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Focal Point May 2009

March 24, 2010

Notable News from a Year Ago, March 24, 2009: Obama had his second primetime news conference, which is news to me because I don’t even remember the first…

The Mayans climbed a long way to fall so far...

Everyone (or at least a large percentage of people) think the world is ending in 2012.  I don’t know the specifics but there is what you might call a confluence of potentially negative circumstances, both global and universal, all slated to occur in 2012, the so-called Year of Our Demise.  Here are some highlights and predictions:

  • I’ve heard from a reliable stock market resource that the Second Great Depression will start sometime around that time, to coincide with Boomernomics.
  • Radical religious types, of which I am related to a few, claim God is coming back the way He said he would in Revelations to judge the wicked and the just, doling out to each his or her what is due: a crown or damnation.
  • The Mayan calendar ends in 2012 to coincide with a never-before-seen alignment between the center of the Milky Way (or maybe it’s the center of our Solar System, I can’t be certain) and the center of the universe.  Scientists have absolutely no idea what that could mean to our magnetic fields and increasingly digitally-connected way of life, but I’m part-scientist myself so I have to admit that the prognosis could be disastrous.
  • Al Gore continues to remind us about the dangers of Global Warming and every other end-time prophet is gearing up to say “I told you so” when and if anything apocalyptic happens.
  • I don’t have an opinion.

Well… I don’t have an opinion about 2012 other than what I’ve already said [in this blog], which is: Anything is possible.  On a macro level, my own personal view is the Earth is a living organism and therefore it too must die.  We measure our lives in decades; the Earth measures its life in hecto-millennia [and don’t go looking that up because I made that up in the heat of artistic creation].

I’m fairly certain that whatever mechanism is turning and heating the Earth will one day expire.  Maybe that happens before the sun becomes a red giant and incinerates the Earth.  Maybe it happens sooner.  I’m not an end-time prophet of any type but it seems logical to me that the days of the Earth are numbered.  I don’t know what that number is, and I’m not venturing a guess.

In fact, beyond the plans that I have to protect myself in the event of a financial collapse in the United States, I’m not overly concerned with it either way.  This convergence of negative portent in 2012 only came to my mind because this weekend, I saw the potential development of a similar convergence in my own life — but on the positive side of things.  I have, as you may remember, two nonfiction pieces submitted for competition: “Incidental Music” to the Lamar York Prize for Nonfiction [which I never heard about again], and “How to Change the World” to the Obama Millennium Award [which I received Honorable Mention for]. I expect to hear something at least in May for “How to Change the World” and perhaps also for the other.

The big news, however, is that I also found out that the next New York Pitch conference is scheduled for June 11-14, 2009.

In a perfect world — no, let my correct that; in the world I am trying to manifest for myself — I would place in at least one of these competitions, and use that as added fodder to ensure when I submit my application to the NYC Pitch conference that I am accepted.  In this world my next novel, The Twin Paradox, is complete instead of lingering in the 10-20% range, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  For right now I want you to picture May 2009 in your mind the way I am: a completed novel; priceless credentials as a published writer; newly accepted to the June NYC Pitch conference; requested vacation and travel arrangements in hand, a new world potentially in front of.

Focal point May 2009.  That’s how I see it in my mind.

The realistic side of me understands that this will likely not to be the case.  I understand that I could fail to place in either contest.  I could complete the novel in a month and submit to NYC and their maximum capacity of 60 attendees can be filled, or they could just plain reject me.  The potential non-convergence is just as strong and promising as the potential convergence.  I’m aware, astutely, of both possibilities in my mind.

But at the same time what I have discovered over these last seven years constructing screeds and yarns, is that I can only control so much in my life.  April and the end of March.  I can control that.  The Twin Paradox has at least 70-80K words remaining, but if I wanted to write a first draft and perfect the first 50 pages in time for May — I can do that.  Forget MULA week and my inability to write 10,000 words in one week.  I can do this.  The deadline will force me to stop dawdling, stop second-guessing myself, and just get the damn thing done.  I can see and feel the freedom, the energy, building in me now.  The last two days I’ve written 5500 hundred words plus this entry.  It won’t be easy but I can do it.  I can finish The Twin Paradox by May.

The rest I cannot control, but surely I can influence.  I wrote two nonfiction articles and submitted them, paid the contest fees to enter.  If I win it is because I influenced what could happen without direct control.  The same goes with my application to the NYC Pitch Conference.  I cannot control if I am accepted or not, all I can do is write the book and fill out the form.  To worry about anything else is more than just ludicrous, it is certifiably insane.

So I think again about the coming potential apocalypse in 2012.  More, specifically, I think about the Mayans, who had enough clairvoyance to see the potentially epoch-altering alignment of our solar system but failed utterly in their attempts (if they even tried) to see their own demise and extinction.  There’s a lesson in that I believe, and the lesson is this: Why worry about the universe if the world within the grasp of your own fingers is in chaos?  Why venture to see the end of the universe if, in the process, you overlook your own mortal collapse?  I venture daily to become the master of my own domain, to control the world I can put my fingers on.  I write.  I trade.  I invest.  I try to make myself better.  I even dream.

But I let the other chips in the world fall where they may.

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