Thursday, September 13, 2012

Things to Consider

Over the last few months, I've been sending out these tweets about "things to consider," with a list of items, ideas, to-do lists, destinations and baubles that have captured my fancy. Red pants, potted plants, afternoons of board games, sunshine streaming through semi-slatted blinds: it's the usual array of creature-comfort imagery that would populate any Pinterest board worth its salt.

Writing these tweets gives me a disproportionate amount of pleasure. I am, like most people, a consumer, and I sometimes have a craving for Really Nice Things - this is where the little gold rings come in. More often, though, I want the simpler things. A glossy green plant. A hand holding mine. A darkened movie theatre with Twizzlers and a contraband can of Coke Zero. The immediate sense of wellbeing I get when I step into a hot shower to wake myself up.

Most of these things cost less than ten dollars, leading me to realize that I'm not a fancy-type lady. I like things that look good, yes, especially solid furniture and freshly painted walls, both of which could be used in The New Place. Some things I've wanted are ostensibly "free," like the view from the summit of an Appalachian mountain range, but getting there would cost time and money. Some thing are so expensive as to be almost imaginary, like airfare to Japan, or would take so much time that they might as well be done by a different person, like the first draft of a novella.

But these tweets serve a very specific purpose: acknowledging these mini-desires lets me track what I want the most over time. I've mentioned plants and rings - one symbolizing lush life and the other standing for glamourous frivolity - more times than I could count. I've wished for travel, a signal that my Toronto life felt overwhelming and that I was craving an escape hatch. It's not always so deep - sometimes, a pint of craft beer is just a pint - but repeated please for consideration can sometimes means there's something more heartfelt going on. Heartfelt on Twitter - imagine that.

Teenage girls often communicate in this cloud of allusive half-meaning, before we learn to grow up and just use our damned words, already. We considered ourselves poets, obviously, except that nobody else knew what the hell we were talking about. The purpose of poetry is to illuminate dark corners and say unsaid things, not be dreamy weirdos in blank verse. But these tweets, lame and straightfoward as they are, hone the basic skill of identifying and naming desires. This skill can come in handy when you're in a howling-for-comfort situation.

Anyway, I look forward to writing many more tweets about Dan Clowes comics, crosswords in bed and the pleasures of a new magazine. They're a mini-break, just for me. And when I see patterns come out of the wordwork - not reqests for kilim or plaid, but you know, the deeper stuff - I've given myself a way to track what it all means. Meaning on Twitter - imagine that.