Alaska, clouds, creativity, deletions, essays, glaciers, golf, Gray Butte, holes, ice, imagination, intent, Knik River, landscape, Matanuska River, mud flats, navigation, Oregon, procrastination, Thompson Pass, tunnels, writing
Recently I read an article about procrastination. The premise was that determined procrastinators can be very productive because of what they accomplish otherwise, when procrastinating. This could be true. Rather than working on an essay, I compiled this post.
I say “compiled” instead of “wrote” because when I revise an essay I delete and rewrite but the deleted chunks don’t just vanish. I save them into a document ‘deletions’ like hardware leftover from assembling furniture bought in a box. Maybe useful. Maybe not.
Instead of working on the essay, Imagining Landscapes, I read ‘deletions’, trolling for questions of importance and looking for a sentence or paragraph I mistakenly cut. Something illuminating, evoking the sense of place or experience, such as
A distant view makes things seem simple.
A wrinkled landscape challenges our imagination.
Driving across the bridges over the Knik River, glance to the west at the silvery channels. In the distance, Mount Susitna’s gleaming flanks. Below, on the mud flats (not sand bars), a tree lodges, smooth as a sculpture, roots clawed into the sticky silt.
A well is a hole in the land. The well we had was cased with a narrow pipe. The pump a tube suspended deep in the hole. Once wells were dug by hand, wide enough to reflect the moon. Place is also space. Open space. Cleared space. Inhabited space. Consider holes in space. Where would you go if you fell in? Into a black hole? How can a hole be anything but black? Some holes are deep like wells. Others have very little depth, like voids in clothing or leaves.
Descending the slight incline of a jetway. Fairbanks in January, warm and heated. Juneau in December, a refrigerated tunnel. Fuselage a tunnel through space. Uncomfortable, but enter in one place, sit tight and (then) exit somewhere else. From an aerial view, the continuity of moving across landscape vanishes. Cannot peer into living room windows like from a train. From inside the jetliner, only the overview view. Clouds. Ocean. Blue islands. White mountains. Ice. Glaciers stretched taut, the tuning pegs tightened.
Returning to the essay, Imagining Landscapes, I notice the sentence:
I am drawn to incongruities within the landscape but when I find something meriting scrutiny, I wonder whether what interests me is predictable or, like spring weather, utterly changeable?
. . . now, back to revising the essay.
Now that’s a really interesting idea, saving the deletions! I’d never have thought of this.
Best regards from southern Texas,
Katie Eberhart said:
Thanks for the comment.
I do find sentences or even whole paragraphs in my ‘deletions’ file that I put back in the essay, usually in a different place, or sometimes that become starting points for new essays or poems.