I am the Writer who does not write, and the poet with few poems.
I see myself as a writer; it is my self identity. When I imagine myself in my minds-eye, I am personified as a writer, I see the future in the context of writing, and I fully expect to write, yet the time goes by and I do not.
I relate to the world as a writer, I refer to myself as a writer… Yet I do not write. Oh sure, I pen a few sentences once in a while, and often I will dive whole-heartedly back into a novel or article I have been writing for a while, but in the long run, I haven’t really written all that much. A few short stories, thirty or so poems, and five or six novels in various stages of completion… Pitiful I think.
Though I know this; it seems that the pressing moments of my life take precedence over that which I really desire to do. Yes, that desire is to write.
So I come to the crux of the issue: I must simply steal the time to write from other interests. I must be a miser when it comes to my free time, and devote myself to the task as though I were a monk in meditation.
I know that to resolve to do this is no small thing, and would be easy to just forget and eventually just lose interest completely. Yet, if I do, I shall live my life in regret. I am now 33, and have intended, and longed to write for a full 15 years, what others have accomplished in less time leaves me to shame.
Cut out the cruft, and streamline. Look to the goals I have set.
I need to restructure my life, to concentrate on my goals and dreams. I need to work on cutting out all the cruft and create a better faster more streamlined me.
There isn’t enough time in one human life to do even half the things I want to do, so I have to throw out the old and choose carefully the direction I want to go. There is no room for mediocrity.
After work, I went to a small trivia night gathering in town, and tried to talk and be a part of other people again. I tried to fit in, and to belong…
I realize just how much of my life I have missed. I work all the time, there is almost nothing else. I am a slave.
There is nothing outside of work and obligations for me, I am tied down to a job that takes so much time, and I don’t get out and do anything on the weekends either. I am a slave of my own making. I can’t blame anyone else. It is me.
I used to be a part of life, I played a part, I was involved in things that were bigger than I was. Sure I had my own little cliques, but I didn’t feel awkward around my peers, and I had things to connect me to other people.
I feel like I have lost some of that, I don’t really know where it went, but the last 5 or 10 years have not been good for my inner being, I have turned inwards and lost sight of my real purpose.
I delve deeply into my interests and find new passions, but these are nothing more than distractions, they are an escape from reality.
Where did I go off the rails and lose the energetic passionate entrepreneur that I was? I used to see opportunity where now I only see darkness, I used to pounce on an idea and take it as far as possible, now I hardly bother to make a move, I am convinced that it is hopeless.
Has this town finally killed my drive and positive attitude? Or is it something else?
I don’t see a way out anymore, I don’t see a future where I reach the goals I have always wanted. I only see perpetual mediocrity.
I want to send my daughter to a good school. What parent doesn’t want that for their kid? I want her to learn the skills she needs to survive in this damn mess we call a society. What I don’t want is to send her away to be indoctrinated into a narrow-minded view of the world. I don’t want to send her to the Warren PA public school system because I have seen what comes out of that school system and I don’t want that for my daughter. I don’t want the influences of the kids she will be around, and I don’t want the constant undermining of our parenting. I don’t want her to be indoctrinated into secular humanism or any of the other narrow mindsets of modern public schools. I don’t want her to come to see the state as the solution to all the problems in the world, I don’t want her to lose sight of who she is, or to be bullied into submission. I want her to learn critical thinking.
So the obvious choice from there is to send her to a private school, but the options around here are very limited. I want a school to focus on academics, critical thinking, and history. Once she learns to read well, the rest will naturally flow from there. I learned nearly everything I know simply from reading books and observing life, I have no reason to believe that she won’t be the same. So I want a school who will allow her to come to conclusions based on facts, who won’t be a harmful influence to the upbringing of her parents. This seems impossible here.
I most want her to attend a Montessori school, I believe that she would do well in that setting since she is a naturally very bright kid, and she takes to things with excitement. She does have trouble following tasks through to completion, but the environment that would foster her creativity is what would do her the most good. Trouble is, that there are no Montessori schools near this horrible little town of Warren PA.
There are only a few choices around here for private education, and most are nearly as dismal as the public schools. We will probably end up putting her in Lighthouse Baptist Academy in Jamestown NY. I am not thrilled at that prospect since it is just another form of indoctrination that we will have to overcome, but my wife attended there, and we do have some friends and contacts who send their kids there, so it won’t be all bad, I do think that they will give a strong early start to her education, and since we won’t be living here long-term I can allow it for the time being, but I want so much more for her. She is such a bright little kid that it would be a cruel shame for us to continue to live in this cesspool of a town and settle for a redneck education. I will not stand by and let it happen.
‘Lucidity’ is an absolute clarity and understanding. As if all the shadows have been cleared away, and all that remains are hard truths. In average existence, our minds are busy with the details and routines of everyday life; we often exist almost as machines. As if the conscious mind stays just behind the present, and reacts on delay.
I used to work cutting tires for a disposal service; the job was repetitive in the extreme. Pick up a tire, throw it on the table, pull the lever for the ram, reverse the ram, rotate the tire 1/3rd turn, and repeat, throw the cut piece and then rotate again, cut and throw. Then repeat the same process once again. In the mornings I would see my huge pile of tires to cut and it would seem an impossible task because my mind was too aware of time and of my own existence. But after the first 10 minutes I would begin to lose the present and become more detached from what I was doing. Time would then begin to move much more quickly and aside from interludes of clarity (or lucidity) I was just as unthinking as the machine I worked with.
Much as sleep is an existence where the conscious mind loses it’s grip and in effect dies to time for a while, only to be re-joined again upon waking, so it was for me in working that repetitive job. All those hours were lost never to come again. And what did I gain for them? Nothing but a few dollars spent on bills and items long lost to memory.
So I ask you, how many of your waking hours do you spend in lucidity? How much of your life have you really lived, not just existed?
Think back on your life, what are the moments that stand out? The seconds or hours that have defined your life?
Live in Lucidity
Sitting patiently waiting for my wife to come out of her spa treatment, ( her birthday treat from me)
I was approached by the receptionist with a copy of ESPN Magazine in her hand. She had noticed me sitting reading a copy of ‘Better Homes And Gardens’, and must have assumed that I was only reading out of lack of options. (There aren’t many men’s magazines in the waiting room of a Day Spa apparently)
Little did she realize that I have far less interest in sports than in gardening. I just don’t care about sports or who got traded to what team for how much. What’s the point? Not that I am a gardener -I’m not.
She made an assumption that because I am a man, that I would prefer sports. An assumption that is as understandable as it is wrong, and not unlike many I have made myself.
Stereotypes, ( Though they might as well be called Monotypes) are easy to make and usually about 80% accurate. It’s the 20% that bites you.
In my daily job, it is necessary to make snap judgements on the temperament of people and large dogs several times a day. ( I am perhaps more accurate with the dogs) I spend a lot of my day inside other people’s homes making holes in their walls, carpets, and floors. I move their computers and expensive audio and Tv equipment around at will, I put ladders on their houses, and walk across their roofs. Reading people is important.
A dirty house unusually means a careless person, an immaculate entry, and white carpet means precision and a whole different set of expectations. Knowing what is expected goes a long way towards reaching complete satisfaction for the people I have to please.
The oxymoron isn’t predictable.