The very nicest thing about being a writer is that you can afford to indulge yourself endlessly with oddness, and nobody can really do anything about it, so long as you keep writing and kind of using it up, as it were. So long as you write it away regularly, nothing can really hurt you.

-- Shirley Jackson *

My second-floor office window displays an overcast morning, and the subdued light matches my temperament today. I am not completely lost to depression, however, because I'm listening to a live version of "Why Go?" by Pearl Jam. The song is full of energy and emotion and it lifts me just high enough to escape my normal cloudy day maudlin self. My compulsion to write is strong. Several ideas for writeups have been forming in my head, but as is so often the case, I have used my desire to write privately with the voice recognition and my reluctance to "suit up" into the arm braces and microphone as excuses to procrastinate. Reading a recent article about Shirley Jackson and her self-discipline in daily writing encouraged me to commit a Daylog if nothing else.

As I have written about more than once, my life has opened up to notable changes over the past few years. My wife and I have grown closer and closer, experienced new things together and made new friends, while at the same time I have become more distant with my previous group of friends. What I realize now is that the two groups, new friends and old, are not interchangeable. Of those that I have known for years and years, most of our friendships began through accidents of location and circumstance. Randomly seated beside a stranger in middle school, we in time became good friends, and that friendship continued based on shared experiences of young and early adulthood. However, as we have aged and experienced life, shared history has increasingly become the only thing holding us together. Our lifestyles differ remarkably, our opinions about religion and politics and finances, and as we raise children, the things that we each feel are or are not important continuously diverge. This experience has not been limited to one or two old friends, but to most of them.

In contrast, the friends that my wife and I have made together have resulted more from us seeking out others who share one interest or another with our own value set. Our conversations are never dull, and we do not experience any disharmony that sometimes results from personal differences we have with my first group. But there is something to be said for disharmony, and having opinions challenged. So I'm left with juggling one against the other, trying to remain amicable with people who I find it difficult to relate to presently against those whose companionship I almost always find pleasant, but who lack the depth of shared experience.

* Source:, retrieved July 30, 2013.

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