Business–as in Busy-ness

A view looking through the iris gardens. May 13, 2016

A view looking through the iris gardens. May 13, 2016

James Baldwin once said about writers: “The importance of a writer is continuous… His importance, I think, is that he is here to describe things which other people are too busy to describe.”

Well, I have become one of those people who has become too busy. And I’m really trying to sort it out. Even a quiet life can become overfilled with activity.
Anything a person does to organize anything requires endless attention. I’ve gone from organizing words and sentences to organizing trees and flowers! The one is actually much harder than the other. (You can decide which is which.) As to which is more important? That’s the real question. I suppose it’s like it’s written in Ecclesiastes 3:1: there is an appointed time for everything.
My gardens have grown to the point that next year, I do believe next year, I will have to have help. This is the summer of my discontent (no time). Next year, the gardens will begin to support themselves. And I will have hired help, and more time for words and sentences.
The truth is that there is something wonderful about gardens. They are worth the time the take. They teach their own lessons, including the very important lesson about patience. Flowers open when they’re ready to open. Bees find their way to them when they’re sweetest.
Patience, however, is an abstract sort of thing. The garden teaches very practical lessons as well. For instance, birds tend to choose safe places to nest and when they don’t there is not a good ending.
Life is a balance of choices. Patience is a virtue, it’s said. But to be eternally patient is to get nothing done. Balance. Choices.
M L S Baisch

Time Management

Good writing is never wanting for metaphor.

Good writing is never wanting for metaphor.

Time management: it’s been awhile since I’ve thought much about it. Back in the days when I did think about it, the problem was simply not having enough hours in the day: there were simply too many things to do and prioritization was essential. Some things just weren’t going to get done. Period.

Now, the days have enough time in them–though there are still too many things to ever get done, and there are still many things that never do get done. The truth is that many things just don’t need to get done.

But there is another time management sort of problem. It’s of the type that Harold Klawans wrote about in his story, Chekhov’s Lie: one simply cannot do justice to both one’s wife and one’s mistress. In other words, the mind has room for only one obsession at a time. An obsession, by definition, is all-consuming.

Of course, in order to bring anything to fruition from nothing more than thought–which is what creation is–obsession is required. If one takes off in a new direction (finds a mistress), it isn’t that one intends to leave or neglect one’s wife (one’s previous interest), it’s that something important has come up and has, at least for a time, captured one’s attention.

How then does one support both one’s wife and one’s mistress, metaphorically speaking? The answer to that question, if there is one, gets back to the notion of time management. Or, more correctly, it gets to the notion of obsession management. If anyone has written on how to manage multiple obsessions, I’ve not run across it. But that’s the problem. And it’s a problem that has kept me from writing much.

If, however, you’d like to meet my mistress, just go to or or

Let it be known, that though I do love my metaphorical mistress, that I also love my metaphorical wife, and intend to re-instate my wife to her rightful place in my life somehow. I do not intend to forever neglect her: my writing life. A wife, after all, has a superiority before others, a central position, a traditional preeminence. A wife, even a metaphorical wife, is central to one’s life. A mistress . . . well, a mistress is often just a passing fancy. In my case, interest in my metaphorical mistress is more than just a titillation. She is important and I’d like to keep her around for as long as possible. But she has to make peace with my wife. Somehow.

M L S Baisch