Thursday, May 22, 2008

Something, Anything

I can write 327 words about anything; that’s easy. What’s far more challenging is to bang out 327 words about nothing—(intentionally, anyway; I end up with meaningless essays all the time without meaning to.)

On my ride home last night, I pondered a number of possible topics.

I thought I might write about how privileged I feel to have a life that affords me the opportunity to get in a couple hours of cycling a day, even if during those times, I’m often dodging cars, avoiding raindrops, and wishing I was home already and off the bike.

Next, it occurred to me that I should write a piece about my emerging interest in bird songs. Of late, our backyard features a cacophony every morning of song and calls—I’m pretty sure the list of avian musicians includes finches, warblers, chickadees, wrens, and swallows; my abilities as an identifier, though, stops at pigeon and crow. I’d like, in the name of being more attentive to my world, to become a better “twitcher,” I think they call it: someone who knows his birds, by sight and sound.

Later, I imagined that the perfect subject for the day’s essay would be some reflections upon the philosophy of religion class, in which I have assigned students the final project to “Go Find God.” They’ve got to spend a few hours looking for the divine and write about what they did and how successful their efforts turned out to be. One student asked me if she could take a bunch of peyote and sit in the desert; I explained to her that while I couldn’t assign her that task, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable strategy, as long as she backed it up with research and cited her sources.

I considered politics, too, but how many ways can a fellow say, “Enough already, Hillary?”

Ultimately, I just had to admit I had nothing to write about. But that didn’t stop me, no way.


Post a Comment

<< Home