearn how to write. So I think that I will more or less pick up where I think that I left off… or positively, I can see this opportunity not just as a “new chapter,” but a new work altogether.

First, this is not a diary or journal. Since January of this year, I have been writing in a notebook to stir the creative juices. My mission statement was simple: write at least one word for every day. My first pages were about what makes me comfortable as a writer. I often write late at night, perhaps fueled by the euphoric elements of a night out or a moment shared with another person that caught me off-guard. I believe that in writing comfortably in the short-term I can reach the long-term goal of writing uncomfortably. Let me explain… I have no problem writing about my life, as evidenced by the subjects of my previous posts. But I do find difficulty in writing fiction, creating characters alive in plots that I only I have sole custody over. So what is the result of months of directionless dribble and unfinished thoughts in a Moleskin notebook? I’m beginning to have ideas for stories. It’s all very exciting.

I’ve been saying “Yes” to a lot of things in my life recently that I would normally greet with immediate discomfort. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel very uncomfortable but I push myself through, all in the name of a good story. A couple of months ago, I agreed to go to a shooting range with some friends. I never was a huge weapons advocate, but my mindsight was “Hey, I could say that I shot a gun.” Truth be told, I felt like a badass when I hit my target in very few attempts. I considered that maybe I was a natural born killer who didn’t realize her full potential until now. Being part of the experience made me remember how important details are in a story. In college, I wrote a first-person short story about a contract killer who was alone with his thoughts on the roof of a large city building. Of course, the reader wasn’t supposed to know that the character was an assassin until the end, but the descriptions were mangled and feebly written. Now I wonder, Would the story have been written better if I included details about the mechanics of the character’s weapon? Does the story become more believable if I can describe how the character sees differently through the sight of his rifle? I don’t know.

I have also been rereading my favorite works. Writers who incite me to say “Damn! I wish I could write like this!” A recent backpacking excursion made me think of Stephen King’s The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I’m almost certain that King didn’t have a disorienting walk-about in the woods to gain perspective for his story, but it did make me wonder what his inspirations were. I had taken a notebook on the trail with me, but I couldn’t bring myself to bring it out. My writing style is such that I need a huge block of time to write everything that I want to. There is no jotting down ideas. It is impossible for me to start writing about a concept, idea, or feeling and then put it down, only to try to continue that same flow later on when the “moment” has passed. Writing for me is almost like flying a kite (elementary, I know): when I begin writing, the idea takes off and my hand just has to try to keep up with my mind, guiding the words across the paper. Sometimes the kite whimsically touches back down to the earth or tragically plummets into the dirt. So it goes.

So, while I will continue to carry a notebook with me always and use it to draft my ideas, I will use this blog as a way to present my place in the process.

Thanks for joining me.