February 2, 2007

Looking out at the vista

I should really start by apologizing for the title of this post. I've been completely saturated in Microsoft's launch of Vista this week and couldn't help the foul play on words.

That being said, I really do feel like I'm looking out over some extraordinary unexplored country, as I look out at the coming year. I've been rapidly and powerfully drawn to making and consuming online video this past week, both for work and for fun. As a result, I may have "cheated" more than a little bit by posting video instead of any grittier or more serious thoughts or comments on what I've experienced or felt recently.

There's just too much, really. Life just seems to accelerate when you're not looking. I can't believe it's already February.

At the top of the list should be the fact that I'm an associate now, with no trace of assistant anything in my title. I like that. I like that the word means much more than one thing. One can associate sounds with experiences, smells with memories or ideas with people. It's a fully loaded word. I'm a fan.

I caught myself describing my state of being to my mum on Thursday as "exhausted but high functioning." I've apparently absorbed too much psychobabble along the way.

That being said, it's accurate. I'm writing, editing, interviewing and reading as much or more than I have in a while, and generally at a much higher level. What a shock: I love being an editor.

I'm even starting to get back into better shape, stopping by the health club to check out the facilities on the way home last night and breaking out the free weights for the first time in months.

My only real complaint is that I wish I were reading more books and being more creative with photography, painting, poetry and woodworking. Blogs, magazines and newsprint seems to take up far too much of the bedside table and work downcycles these days. After reading Jeffrey Toobin's engrossing tale of Google's moonshot, however, I did head over to Google Books. I hadn't been there in a while. Seeing Dad's book was a reminder, however, of how much is lost on screen. The feel of the paper, the spareness of a poem on the printed page, even the smell of a new book is lost completely in the scanning. Minor quibbles next to the creation of the world's largest pool of information, of course, but I do enjoy slipping a thin volume into my pocket when I board the T. It beats reading it off my MDA, certainly, though I'd like get my hands on a Reader again for more than a few minutes.

It also bears mentioning that making new friends, in and outside of work, is deeply satifying. Many of them are now aware of this blog, so for once I'm picking more words more carefully. I think there will always be a part of me that will mourn the absence of former friends that I thought I might have for life, along with the cascading actions that led to the end of those relationships. It's taken me much longer than I care to admit to move on.

I'm kindly reminded by the friends I still have, thankfully, that it's out of my control. They've made their decisions. All I can do is try not to make the same mistakes and be kinder to others and, in the end, myself. Life is too short and bitterly unfair to do otherwise.

I think 2007 is going to be transformative, if the first 33 days are any clue.

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