A Moment of Silence

It is official…or as official as it can be at this juncture.

i have just made reservations for a studio apartment in mid-June for twelve days in Flagstaff, Arizona in mid-June. For me. Just me. It will be my moment of silence.

The purpose is to find out if i am really serious about this writing stuff. The plan is stay in this studio and write with breaks only for workouts/walks, meditation, and reading. i have a project to work on, and if all goes as i hope, i will continue to work on it after i return home.

i picked Flagstaff because i really don’t know anyone there, and because it’s a one-day drive from San Diego. I have been through there twice, stopping for a day once a long time ago. i liked it. But the principal reason for choosing this place is i felt it would be conducive to my writing.

It’s rather timely in that my last regular weekly column for The Democrat, Tuesday, June 13 will be by 500th, sayonara time (if i counted correctly: Jared, the Democrat editor and i have a different count; i suspect he is a better counter than me). It is time for me to finally, finally decide for real, i mean for real, if i am ever going to write something more permanent than “posts,” poems, or columns, something longer than a poem, something more meaningful to me. i’m still not sure if i will publish the result or anything else for that matter. i am now old enough to be writing for me. i don’t know why. Sure, i would like to be acknowledged as a decent writer. Sure, i would like to make a little more money, to give us a bit more breathing room financially, to help out our  young’uns just a bit more when they need it. But this is for me to determine if i really have what i have always thought i had in me, deep within me, committed.

If i don’t, i won’t worry about it anymore. Oh, i may write another poem (or whatever it is you should call my stuff approximating poetry), and i will probably keep writing a post or so when it moves me, but writing will be behind me. Writing has long been this bear (since at least my senior year in high school), the bear with the tangled paw that left the print for Ike McCaslin in Faulkner’s “The Bear” that loomed larger than life in the antediluvian woods of Mississippi, looming over me while i shunned it, ignored it to go on making a living, trying to piece the writing together with being responsible, but having enough sense to realize the two just didn’t jive together. And i had a life to live. i mean i think it’s time for me to — excuse me gentle people for my language — to shit or get off the pot.

Now mind you, i ain’t complaining. i’ve had a hell of a good life, a whole lot of it by accident and circumstance. i’ve done a lot of things most people don’t get to do; seen a lot of places and things most people don’t get to see (or can’t anymore); and done a lot of things most people will never do or understand. i have done almost all in good faith. i have a few people who think i might have done better, but that’s their problem, not mine. And now after my moment of silence, i will be able to live the rest of my life relatively comfortably in a place that begs to be enjoyed, and believe you me, i will enjoy. i have been good at that all of my life.

But i gots to get this bug out of me before i can enjoy it.

If this 12 days of Christmas in June in Flagstaff proves to me what i hope, then my life will change. i will know in my heart i can write something worthwhile and have around ten projects in mind, to which i will pursue with an unbridled diligence. If i assess i ain’t got it in me, i will keep on, put it behind me, and enjoy my remaining days.

So i’m just warning you, sometime around the disappearance of “June Gloom” in the Southwest corner, i’m gonna be me. i just don’t know who the hell that exactly will be.

5 thoughts on “A Moment of Silence

  1. I never realized the term ‘silent but deadly’ could be used as a description of you but in just 3 months if 2017, this is the 3rd time I’ve been blindsided by one of your life-pivots. And it just occurred to me that both your daughters possess that same reach-out-for-what-you-want attitude. It’s fun to witness it but it can sure make your head spin. And don’t concern yourself about the possibility of taking another path, writing is an integral part of your DNA. Bless

  2. I’m curious, did JB Leftwich have anything to do with your gift of writing. He certainly had an influence on me at CHMA.

    1. Mort,
      Absolutely. All of my life. He was influential in getting me the job at The Nashville Banner (1964-65) and working for Fred Russell. He encouraged me to write my column to go with his at The Democrat in 2007. And we discussed writing and journalism every time i went back to Lebanon.

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