As Winter decides to entrench itself once again, I’ve tried desperately to seek shelter from a hostile planet. My choice of reading material may not be the best, but The Jungle is a fresh book for which I gnoshed upon this afternoon. It did concern me that the happenings of a turn of the 20th century meat packing plant did not upset my stomach, as I’m sure was intended, but at least I can identify the problems discussed throughout. This book would be a poor read for those with a faint heart.
At least I have good news from others. A good friend, a good man, of whom I’ve known for almost 20 years finally has his place among on the organ recipient list. He was born with Cystic Fibrosis, and ever since age 6 has experienced decreasing lung capacity. He will now await a double lung transplant that will extend his life considerably. He and his wife are pleased and hopeful. I donated my snow blower money to help cover the living expenses that won’t be assured by the insurance company. It’s for the better.
Speaking with my mother, she wasn’t surprised. What she said wasn’t meant to be damning, but my Devil’s workshop of a mind couldn’t resist. She went on to say, “Nate, you have a big heart. You take care of your friends. Had you not been hurt so much, you’d be happy with life.” The taste went sour in my mouth as the brain gleefully relived moments I wish not to remember. Only a runaway mind could truly relish injuring its owner.
Hemingway, whether flippant or serious, once answered the question “what is the best early training for a writer” with “an unhappy childhood.” That’s probably how a lot of writers come to be. I can remember furiously trying to scribble words on sheets of paper as a child. There wasn’t much in the way of encouragement in the house, but then again, I did keep a lot to myself. The efforts often fizzled in a whirlwind of other people’s concerns. Everyone has their problems, or so it is explained. I’ve tried long and hard to abide by it, and stay out of the world’s way.
Why I write? I cannot say. People seem to enjoy it, even if my head aches in confusion and tumult in the process of making more. What have I got to lose? I’m single. It looks like that’s my path. Work is important, but what should I be at the end of the day? Maybe someday I can unclench my jaw and go with the wind. Maybe not. At least there’s something around to note I once existed.
Nate, you are a great writer, and even if you didn’t like the way the first few chapters of your life were written, it’s never too late to make a great story. Your act does show you have a great heart, and I do think you will have success as both a writer and one day–a husband. 🙂 I’m sure you will be a better encourager than what you were given.
I hope so, kerbey. I threw away another pack of cigarettes last night.
🙂 What cool thing could you buy w/ all that money?
I need to replace a lot of shirts. I’ve had several for too long now.
Sounds like a bad day, Nate. Winston Churchill suffered from “Black Dog” – http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Not_Alone/Winston_Churchill.htm – seems like that wicked canine has got at you this morning. Throw it a stick and see it off. Vinceremos:)
I had not read that of the Sir before. Thank you for the link, Roger. 🙂
i’m glad you’re trying to write even through the pain, Nate. It’s a cathartic experience, or is supposed to be.
I think there’s relief, but not necessarily catharsis. When I’m on to something creatively, I tend to feel the same way I do if I were on a treadmill.
The Jungle kept me pretty well-gripped when I read it a couple years ago, when I was on a “let’s get around to the books I should’ve read years ago” kick. It was more compelling than I figured would be for a book which gets on the roster of Great Influential Books.
I have that kick every now and then. Considering the amount of people who read these days, it should be made into a month of national awareness.