J. Barrett

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I sometimes wonder why I want to write, what it is about it that I find so life-giving.
Growing up, I remember saying that I enjoyed reading so much that I wanted to write so I could give that joy to someone else.
Most of my work now is read only by me, and I hardly read it once it's on paper, or the computer screen, as it were.
It gives me a chance to work things out, to get words out of my head, to see how I really feel about things. It allows me to express myself in ways which are truer and longer lasting than anything I might say aloud, because I can write slowly, and change what it says. I wish I could speak slowly enough that I could think out all of what I was saying before it was out; I think most of what I say is forgotten, anyway, by me and by the listener.
The words may be forgotten, but I can reference them as long as they remain in memory, electronic or print.
I write because it gives me access to things which could conceivably outlast me. It gives me a chance for some legacy of my ideas, fleeting though it may be.
I write because I know that no one will understand me until I do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What happens to me at work

I realized as I was working yesterday that I really act differently when I'm at work than when I'm at home, or with my friends. I'm really serious, often resentful and jealous of my co-workers. I don't say very much, I don't make small talk very often. I feel almost like I have to be like this, watching everyone, being the best aide there is, even if I'm not recognized as such.

I wonder when this started. In my fraternity, I became quiet and too-serious often when one of the brothers did something that made me angry, as if by my silence, I was punishing him for what he did, and was slowly teaching him a lesson, moment by moment. I think that may be the definition of passive aggression.
It's difficult for me to deal well with people who have different ideas about what work is, what it means to do a job well. I can criticize constructively, I can support those who are working to make changes in their lives, but when they are completely out to lunch, I don't even know where to start.
I think today I'll try to smile, to relax, and to enjoy the day for what it is, not for what I want it to be.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Music in remission

I grew up playing the piano, with music as a part of my life before I understood it, before I really knew what it meant to me. Now that I think I do, it's out of my life. I listen to music, and attend concerts every now and then, but I don't have a program anymore. I play when I'm at my parents houses, because they have pianos. It's to entertain, and to be sure that I still can. It's like speaking a language you've forgotten you know. It's like I'm speaking in a tongue from a past life; it feels like something that's not a part of me, not anymore.
I want to return to practice, to study, but my life has become so full with other things that I haven't the time for it. That is, I don't have the space in my life for it; I could certainly find a few hours a week, were I really motivated.
When I played, it was another task, another chore, which I enjoyed, the impact of which I was unaware. It was a way to get out of my head, to do something which wasn't about me, about the image I was trying to project, but was about the music, was about channeling the composer and the period, learning by successive approximations, over months and months, how to play to the peak of my potential.
It's something I want to have in my life again. I think it may be in another season.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I'm J. Barrett

I'm J. Barrett. I'm a twenty three year old guy, and I work with handicapped children. I graduated from college in 2004, and I was married later that year, to my wonderful wife M. I'm a committed Christian. I'd like to write, and have been working off and on for the past year or so on some different projects, none of which I'd consider a showcase. I decided to start this blog so that I could write more, communicate with a wider community, and maybe say some interesting things.