A Writer Who Does Not Write

I am certain I am not the only writer who feels all of the sentiments contained within the above blog title.

It is of little comfort.

In an effort to rectify the situation, instead of sitting down to write only when I am inspired or feeling the need to get something out of my head, I am going to schedule a healthy block of time once per week devoted solely to practicing my craft.  If I manage to sneak a bit of wordsmithing in betwixt the day job, parenting, and exhaustion so much the better.

Returning to the title of this entry, what is the good of a writer who does not write?  I am of the opinion that as a practitioner of a craft, be it an intellectual pursuit, artistic pursuit, or physical pursuit –  the simple of act of doing is virtuous in the traditional sense.  I do not claim with my words or by my actions to be a consistently virtuous human being, but when it comes to writing, or even reading for that matter, I attempt to be that classical champion of virtue.

Imagine the shame felt of having left my sword to rust!  All of the reasons I gave myself held hints of validity, but as I examine them in retrospect they ring hollow.

A writer who does not write is not a writer.  It is as simple as that.

I have no problem being known as, and even embodying, a husband, father, brother, son, friend, and those myriad other designations we as humankind ascribe to ourselves and have ascribed to us by others.

But what else am I?  What am I known as aside from the obvious?  What is my purpose?  Does it even matter?  These are the questions I ask myself consistently.

I am a writer of words.  I am a writer of words!

No matter what else is bouncing around inside of my cranium, that is the answer that bubbles to the surface time and time again.

The jury is still out on whether or not that is my penultimate identity or being, but aside from my family and friends it is the one pursuit and practice that sings out to my innermost self.

Whether tapping away on a keyboard or scribbling in my notebook I feel completed when creating words that express feelings or ideas.

Even if no one ever reads them the act of bringing them forth into existence outside the confines of my own brain gives me a completeness I do not otherwise feel.  That sense of completeness is how I know I am following a good and true pathway.

I am of the opinion that we all have an innate sense that can guide us throughout our lives once developed.  Some are more aware of it than others.  Others deaden it through various distractions to the point that it may be difficult to call upon for guidance in times of need.  Many willfully ignore it outright.

To continually strive for completeness is not realistic for most human beings.  Mundane life tasks, physical or mental limitations, and a host of other barriers tend to obstruct the way.  Some of these obstructions represent parts of my existence that I cannot see myself living without, but others must be excised in order to make room for the goodness and truth that comes out of practicing my craft.

That is my challenge going forward.  My quest!

I must shed the detritus to create space for the completeness that comes of writing words.

Additionally, it is my sincere hope that by reading these words it may at the very least, provide a sense of solidarity in knowing that you are not the only one struggling when it comes to practicing your craft, whatever it may be.

 

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Finally…A Winter Wonderland

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The Portland Metro Area may have had this much snow fall when I was a young lad, but since I cannot remember clearly I am going to say that in 34 years of life on this good earth in this general area the record has been broken.  Ten inches in less than 24 hours!

I took the day off to go sledding with the wife and kids.  We were at the local sledding hill before 9am so we can get in a second sesh later in the day!

Winter weather is a tremendous creative inspiration not only when I am trudging through shin-deep wet snowfall, but also when I gaze out of my back window staring at random snowfall patterns and the frolicking squirrels so despised by my spouse.  If I weren’t nearly halfway through Dry January I would likely be sipping an Imperial Stout and just zoning out in cozy, slightly inebriated bliss.  Eh, another cup of coffee sounds just as appealing.

Enjoy your day be you out of doors or in!

Sunday, Funday, Punday?

I have a confession to make…

I am perfectly content sitting around in my quitters listening to podcasts solo dolo.

As I age the urge to get out there and get after it on my weekends continues to gradually ebb.

Now if you’ll excuse me, this IPA won’t drink itself.

A Return…Of Sorts

I am taking a hiatus from social media until after the 2016 Presidential election in the United States of Amerikka.

