Faster and Faster Every Day

“I am now 33 years old, and it feels like much time has passed and is passing faster and faster every day. Day to day I have to make all sorts of choices about what is good and important and fun, and then I have to live with the forfeiture of all the other options those choices foreclose. And I’m starting to see how as time gains momentum my choices will narrow and their foreclosures multiply exponentially until I arrive at some point on some branch of all life’s sumptuous branching complexity at which I am finally locked in and stuck on one path and time speeds me through stages of stasis and atrophy and decay until I go down for the third time, all struggle for naught, drowned by time. It is dreadful. But since it’s my own choices that’ll lock me in, it seems unavoidable–if I want to be any kind of grownup, I have to make choices and regret foreclosures and try to live with them.”
― David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

Oblique Strategy: Make a blank valuable by putting it in an exquisite frame

(click to enlarge)

I have always liked this photo that I took at the Invasion Car Show, in Deep Ellum. I’m not sure, but looking through my archives, I don’t think I have used it in a blog entry before. I might be wrong.

Think about how everybody used to – especially when cars had hood ornaments like this – viewed speed. Travel was going from props to jets and life was speeding up. Think of how wonderful it must have felt. Think of riding in a metal tube thousands of feet in the air moving at hundreds of miles per hour, in comfort, in luxury, while a beautiful woman served you food and drinks. It is a miracle.

Of course, we all know how this speed thing has turned out. The speed increases, props, jets, and now the speed of light through a device held in your hand to every corner of the world, instantaneously. We move so fast now, we don’t go anywhere.

It reminds me of a quote from a book I just read. When the railroads were first built, people believed that they would suffocate if they travelled faster than 30mph as they would not be able to breathe due to the surrounding air rushing past them. Engines were throttled so they couldn’t go over thirty.

They were afraid of a speed that we take for granted. I think they may have been right.

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Daily Writing Tip 20 of 100, Run Fast, Stand Still

For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.

Today’s tip – Run Fast, Stand Still

Source – Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Run fast, stand still. This, the lesson from lizards. For all writers. Observe almost any survival creature, you see the same. Jump, run, freeze. In the ability to flick like an eyelash, crack like a whip, vanish like steam, here this instant, gone the next-life teems the earth. And when that life is not rushing to escape, it is playing statues to do the same. See the hummingbird, there, not there. As thought arises and blinks of, so this thing of summer vapor; the clearing of a cosmic throat, the fall of a leaf. And where it was-a whisper.

What can we writers learn from lizards, lift from birds? In quickness is truth. The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping.

I love the feeling when the words are coming fast – when I can barely type fast enough to keep up with the torrent. It feels like drinking from a fire hose. Then there is the stop, when the ideas fall away, when the fears rear their ugly heads.

That… I don’t like so much.

Much Time Has Passed And Is Passing Faster And Faster Every Day

“I am now 33 years old, and it feels like much time has passed and is passing faster and faster every day. Day to day I have to make all sorts of choices about what is good and important and fun, and then I have to live with the forfeiture of all the other options those choices foreclose. And I’m starting to see how as time gains momentum my choices will narrow and their foreclosures multiply exponentially until I arrive at some point on some branch of all life’s sumptuous branching complexity at which I am finally locked in and stuck on one path and time speeds me through stages of stasis and atrophy and decay until I go down for the third time, all struggle for naught, drowned by time. It is dreadful. But since it’s my own choices that’ll lock me in, it seems unavoidable–if I want to be any kind of grownup, I have to make choices and regret foreclosures and try to live with them.”
― David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

Bicycle Drag Race, Continental Bridge Park, Dallas, Texas

Bicycle Drag Race, Continental Bridge Park, Dallas, Texas

Blur

There is more to life than increasing its speed.

—-Mahatma Gandhi

Superdrome, Frisco, Texas

Superdrome, Frisco, Texas

Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. At least there is the fact that once you increase its speed past a certain point, all is a blur. There is a comforting mystery in a blur. Like a hummingbird’s wing – you can forget the delicacy and fragility… seduced and confused by the motion.

An object in motion tends to move out of the frame. Unless you manage to move the frame. Maybe the world deserves to be smeared across the concrete. It is softened but also obscured. Detail disappear; unseen patterns emerge. Is the truth better seen unfocused?

But who wants a clouded truth?