April 16, 2013 at 9:07 pm (Personal)
Tags: inspiration, philosophical, poetry
It has been eighteen years since I have held residency in Boston. And yet I still feel violated. I lived there at a very significant point in my life. It was after the sadness of a divorce five years earlier had morphed into inspiration; when I met good friends who convinced me that I was, indeed, a poet; when childhood dreams of living and working in Boston had come true; and, ultimately, when I met the wonderful woman who would become my wife.
The first explosion occurred barely a block from the music store we both worked at. The concept of a ‘music store’ is an anachronism that can not be overlooked, largely because this kind of life, this world we live in now, makes the mid-90′s seem like a giant anachronism. I and several co-workers probably ambled out to the sidewalk, trying to catch a glimpse of the elite runners making it to the finish line. I was standing there, so many years before the madness.
I accept the fact that I am older now, not nearly as bohemian, responsible, with a consideration toward “selling out” more so now than back then. I understand the importance of the impact of 9/11 and how this time in history has specific protocols and procedures. On the opposite side of 50, I hold life more dear than ever before and recognize its frailty.
And yet I still feel violated.
I can not continue to absorb any of the media, whether it is news, talk, sports, online, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts. I do not care to allow political heads thump chests in front of me nor do I desire to consider the financial repercussions. Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Dudeist — none of them have anything new or different to say that has not already been said after Columbine or Waco or Oklahoma City or NYC.
I’m waiting for the painters and poets and singers and writers to make sense of things. I’m waiting for the only group that can reach down into the ultimate depths of humanity, into the pits of depravity, behind the clouds of depression, and raise us to the heights of a blessed light. I’m holding my breath for the first song or stanza or canvas to portray strength and hope and love, words that do not need capital letters because they already stand apart from the other words. A tune or lyric or sculpture will carry me forward and renew my faith.
That’s what an artist can do.
August 19, 2010 at 9:25 pm (Personal, Writing)
Tags: alternate reality, philosophical, Writing
A recent change in fortunes has gotten me to think of a new plot line.
I went through unemployment to re-employment. I won’t go into details or bore anyone with the “meant to be” New Age axioms. But as I was leaving my new job today (which IS so much more enjoyable than my old job EVER was) I was replaying the circumstances of my departure. But instead of rewinding and replaying, I considered a new scenario. What if I said THIS instead of THAT and I never put myself in the position that lead to my separation from my old employer?
My mind did not even begin to consider the personal ramifications. I immediately went into WRITER mode and thought of a novel in which every other chapter was the same story except different, perhaps parallel, taking a different track than the main story. I am aware of a movie called “Sliding Doors” with Gwyneth Paltrow that is of the same concept and I even considered that while driving (still paying attention to the road, of course.)
That movie was seminal for me in that you could consider parallel stories. When discussing this with my wife tonight, she said that as a reader she would get confused by chapters 1 and 1a and then 2 and 2a, instead suggesting a complete story followed by Part Two titled “OR…” I know it would be difficult to get published in the manner that I had originally intended but I still believe it would be fascinating to follow parallel lives of the same character.
After my literary thoughts faded, I returned to thinking about my personal situation. I make no great philosophical claims. I am not Buddhist so this is the only life that I am aware of and I was not given a handbook at birth. We grow and we learn, as people and as writers.
These recent events may have had more gravitas because of being married instead of single, a homeowner with a mortgage instead of an apartment dweller with no responsibilities, and getting precariously closer to fifty. But they were not the worst things to happen in my life. And perhaps I am better for it. Judging one’s worth and value by an hourly dollar amount demeans the integrity of the person.
So, from a personal standpoint, there is no need to consider the IF. The writer in me is still far too curious.