Tuesday, October 16, 2007

After that...

Yesterday morning I woke up very dissatisfied. I had been working on a piece for Blog Action Day for weeks. I had chosen the topic of public transportation in Vientiane. It’s quite a loaded subject, and there are lots of ins and outs to the subject. However, on the morning of Oct 15, I decided I did not like what I had written. I decided to step away from the topic of public transportation and write something new. Something with a bit more of a bite.

Sometimes when I am writing I use the computer. Other times, I sit down with a stack of paper and write things out long hand. Yesterday, I chose the long hand approach. During the course of the day, I scratched out mental notes, key statistics and partial paragraphs freely. All together, I think I used about 12 pieces of paper. Early in the afternoon, I started converting the paper draft to a computer format. Finishing much later than I should, I began to tidy up.

When working with a computer, a quick stroke of the delete or backspace key takes away anything that might be a bit too racy for the censors. However, working with ink and paper, it’s a different story. I stood in my living room with a dozen sheets of paper – some of the words I wrote (but of course did not publish) would put me in the clink for quite a while.

The surest way to destroy anything written on paper is by fire. So, I headed out to the yard with a lighter and the incriminating sheets. Dropping them into the burn barrel, I had to laugh. On a day I dedicate my blog to environmental awareness, I end up standing in my yard burning paper and branches in an open fire.

I could not help but laugh and chide myself for the irony of the situation.

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