I happened upon an article posted on Facebook by a long and dear friend of mine written for Harper’s Magazine by a woman named Rebecca Solnit which gave me pause to ponder. It was a harangue on the state of a perceived perception by some modern in society, either proper or improper on what is expected of women in the world today. It was a cogent indictment on the fact that some folks in the world today should, quite simply, shut the fuck up.
It was also an equally cogent indictment to those of us who should, in fact and practice, open our mouths and keep them open.
Egotistically placing myself in the latter of these categories is the purpose of this piece. I have, for a number of years, identified myself as a writer. Rather erroneously. I have written, scribed, composed, scripted, authored, recorded, put in writing, jotted down, transcribed, or otherwise put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keys) many words and even received remuneration for such on occasion. I am what some rather ceremoniously call a “Published Author.” Whoop-de-do.
In truth I have not written anything of substance for over two and a half years where I sat at a table at a Men’s retreat in Pennsylvania and wrote my sister Paula’s obituary. It was, simply, the last time I truly opened my heart and let the world know what or who I am.
I can barely stand to look at my face in the mirror.
My Sweet Deifiúr Paula was and, if my belief in God and things is correct, is my biggest fan and staunchest proponent. I have held within me the erroneous belief that she was my muse. While she was inspiration for some of the things I wrote, she came to love my writing many years after I began to stalk the highways and byways of writing while still in elementary school. In my early writing attempts and in the reading I was doing was a wonderful world where I discovered, as a child should, that place where heroes were heroes and damsels were always in desperate need of liberation from some form of distress. A place where murder mysteries required solving and Stephen King books scared the shit out of me. Where the heavens existed for the marvel of exploration and all Irish stories were tragic, romantic, and humorous at the same time.
This is not the first attempt I have made at the metaphorical “getting back on the horse.” I have haltingly tried several times and each of them has begun with halfhearted attempts at redeeming myself as the long lost grieving brother and how difficult it is to create when your muse has died. That is just so much bovine excrement! Paula would not think I should feel sorry for myself, she would probably tell me that I should write a book about our mother. Well, the Rolling Stones were right. You can’t always get what you want. Whatever comes out after this is what is supposed to and the world, including my beloved sister will have to live with it. If luck holds, someone will send me some money to either write or shut up, with the former being the operative objective.
So, let’s get back to the article in Harpers. There are many observations one can make about what is or what is not proper for any person to pursue in life. The article speaks of whether the author thought she should have had children. This was a question submitted to her from and audience that was clearly there to listen to her expound upon writing. This question, outrageously misplaced, was the reason I got up and walked the exhausting distance from my easy chair to my keyboard (about seven and a half feet, well, eight and a half if you count getting and transforming my desk chair into an actual chair from being a door stop).
I am, joyously, fanatical about a few things in life. First, the New York Yankees which is not subject to discussion win or lose. Second, my life in recovery from drugs and alcohol, also not subject to discussion unless you are or want to be in recovery. Then there is how I feel about everything in life. This sounds moronic or simplistic but those who would think that are quite simply obtuse and not worthy of consideration.
I am the most liberal person I know and, even though it does not seem that way from time to time, the most polite person I know. By that I mean that I fervently believe that someone’s opinions are to be held inviolate as long as those opinions do not cause harm in any form. Unfortunately, many opinions turn into action and lead to atrocity. Once it gets to that level, then I am particularly impolite.
I believe the taking of a human life outside the normal life cycle is an abomination and should forever be opposed…including capital punishment.
I believe who and how you love is nobody’s business but the person you love and only then if it is accepted and not abusive.
I believe that God should stay out of politics. I also believe that He is of the same opinion but that the whole Free Choice thing kind of has His hands tied.
I believe that two thirds of the world is at war either on a physical or a cerebral level and that they all believe in the same God, who tells us to treat each other with love and respect and is constantly ignored.
I believe that children should never have to go hungry and should be educated well…not tested based on a specious set of standards that were not written by educators.
I believe Science and Math teach us the truth and Art and Music teaches us an equal level of truth…the truth of our hearts.
I believe all who commit crimes should be punished…and shown the path to redemption for their transgressions.
I believe that government should govern and people should live free. One should not infringe of the other…either way.
I believe that the right to bear arms is a reasonable right…if it is regulated reasonably.
In conclusion, well, for now. I believe what Jesus told us to do;
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you, so that you yourselves may be the children of your Father Who is in heaven”
“…that you love one another in the same way that I have loved you, that is how you are to love one another.”
These, not necessarily in order, all come from the Books of Matthew and John. If you want to know the verse citation than I suggest you get a copy of the Books of Matthew and John. I’m a writer here on a free blog, not a paid pundit. Unless, there is someone out there who wishes to pay me. In that case I am one citation writing fool.
This has been both an equally most painful and joyous exercise. I really need to do it more because, as is evident, I still know how to type and I still have something to say. I am posting this on my blog, if I can remember the password, and will continue to do so…I hope.
If you got anything out of it, cool. If you did not, come back and give it another try next time. If you are reading this then you have found me. I have other locales on the World Wide Web which can be found at: https://about.me/tlloydreilly