Friday, March 20, 2009

it's always about 'life,' even when it's not

At this time in my life, I'm interacting constantly with stories and language.

My studies, my job, my leisure -- all reading, writing, and communication. I spend so much of my time communicating that I've taken to shutting everything off while communting via light rail, simply emptying my mind and entering a zen-like state devoid of all communication, even thought -- the act of communicating with myself.

So, I find it interesting when, introspectively, I notice a peculiarity in my habits. One transition has been my interest in stories. Reporting and journalism drives so hard at finding interesting stories -- scoops that attract readers and clicks -- that I think some part of me rebels.

In my free time, I've become attracted to books and articles about more mundane, yet perceptively charming subjects. While my writing focuses on action, my reading trends toward the idiosyncrasies of unremarkable feeling and the slightly absurdist views -- authors like Jonathan Safran Foer, Milan Kundera, Tao Lin, or Dave Eggers. Mostly young and awash in waves of uncertainty, like me, they speak to uncommon, yet more genuine viewpoints on life. They provide for me a welcome counterpoint to the ridgidly factual, distinctly real focus of journalism.

Life always seems to align in dichotomies with the conscious and subconscious trying to balance the two. Like reporting, it's important to get both sides.

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