Sitarchia Vitae

Sitarchia – provisions for a a journey.

Long ago I made the decision to begin writing,  it has been a decision to which I have been wholly unable to stick. On and off for at least a decade I would, in one form or another, try to write daily. Usually in the form of journals, but on occasion I would try writing a short story.  These were invariably horrible, both the journals and the stories, the former were rambling and uninteresting (even to myself) while the latter lacked direction and any kind of flair.

It has been said that one needs to spend three weeks doing something before it is made a habit. I can only imagine how many times I have tried daily writing and quit before the requisite three weeks had passed. I was always too tired or busy to write. It was a chore and my writing reflected that feeling. One can force himself to balance a checkbook against his will and it will probably be around as accurate as one done by a driven an excited checkbook balancer. Anything with even a modicum of art, however, really ought not be pushed. It just won’t be pretty and it certainly will lack any kind of feeling, or, at least, any feeling other than ‘rushed’ and ‘ambivalent.’ Why write something if it isn’t pretty? At least aesthetically. Even the most morbid topics ought to be addressed with writing which is pleasing to the eye.

Despite feeling this way, I recently recalled this pithy truism regarding mediation: ‘I tell people they ought to meditate at least 15 minutes per day, when they tell me that they are way too busy, I tell them to meditate at least 45 minutes per day.’ I’ve always imagined some wrinkled oriental monk in an orange cloak smiling to himself writing this in a mountainside temple in Bhutan. He’s sitting precariously on a carved stone outcrop looking down on the lush green valley below, with a cerulean stream meandering by, and mountains across the vale, yet higher than him, veiled perennially in white. He’s looking down at small villages below, at the life he cast aside… However that is neither here nor there, the point is, while it might not be as pretty, nor as enlightened, as I would hope I think that it is best to write daily regardless. Not only shall I write more, I will write more than I want, in this way I’ll follow our monastic friend’s advice. I expect quality to vary more than it would if I only worked after a long rest, a good meal, and a vigorous Catullan exercise. But it is what it is.

Topics, as well as quality, will likely vary. But this is my sitarchia.


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