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Twisting all the bad things into good

Oct 3, 2011

The Nitty Gritty: An Introduction

"I am going to sing for you, a little off key perhaps, but I will sing . To sing you must first open your mouth. The essential thing is to want to sing. This then is a song. I am singing."
Henry Miller - "Tropic of Cancer"

         Although I started with a quote from Henry Miller, to make my intended point, I must first mention Hemingway. I used to long to live some kind of Hemingwayesque life. I wanted to have adventures along the lines of the ones he wrote about. I thought that this was what was necessary to become a writer. My favorite Hemingway book is "A Moveable Feast". It is about his life as an aspiring writer in Paris in the '20's. Henry Miller also wrote of his experience in Paris as a struggling writer at this time. They both wrote about their everyday lives and relationships that were not particularly dramatic in a literary sense. After reading both Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast" and Miller's "Tropic of Cancer", I realized that to write something meaningful, it was not necessary to go on safari in Africa or to experience the horrors of war firsthand. It was possible to find meaning in our day to day life. Sometimes this can only be done in retrospect. 
              But sometimes, sometimes the kind of experiences I thought were necessary to make a writer do happen. Even if we do not realize it at the time. But when we come to the realization that we have experienced something worth writing about, it should not be wasted. It can not be wasted. In my case, I got what I always wanted. In a strange way, I have always got what I wanted, but never in the way I had hoped for or expected. To not write about these experiences would make me a fraud, whether I shared them with anyone or not. I have thought about these experiences often, mostly in cause and effect way. How each has lead me to where I am today and as a result, factor in to where I will be tomorrow.When I look at things that way, it is difficult to have any regrets.
            Maybe some of the things I write about should just be kept in a diary with a lock on it that I hide under my mattress like some dirty magazine. That just would not be me. It took 35 years to realize that "me" is all I can or will ever be. Most people will not take the time to read these blogs, and maybe that's a good thing. That was never my intention. The number of people who do take the time to read it and have something positive to say may always be in the single digits, but each one makes it worthwhile to share. As John D. MacDonald (no relation) said, "My purpose is to entertain myself first and other people secondly". I must admit, in my case, it is a very close second.


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