When I Write

I like to write, but often writing isn’t easy.  There is always a tension between what I want to write and what I actually write.  Sometimes I wonder if I am revealing too much and other times I wonder if I am not saying enough.  And there are times when phrases like this get stuck in my brain:

“Sitting among the remnants of the future.”

Seriously, that’s been in my brain for the last thirty minutes and I have no idea what it means. Perhaps it is a title of a time travel novel or a poem where the speaker laments.

Perhaps it is prophetic and part of some ancient future – some mythology that has formed around pasta machines.

It feels like there should be something profound in the phrase, but it could also be just plain silly.  Perhaps it’s a chapter in a post apocalyptic book when the hero finally discovers a ruined shell of a 21st century data center and realizes that no one will ever be able to restart it and recover the vast secrets it holds.

Perhaps, it’s a pen and ink drawing – a spaceship crashed on an alien landscape with a space suited figure collapsed against a rock looking back at the wreckage that has stranded her light years from home.

Or maybe it could be a novel about a man born in the 1950’s told flash backs weaving the story of his life around cause and effect – telling how that choice to drive to the lake became his greatest joy and deepest regret.

“Sitting among the remnants of the future”

“Sitting” implying no movement and being introspective.

“among” More than one thing – in the midst of lots of things.  Objects, memories.

“the remnants” Tattered and dusty.  Broken and discarded.  Incomplete and fragmented.

“of the future” a juxtaposition where past and future merge then fade.

Or it is just a lament of an old man who never achieved all he set out to do?

A writer can never be sure why some words come to disturb the mind and take the story to places he hadn’t intended.



About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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35 Responses to When I Write

  1. Pingback: Another Past – Another Future | Andrew's View of the Week

  2. inesephoto says:

    Good phrase, very catching.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fascinating phrase – no wonder it stuck in your brain. I agree: Writing isn’t easy! (But it’s certainly absorbing.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Baydreamer says:

    Great post to ponder over, and I think I’ve wondered some of the same things. Posting about my health issues is something I wouldn’t have done years ago. I know I’ve changed over the blogging years. And this is a great line stuck in your head. I have a feeling it will lead to a wonderful, profound piece of writing. Let it sit for awhile; words to follow will come to you when you least expect them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. CJ Hartwell says:

    I enjoy your musings, even when don’t have a conclusion — or maybe it’s because they have no conclusion I enjoy them? In any case, I’m right with you in not understanding where the thoughts come from or what they mean most of the time. It’s what keeps drawing me back, I suppose. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. George says:

    You know, writing something that doesn’t appear to make sense to the point where others don’t know what it means only makes you sound profound and interesting..:) It happens all the time. Like art!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Pasta machine! Love it!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. For some reason the phrase brings to me an image if an American Indian Chief sitting near the fire, in full headress smoking a pipe (Don’t know whether it’s a peace pipe). Does that help???

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Debra says:

    I must say that I find the phrase compelling. It feels like it should lead to something wise and grand! I hope you’ll find a way to use it, and if it’s stuck in your thoughts you probably will! I don’t write much beyond my blog, but I am a “communicator” with a few friends who challenge me towards deep discussion, and I have some of the same challenges and questions about sharing…too much? too little? Is that the best word to use? I suppose I’d rather struggle with words than waste them with nonsense and drivel. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. huckfinn47 says:

    Andrew, as a writer, I know exactly what you mean. We spend our time unpacking phrases and ideas that sometimes have no meaning. It’s frustrating and tedious. But it’s so glorious when it all comes together and the meaning is clear. Thank you for an insightful and well thought out post!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Sue says:

    You captured those words! That’s what writers and poets do. Then we analyze them. It seems all this time travel lands you where you’ve always been. Right in the present moment 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Tim says:

    Pondering what might have been surrounded by that which will be. A great start (or finish?) – where will it lead, or what has happened before?

    Liked by 2 people

  13. dorannrule says:

    Hmmm. Remnants are old. The future is new. This means you may have gone time travelling. A thought provoking sentence for sure. Let us know where it takes you.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Pied Type says:

    I like the phrase, but it sounds ominous to me. Our society is sitting among the remnants of what would have been our future if we don’t change our direction.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I like that phrase and what it evokes, though for me, I’d be “terror-stricken by the remnants of the future”, Nothing passive about thriller writers!

    Liked by 1 person

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