the_old_man_in_the_mirror

Some days we can’t avoid looking at the face, the impostor that pretends it’s us in the mirror, which means that today’s blog will be one of personal reflection.

I’m a bit of an incurable dreamer.

But even I can’t dream of ever eking out a living as a writer, or a songwriter, or a singer.

“Whatever you do, don’t quit your day job”, you could say to me.

Yes, not a single penny has touched the creases of my sweaty palms, or my bank account, from setting words down here.

My only “artistic” payment was received years ago, when, occasionally, a couple of friends and I sweetly harmonized Simon and Garfunkle and James Taylor folk songs in Yellowknife bars and received “payment” in drinks … which is really the currency of choice for 20-somethings anyway.

Larry Nancy Jim YK Bar 1978 copy

Larry (me), Nancy and Jim make beautiful harmony in Yellowknife’s Hoist Room in 1978…

But for me at least, writing’s not about the money … writing has swept a veil away from my eyes and made my life more LIVABLE.

Just over a year and a half ago, I began writing these weekly messages with the goal of reaching 100 posts and then perhaps moving on to other things. Starting the blog was a nervous leap for me because I knew I would expose my messy insides to you and I worried about what you would think.

Two weeks ago while meandering, listening, observing and soaking up the cultural uniqueness of Morocco and Spain, I quietly passed through the 100 blog post mark.

There I was, living the Hemingway-esque life of Spanish cafes and cold cervezas and observing people chattering in the crowded, narrow streets. Travelling takes my mind in a slew of fresh, new directions just like the Santa Maria carried Columbus to discover new worlds.

And now, I’m stamping my childish feet, and in a fit of personal selfishness, I’ve decided to carry on writing this blog a bit longer, sharing with you my foibles and insights. How long? … how many more posts? … who knows? … But who can resist the pay?

It’s no great secret – as you’ve likely figured out by now – I don’t have any magical thoughts or special gifts or amazing intelligence (feel free to shake your head in disagreement here). Blog writing has been a challenge I put forward to myself to generate and mix together that idea sex that might connect with others in a small way.

And sort of like what I find when I’m running, I get a little “endorphin-like” high in sharing my ideas, my personal thoughts, and developing word pictures in my writing. You might get this feeling when you’re knitting, playing piano, fixing a bike, or cooking. I think it comes down to our personal passions.

I have the internet and YOU to thank for making this all possible. And for that, I’ll be happy to share ALL of my revenues with you equally!

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Paying attention ...

Paying attention …

Writing makes me pay attention.

Our lives, yours and mine I’ve learned, are full of outward observation and self-discovery if we just pay attention.

I’ve realized that before I began writing these weekly blurbs, I wasn’t paying attention.

Now, when I step outside my house on a bright spring morning, I see the deep, snaking wrinkles in the orangy bark of the Ponderosa Pine trees more precisely and hear the “dee dee dee”  call of chickadees more consciously.

To write – a book, a blog, a song –  you must observe.

When I’m speaking with someone, I’m more aware of the tight smiles or hidden joy in facial expressions and tone of voice. There’s a whole lot that you and I say to others that the blind would never hear.

It’s like there’s this alternate universe that I never knew existed. How many other universes are out there that I’m not noticing?

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Love Me or Hate Me … Your Choice

It’s easy to get people to hate you when you write a blog. Newspapers (usually) deal in facts, along the line of what the satirical The Onion states:

World Mortality Rate Holds Steady At 100%”

world mortality 100%

But a blog post is opinion and attitude, and not everyone shares the same opinions. I read somewhere that when you write an opinion piece, 1/3 will love you, 1/3 will hate you, and 1/3 won’t care.

I’d love it if 100% of the people who read my blog loved me and agreed with me 100% of the time. Fat chance. That’s a dream world beyond this galaxy, and would also be a bland upshot if nothing I said challenged or rubbed you in a slightly disagreeable way.

I don’t want to hurt you or anyone else with my views, but I also don’t want, like the editor of my small-town local newspaper, to write a page-full of words and end up saying nothing for fear of alienating anyone.

Most of the comments I receive back about my posts are from friends who are wonderfully positive and supportive.

When I hear the little computer “ting” of a new comment coming in, I excitedly read and absorb the message. Then I sit back and bask in the glow when the responder agrees or gives me a pat on the back. “They obviously have wonderful powers of judgment.”, I say to myself.

But when people get angry at me I get angry back – “jerk, what does he know about anything? “. Then I hold my breath for a few seconds, breathe deeply again and try to decide if their message has a positive take-away for me. Hopefully, I’ll find a nugget of sage wisdom that will become a part of my future thinking.

If not, then I try to forget it. Just doesn’t matter. Then I envision them having sex and the stupid look on their face. Breaks me up every time.

I choose to write this blog, and so I have to accept the consequences of how my message will be interpreted, right?

So whether I tell you how much I love women in high heels, or how I loath “Man Boys” –  young men that spend their lives playing video games in their parent’s basements, or how deeply I admire Steve Carell, I’ll live with the fallout if that gets under your skin.

Bottom line … I’m staying with you here for a while longer. And the fact that you are willing to take 5 or 10 minutes from your incredibly busy lives each week to read something I write, is INCREDIBLY gratifying to me.

Love Me or Hate Me … I’m The Man On The Fringe!

SALLY_FIELD

…or Hate Me, your Choice!

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