Saturday, July 31, 2010

The reason for it all

It is summer school and I sit here with no real curriculum. I have fifteen kids and it is only a half-day. I enjoy it because it gives me time to write in the afternoon when I get home. I attempt to mix things by giving them something to do that will keep them busy. I tell them to read a book. This is activity I have hold sacred and have for all my life. Starting with the comic books my cousin Johnny used to let me use when I was but a wee lad and escalating as I grew to the point that, today, the longer the book, the more enjoyable.

I charge through books as easily as I inhale Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. Sojourns to my mercantile of choice (the realm of the sage from Bentonville) are never complete until I peruse the book aisle. Show me a bargain bin and I will show you true contentment. I will purchase books far beyond the constraints of my financial situation. I will go without, of all things given my girth, food, and drink in order to read.

Perhaps that is why I post this blog and strongly desire to be a full time writer. I have received so much contentment, delight, elation, and downright ecstasy from the written word that it must be…most assuredly…a calling for me to give back some of what I have been given. I have the ability to turn a phrase, and the muse within me to please.

When I encounter difficult times, it is often the action of writing that gets me through it, or allows me to heal from whatever difficulty currently assailing me. In those rare times when I am able to convince myself that the use of some mind-altering mood-hanging substance would be acceptable, I take pen to paper and remain clean and sober. When I suffered the loss of my Dear Sainted Mother, the only action that would bring the tears under control were the words I put on paper about Herself. There is power in the pen.

When the hobgoblins surface and my thoughts become chaotic with varying and opposing forces, putting words on a page allows me to get those adversaries out of my head. By removing the dastardly evildoers from my mind, I create space for new and, hopefully, benign attitudes to enter and become positive forces for good.

Like the superheroes of my youth, words gathered in the right structure protect me from the big bad world and allocate values and principles to my confusion and turmoil. Anarchy has no room when I read the likes of Mark Twain, Ken Follet, Stephen King, Jidda Krishnamurti, or, if all else fails…T. Lloyd Reilly.

Arrogant vanity aside, I revel in the ability to read and the gift of intellectual capacity. Celebrate the complexities of the message is what the person that told me to write taught me. He was an English teacher of my Sweet Deifiúr’s. Fred Schneider was his name. He told me that when I was probably ten or eleven years old. I had no idea what he was talking about. He saw me looking at books in his classroom one night when I had to go with my mother and sister to the school for some sort of teacher/student thing. He came up to me and told me this stuff and I am still trying to decipher his meaning some forty-five or six years later.

Socrates told us that we must look at ourselves if we are to find worth. I find worth in the written word. I find meaning, and joy, and irritation, and, well, reality. Reality tells me that I have to go further along this road to enlightenment that will bring me to the point of being a self-supporting scribe. In that light I am going to begin a new blog on another site. This new endeavor will focus on the subject of the business of writing. I have started to enjoy some success at the commercial side of the literary cosmos, and need to expand my horizon.

I will still be posting on this page for those who enjoy those most peculiar meanderings of my psyche. The new site will offer a change from the inane and mundane to the marketing and promotion of those words I write in hopes of remuneration. Any of my readers on this site who wish to be privy to that address can leave a comment on this page or email me their thoughts. I am also in need of an appropriate name for the new blog, so any assistance that comes my way is more then welcome.

So what is the point of today’s ramblings? Probably just more of the same as it applies to what I write here. I am not necessarily in conflict as to my purpose for any of what I write. I found it today, you see. I needed to find the first name of one of the authors mentioned earlier. I will leave you with his words today.

“You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life.” Jidda Krishnamurti


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