Friday, November 14, 2008

Nov.14, 2008 - Journalling

"Everything worth doing is worth doing poorly."

All beginnings are like children learning to walk. Falling down and getting up and falling down and getting up. The smile is what separates the child from the adult. The adult somehow thinks they are entitled to wings. Just because they learned to walk as children doesn't mean that rocket science should come easy. Yet there they are grimacing with the complexities of new knowledge, demanding that politics and love should progress smoothly and rapidly without a myriad of little falls or big kabooms.

The child laughs and cries where the adult trudges and groans. Walking on water would be standard despite the critics of myth busters and deceit of Ninja. A man has done it. But just because Daedalus melted his wings before the sun didn't stop the Wright Brothers. Learning is a natural curve of fits and starts and steady progress only with application. To parphrase Einstein, genius is 99% perspiration and 1 % inspiration.

I hear so many people saying they are unhappy where they are but are so unwilling to change one minutiae of their daily lives. And when the galaxy and universe conspire to push them forward a micron they give up with tears and pouts insisting they'll never be good at anything. Today there is so much reward for inactivity. The drug culture surplants the television world. Free heroin is the latest halcyon cry of government when we were only just trying to break them of the habit of offering free lunches we all but them must pay for.

Writing is just that. As a teen ager I made a decision to write, so admiring the books I found in the library and the lives and words of poets and authors I encountered there. The daily journal became a thing I carried along with keys and wallet A little black book that fitted pockets and went everywhere with me in an age of slide rulers and atom bombs. Looking back today I see I've been keeping a journal for nearly 50 years. Today I can write with greater ease and that connection between fingers and mind is a product of hours, days and years of writing. My favourite writers have but written more.

The mind is just a muscle. The famous nun studies showed that those who used theirs most were least likely to develop dementia. In addition to journalling I remember consciouslly trying my hand at different genres of writing. There was even a period of time when I wrote letters to the editor long before I wrote editorials. Anything can be done in this way. The proverbial baby steps with their crawls and falls and standing tall. It's beginning in the day and continuing in tomorrow.

That was the message of the last writing class I took to deal with my continued struggle with the sheer volume of the 'novel'. I'm now a master of a page or 10 pages even ,but am as overwelmed at the thought of 100, 200 or 300 as I was once at crossing continents or oceans in various conveniences. Jobin, that brilliant, witty, much published raconteur told us how she'd begun with one hour a day and a year later had a book that's gone on to television syndication. Her writing makes me laugh and I've always enjoyed the special connection that writing brings between my insides and the insides of others. Emotionally and intellectually we share this intimacy of idea, word and feeling.

But it really just is in the doing. Reframed, writing for me is just another way for "quitting" inertia, just overcoming sloth, the age old addiction today so commonly called "I can't" and "Yes, but". If I want to be a writer I must write. Writing is taking the mind and fingers out of park. Once in motion then I can drive to whereever I would go. A jaunt around my own community, out there on freeways to a foreign country or over here to some form of multiplicity machine.

I must remember though that publication never made me more than just that single gift to myself or lover, as in the Song of Songs. In the alpha and omega I am not writing for magazines or libraries but just for you. The you that Buber called Thou or just the you who laughed after falling and got up again to continue on when no one else was smiling and the unmoving were dead in the water. The writer must continue on despite rejection and just a little afraid of acceptance. It's really just another form of sharing. What was that line of Kurt Vonnegut's: all we are is just communicating peep holes on reality.

Hey, you, over there, are you listening. Yea, you. I saw you falling out of your peephole and think it terrific that you got back up. Have a great day!!! Sure, I'll pray for you too.

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