Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Getting Past the Bridge to Pleasures Beyond

You’ve heard about valleys of life that follow mountaintop experiences? Well, I have not been in a valley following the mountaintop last week, but I have been in a strange kind of suspension between frustration and anticipation. I feel like I’m on a swinging bridge high above a chasm. A most delightful experience awaits me in less than 72 hours, but first I have to survive the bridge.

This bridge is full of things that produce nostalgia for typewriters and a simpler life. Specifically, getting up and running on a new computer can be as frustrating as it is rewarding.

 Because things are not working as they should be, I’m still checking three of my e-mails on the web and my work e-mail on my laptop. I don’t have my primary IM program up and running.

 Because I couldn't access it effectively, I needed to stop the mail from my writers’ groups, including a course I very much need to take--but I went through all kinds of hassles before succeeding. Thankfully, when I can carve out the time, I’ll be able to access the course from the archives.

 I can’t find the way to decline this month’s selections from the book club, though I have done it many times before. That website keeps showing up with nothing on it.

 The insert key won’t work in my new Word 2007, but I don’t have time to ask those who I know will be able to help me.

 And I can't even count how many places are refusing my username and password. Could that too have something to do with the new computer?

While all this is happening, in our third bedroom open suitcases and piles of folded clothes are helping me keep my eyes on the pleasures that await me on the other side of the bridge. Awaits us—my Fred and me. In celebration of our 50th anniversary early next month, we’ve been gifted with a cruise to Alaska! I'm still not quite believing it. It's a Christian cruise, too, with times of Bible study and lots of music. I can assure you, I am looking forward to it, especially with the 100-degree temperatures we've had outside our doors here today.

I’m also looking forward to being able to think about my Tangled Strands story in settings of peace and beauty. Having never done this before, I’m not sure how it will work in practical terms, but the laptop is going with me. No, not for e-mail, but simply for me to work on my story. I’ve learned so many things in the last year that I’m eager to apply, things like "deep POV" and strengthening a story with layers. But not surprisingly, around here life keeps getting in the way. Writing efforts such as this can be done in snatches, but it is much more effective and enjoyable if one can focus and keep a smooth train of thought.

So I’ll live with this bridge for another 48 hours, but then I’ll walk away from it for a spell. If the frustrations above aren’t resolved, I’m all but sure they will wait for me until I return. Hopefully, the lovely memories and needed refreshment from beyond that bridge will provide inspiration and help uncover solutions.

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