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March 21, 2019: Traipsing down Memory Lane

Indeed, there is such a place, memory lane. On one side of the street is Tranquility Acres and on the other side of the street is Restful Manner. I am walking straight down the road, between the two places of residence, being very careful to not veer in one direction or the other. Most days, I look straight ahead at the future. The past few days, however, I’ve been looking back at the past. Looking back has both its negative and positive aspects. Should have, would have, could have -- the past is subjective, and a fiction. It is what we create in our minds after the fact. It is episodic memory. So why bother? I think that we can change the future in looking back; that is, if we create a more positive context.

My example. Our move here was a career killer for this writer/teacher. Alaska, even with internet service, is a long ways from anywhere. Getting to academic conferences and networking became much more time consuming and costly. And finding a full time job in my area of specialization, which is creative nonfiction writing, became an impossibility. My analogy is that in moving here, I went into deep freeze. The difference between me and Walt Disney is that he was dead when they froze him. Me, I was still very much alive.

I’ve continued to write. What I’ve learned is that, yes, nature abhors a vacuum. You have to have connections in order to publish. You have to be a part of the conversations going on in your respective discipline. Period. You have to advance your own, and others’ ideas. But I’ve kept at it because I have time to fill.

The most interesting “this,” is this. I refused to traipse down memory lane because my episodic memories brought back painful memories of foregone opportunities. However, in the past week, I began making this trek, at first unknowingly. I started to write this required paper for my yoga class, and entitled it “Keeping a Yoga 101 Journal: A Self-Composing Process Protocol.” I’m now calling it; “Keeping a Yoga 101 Journal: Seeing the Light,” this because it contains a great deal of light imagery.

In this essay, I have a conversation with my former teacher/mentors, dead and alive, and they assist me in finishing my required paper. I think this was a (no pun) brilliant idea. I began to traipse down memory lane in earnest at the point in which I began looking at their published works. I first went to my bookshelves and then began looking online.

I am now coming to realize that someone, and perhaps it will be me, needs to now take a closer look at the collected writings of the composing process specialists and bring back the AND in composition and rhetoric. Will this be me, or am I too much of a has-been to do this? Right now, I am thinking that this is going to be dependent upon my getting this article published in Writing on the Edge. If doors open, good. If not, I will move forward and consider what other paths I might follow.

Next: 80. 3/22/19: The Very Full Plate

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