I have zero interest in being shamed for my refusal to continue to prop up a political machine designed for the singular purpose of maintaining the current status quo.

For those that are unfamiliar with the current status quo let me break it down for you.

We exist to feed the wealth and power generating machines that are the boards of directors and shareholders of the mega-national corporations.

Sure they throw us a bone every now and then to keep us in line when they are not rolling out ever newer and greater distractions to accomplish the same goal.

They keep us divided by promoting imaginary differences.

I have it a little bit better than you because of my lack of melanin and an extra chromosome.

Buy into the scheme and you might advance a level or two before you pass on to whatever comes next.  If you are really smart you might be able to use the Warp Whistles of athletic achievement, good looks, or technological genius to skip several levels.  But you are still a piece of shit as far as they are concerned.

Me?  I am getting closer and closer to just opting out of everything and having my friends and relatives look at me crazy for not using credit cards and maybe retiring to a remote permaculture farm.

My lifespan is too short at this point to worry about more than making sure my wife and kids are provided reasonably happy and healthy.

If I can accomplish those monumental tasks I will at least be able to die in a long, long time feeling reasonably satisfied with how I got by.

Hopefully I will be back tomorrow.

Find Your Niche – That’s What We’re Taught

What is your true calling?  Your vocation?  What were you born to do?

The answer to that question changes on an almost daily basis for me.

Some days I would say I was placed on this Earth to be a Father for my children and husband to my wife.

Other days I would make a compelling argument that I was born to put words to paper via keyboard or pen.  It would not be a lie to say that I could die happy knowing my words made a real difference in one person’s life.

Occasionally I would answer that my purpose in life is to brew delicious beer for the sake of the craft alone.

It troubles me from time to time that I do not have a static answer to this question.  Maybe I still have not discovered my purpose yet.

I know that at the end of the day it is important to me that at the very least I live a full and deliberate life, a good and moral life.

I suppose I’ll just keep searching.  It would not bother me one bit if at the end of it all my epitaph read:

Father, Husband, Son, Brother, Friend, and Truthseeker.  I feel like St. Peter or the Guardians of the Watchtowers would approve of such a life.

In the meantime I will keep searching and living the best I can.  It wouldn’t feel right to do any less.

Shout out to Eligh because the title of this post is a paraphrase of one of his lyrics.

Friday Night Got a Little Heavy, Huh?

I meant every word.  I also had some great discussion on other social media the next day with some of my friends who are more intelligent than I am.

Tonight’s fare is much lighter, I promise.

As I was shaving my face this morning I got a good look at myself in the mirror.  I hadn’t put my makeup or my hair product on yet.  I was vulnerable.  I was raw. I was flabby.  What the fuck???

When did I get old and flabby???  Why now did my wife notice further accumulation of back hair???

Full disclosure.  I am almost 33 years old.  I lead what I would describe at a 70% sedentary lifestyle.  I eat lots of red meat and drink lots of heavy ale.  I work out a bit, but not nearly as much as I should.  Keeping up with my kids might give me a bonus 5% in the sedentary category, but that’s about where things stand.

I would ask that the audience keep in mind that I am coming at this topic from a light-hearted place, but also from an intense vulnerability bred from hubris, venality, and exposure to warped media of all types.

All of that having been said, looking at myself in the mirror made me feel pretty shitty even as a married male who has already replaced himself plus 1 in the ol’ gene pool.

Maybe it’s just getting older?  Maybe it’s comparing myself to all of my beautiful friends and family?  Maybe I just have too much time on my hands?

Who knows?  Better yet.  Who cares?  Oh, wait…I do.  As much as I try to pretend like I don’t, I still do.

I guess the moral of the story tonight is love yourself no matter what, but if you’re not happy with yourself, take a look in the mirror and more importantly, inside your heart and mind.  If you do not like what you see, determine whence your dissatisfaction comes and if necessary, make a change.

Me?  I need to drop 30 or 40 L-B’s for my health.  Wish me luck.