AKA…What to do when it’s raining…Vol. 2
I hasten to point out that the following paragraph is a remake of one in “What to do when it’s raining…Vol.1“…..with the blanks filled in to represent the ideas coursing along for this post (Vol.2)
In my recent analytical style of self-introspection (yes, I realize that “self-introspection” is redundant–I could have said “self-observation” or “self-evaluation”, but I just like the sound of “self-introspection,” so sue me…), I have discovered a possible cure for these blues, and blahs. Did you know that cooking feeds the soul? Did you know that ——-(Reading..?) allows us to escape the reality of our poor misbegotten lives? And ——-(Writing..??) Did you know that ——-(Writing..??) reinforces our memory? Which is a good thing as long as you are aware of this particular idiosyncrasy and welcome it. I mean, you know, repressed memories and all that… Anyway, it’s true. It’s all true.
I often wonder how many memories are hiding, repressed, in the deepest reaches of my not so nimble mind. With apologies to Billy Joel, When I wore a younger man’s clothes I remembered everything. These days I am somewhat more refined and have lower expectations. I think that is what happens as you age. You get a little more haughty (refined..??) as you realize that there are fewer and fewer folks out there who can match your experience level. This level of refinement is often characterized by walking around with your chest out and your nose in the air just a little (of course it could be because my back is so da** stiff that I can’t move anymore). Then you think for a moment, and, coming back down to earth, realize, that the folks around you don’t really care anyway. They know you are getting older (and therefore senile..???) and they don’t really expect you to “produce” or “remember” like you did some years back. Hence the lowered expectations.
So, if no one else expects you to be on point or live out on the edge, why should you bother.?? Another rhetorical question, but for this one I have an answer. You should bother because it is good for you. Because it stretches the mind and the understanding. Because now, after living quite a while as an adult, you may finally have the resources to do something worthwhile with your life. And because you can still make a contribution and others may benefit from your understanding. Producers, contributions…..More on that another time…….
Of Tomes, Quill Pens and Parchment…
Reading….the best use of any available minutes not already allocated to other endeavors….and the second indoor thing that occupies me today. As a youngster I grabbed my fun and adventure where I could find it. That was usually in books. Readily available in libraries at no cost, they were the perfect source of adventure and mental stimulation for a boy with no money and no family life. There were stories of adventure in far off lands, and stories of travel that led to adventure. Train trips to danger filled destinations as depicted on the “Orient Express,” and safaris to the “Dark Continent” chasing wild beasts. The swashbuckling men of the French Foreign Legion were always good for an imaginative story, and of course there were the “Khyber Rifles” and other titles by Mundy as well as Zane Grey’s westerns and Mark Twain’s stories of middle America. Stories of heroes and villains and stories of fortunes and fortunes lost were plentiful too. To add variety there were many, many outdoor magazines and various encyclopedic tomes full of “how to” instruction sprinkled liberally throughout those early years.
Today, I read various genre. Historical fiction is a particular interest because the underlying tenets can be worth recalling. Some of the political savagery is also of interest, as well as some biographical works and historical treatises…particularly the U.S. founding period. Reading was, and is, a favored thing. I think I would dry up mentally and spiritually if forced to abandon it. And if you read some things other than fiction, you may find yourself contributing to the understanding of someone else. And that is worth doing.
Writing goes hand in hand with reading. Once captivated by the written word, there is an almost insatiable desire to produce something meaningful…a printed legacy to show others and to look upon with pride. I have been somewhat fortunate in my endeavors to produce acceptable narrative. I say acceptable because at various points one person or another has felt it was “good enough” to occupy some space in print. Now, today, I am here knocking on the door of this new medium. I have a lot to say. Some of it may provoke consternation among the élite and cause great soul-searching, hand-wringing, and gnashing of teeth among the masses. Gosh, I hope so.!! Will it be “good enough.??” Only time will tell….
“Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success”…………..Dale Carnegie
One thing is certain….I refuse to accept the loss of my remaining brain cells without a fight.