And yet some topics don’t seem like things I write about. As I was getting dressed this morning, I was narrating Cricket’s inner monologue to Brent and he said, “Blog post.” Nah. That’s something I talk about, in the moment, not something I want to sit down and think out and polish. On the other hand, I could see writing about the way we invest all events with narrative with that incident as an example, but that might just be because I have slogged through the first six or seven pages of the introduction to Don Quixote in Spanish, so I am full of the intersection of reality and fiction as well as some new idioms.
That, in turn, is a possible writing topic: new idioms and how they change the way people think. It’s one of the things I like about learning new languages. In English, for example, I have learned that we make a choice and in Spanish we place something on a continuum in the following linguistic spot. I can say something half-seriously or half-jokingly, but I opt to emphasize either my seriousness or my joking. In Spanish, I say it “between truths and jokes,” leaving it up to the listener to decide whether the truth or the joke is more prevalent in what I’m saying. Further, embedded in that statement is the idea that jokes are never true. I could go on, but I won’t.
Then there is reading in a foreign language and speed. I do know people who read, in English, faster than I do, but not many. In Spanish, at present I read one page every fifteen minutes because I pause to consult my handy new unabridged Spanish dictionary and because I still need to untangle the grammar. In fifty years when I have finished the 1106 pages of Don Quixote, I should be much faster, unless I am already dead. I forget how much I learn reading slowly. I like rolling the words around in my head as I flip pages in the dictionary. I like the surprising way the sentences unfold with their unusual syntax.
But sometimes I just can’t decide what to write about. I’ll get back to you when I figure it out.