Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Something odd happened today. Perhaps I should say something rare happened. The overwhelming desire to write prose—descriptive prose no less—clutched at my heart and made me pick up a pen and scribble this as homage to my lost art and creativity.
While this may not impress those authors who never abandoned the classic cursive urges, it surprised and shocked me somewhat since my mantra for the last few years has been write it tight and concise. What caused this rare obsession to let the cursive juices flow? I can only surmise that it has to do with the fact that I've been having problems with the actual mechanics of writing in longhand. Guess what caused that? Yep, the dreaded keyboard addiction. Lately I've put myself on yet another Internet fast. I barely open my social media and have written nary a word of fiction in weeks. I've been outside soaking up the sun and fooling with the garden and I'm a little embarrassed to admit I have an actual relationship with a pair of hummingbirds who dive bomb me when they don't get their showers.
With all the technology left in the dark recesses of my desk, my cursive skills are improving and therein lays the surprise—or maybe not.  Maybe you've come to the same revelation and conclusion I have: the physical act of writing longhand has triggered a release of my creative writing urges, something I'd thought long lost with the advent of my novel writing duties and deadlines. Their return has proved sweeter than bitter, opening up my soul to that beautiful yearning to place words on paper and create an image that evokes emotion and response. Can art be far behind? I pray not.
But a concern is raised in my mind and heart when I hear that teachers are lobbying to stop teaching children cursive entirely. It's a frightening possibility to me that if my lifelong creative abilities have been affected and stifled by writing on keyboard, what will cessation of cursive do to those lovely tiny forming minds? We evolved because we have opposable thumbs; we've communicated because we taught ourselves—rather developed—our ability to write out our thoughts, actions, emotions, and calculations. From pictographs to calligraphy we've released and cultivated our creativity over our existence and stopping our children from manipulating their hands just might stop them and us existing as sentient beings, slaves to our technology rather than freed by our creativity. That image terrifies me. Not so much the fear of technology it's a great help to us, but fear of the retardation of our ability to think, to create, to philosophize and to solve. What is true existence without beauty? What is life without music or art or writing? My great fear is that we'll trade beauty and love for convenience and sterility. That we'll drown in our problems because we can no longer reason out solutions. Perhaps I'm reaching but I don't think so. I vote for being safer than sorrier in this case. It's not going to hurt the teachers and it may help if not save our future great minds from utter creative deprivation if cursive is continued and it just might keep us moving forward as a species. Much of music is mathematical, much of art is geometrical, and much of philosophy and writing is mechanical and all began with the movements of the human hand in tandem with the human mind; our technology began with human hands. Without flexible manipulation of those, our minds cannot expand and twist and grow. Those very creative urges that have returned in me might very likely never even develop in those who have never picked up a pen or pencil or brush. And that terrifies me completely.
So the return of the creative muses to my side brings both elation and sorrow. I hope and pray that the very "social" media we worship isn't the same "social" media that isolates us from real emotion, real humanity, and finally, real love. 
The Egypsy Has Spoken.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Egypsy's Travelogue: Roads Less Traveled

Sitting at this keyboard, in my warm pajamas (hey, it's 9 p.m. on The Left Coast) and drinking coffee with sweet cream out of my cup from the Roman Baths (Gorgon's head insignia), I feel the need to expound a little more on my recent travels. Last time I told you about my reverse fantasy or foolishness of wanting to see the history in the form of those who made it—literally, those who made it. Since then I've had a little time to recover and think about the trip a little more and I thought I'd maybe I'd talk about the current history—nay, the current culture and what impressions got pressed into the creases in my brain.

It's funny but my family and I have always taken the roads less traveled along with the ones everybody's traveled. The last time we were in Great Britain, we got to see things the majority of visitors don’t get the chance to do so. We went through the indescribably gorgeous Yorkshire Dales, up through the Scottish Border country (flowers the size of prehistory blooms!) the Scottish Highlands, and stopped for petrol at the North Sea! How many people think about the North Sea, let alone think about visiting it?
Then the requisite stops at Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, and mom desperately trying to get a shot of Nessie…unsuccessfully. Unfortunately, those photos were taken before the advent of the digital camera so will have to wait in the murky future to be posted online.

This time was a little different as well. Based in London, Marble Arch to be specific, it was a shocking concept of walking everywhere or rushing to squeeze onto the Tube to ride three stops to where you wanted to be, especially for an Angeleno like me. You've heard the song "Nobody Walks In LA" by Missing Persons? Well, it's true. A comedian here once said the truism that in Hollywood you just keep making right turns until you get where you want to be. Again, sadly, true. But then most humor is based on truth, like it or not.
We did the palaces, Hyde Park (my sister tripping out on her own), Kensington, and shopping in both Covent Gardens (interesting and it rained—loved it) and an amazing shopping spree in a place my (shoulda' been a travel agent) sister found called Portobello Road! We were so busy buying up everything we could find, I don't think we even stopped for photos! I'll check just to be sure…
Then again requisite: Paris. Bread and cheese at the base of the Eiffel Tower (too long of a wait to ride to the top so we took pics looking up into it, LOL! Lots of intricate and gilded architecture though we barely had an afternoon to enjoy it.

And then, fun! Bruxelles (Brussels to you Americanos) in Belgium—major requisite WAFFLES and astounding ones too—as well as the shot I'd been waiting for a lifetime: Mannequin Pis. Oh yeah, there ARE photos of THAT. Only photos can show you how beautiful and charming Brussels is. We even took photos of the waffles just to make you jealous, LOL! I'm surprised none of us passed out from the sheer astonishment of them!
Most of the time, heading off the beaten path makes the best traveling experience though I'd suggest you get a guide the first time if you're non-adventurous.

 I've already posted Salisbury Cathedral (*sigh* those cloisters!), Bath, and Stonehenge but tonight I'm going to post other photos we had a blast taking! (Another suggestion, take extra camera chips—you're going to be shooting everything!)
Let's see what I can find for you:

Munching on bread and cheese looking up the Eiffel Tower. (Photos courtesy The Egypsy)

Mannequin Pis and...
Waffles with Mannequin Pis...

One of the most wonderful things we did was actually GO inside the British Supreme Court and watch to the session LIVE! Virtually NOBODY does that! It's indescribable to hear the court that ours sprang from and to see them wearing YES, those white wigs! It nearly brought tears to our eyes, such an unexpected treasure that we just happened upon while walking in London!

I guess I DID get to see some history made!

All Photos Courtesy of The Egypsy