Wednesday, January 23, 2019

"Only Bad Writers Think That Their Work is Really Good"

You know how, after eating a lousy meal, you feel remorse so strongly that you do something about it? Right away? You make a flavor-rich meal in your home kitchen, or you return to a trusted restaurant knowing your taste buds will be expertly stroked instead of murdered. The bad taste is removed, the high ground restored.

In the same way, reading bad writing can send a person reaching for a sure antidote in fine literature perhaps authored by a curmudgeonly broken angel or divinely-gifted human. Savoring the creation of a wordsmith genius replaces involuntary shuddering with magnificent profundity or delicious bliss or both or more.

In each case, a world is righted.

There are many ways to be poisoned.

Keep antidotes nearby.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Here When I Need You

Me, journaling in an olive grove in northern Italy, 2017
When I get to feeling this way - sort of lost in the dreary and solitude that yesterday felt so essentially necessary - I re-read my blogs.

I am a good writer. Why this continually surprises me, I do not know, but it does.

My words set me aright, comfort me, inspire and encourage me.

I don't know if my writing helps anyone else, but I do know it is there for me when I need it, like a trusted friend who completely understands and knows just what to say.

It's a rather remarkable thing when your own creation stuns you.

Gertrude: Copied and Pasted

“The one thing that everybody wants is to be free...not to be managed, threatened, directed, restrained, obliged, fearful, administered, they want none of these things they all want to feel free, the word discipline, and forbidden and investigated and imprisoned brings horror and fear into all hearts, they do not want to be afraid not more than is necessary in the ordinary business of living where one has to earn one's living and has to fear want and disease and death....The only thing that any one wants now is to be free, to be let alone, to live their life as they can, but not to be watched, controlled and scared, no no, not.

~ September, 1943” 
Gertrude Stein