Sunday, October 3, 2004

In the Beginning...

In the Beginning…

We’ll, I reckon I’ve been putting this off for at least 2 years. My excuse for not writing was that there never was time. But even now I still question as to why I feel or felt the need to write? I suspect that my interest in writing stretches back to those innocent and energetic days of my late high school and early college years. More specifically, my early years at the Owensboro Community College. Anyway…

So I now have two children and a lovely wife. Or maybe it’s the other way around. I’m sure my lovely Susan will chuckle once she reads these first two sentences of this paragraph, and likely will repeat the chuckle. Unfortunately I’m also short a father now. Back to what I mentioned in the first paragraph for I’m now reminded of another reason for the need and more importantly the inspiration to finally write. Former President Bill Clinton recently came out with an autobiography and was on the talk show circuit. My mom caught him, in fact we both did, when he was on the David Letterman show. I’m not sure about mom, but you wouldn’t catch me watching the Jay Leno show (you see, since he replaced Johnny Carson some….uh, well it’s been a while), unless of course Bill Clinton was on. Come to think of it, maybe Clinton (nor his wife) would appear on the Leno Show for similar reasons. Anyway, mom and I saw Clinton speaking of the writing process on the Letterman Show. He said that if you are 50 years old then you should make the commitment to sit down and capture your life story. He said that he too thought it was a daunting task, but after he committed to writing on a somewhat irregular basis he soon discovered the pleasure he experienced in recollecting his early childhood, adolescence, early adult and certainly his public life as an elected official in Arkansas and the President of the U.S.A. So mom told me over the phone that she was going to commit to writing. She showed me what she had “accomplished” the other day, hand written on paper. I quickly glanced at her beginnings, not wanting to ruin my pleasure of understanding her full story by taking one or two sentences. I looked to her and said, “Please make sure you write legibly so it can be interpreted”. I’m not sure she liked that remark.

Hence I find myself, maybe a couple of generations removed from the manner in which one’s story or stories are captured, typing away at my wife’s laptop, on what is now a quiet Sunday’s evening trying to find my way through the early beginnings of my writing. Josie (who is now a bit over 5 months old) hit the hay around 8:30pm. She was very tired tonight, so I’m hoping that she will be sleeping through the night. She usually does, we have been blessed that way. My older angel Jackie is still watching a movie (Sleeping Beauty). She likes (has to) watch a movie before she goes to bed each evening. We started that when she was younger, and well, I guess it’s a habit that has lasted longer than expected.

Sure I have written in various forms in the past. I began to find my writing form at the Owensboro Community College, probably in English and in Public Speaking. My writing certainly progressed through those years, through my baccalaureate education at Kentucky Wesleyan College, and then my graduate career at Western Kentucky University. My master’s thesis turned out to be near 200 pages. That structure of writing has certainly become my backbone in terms of writing style. But I must say that I have not taken on such a free form style, not fiction, but free form of thought, subject manner, and coordination of thought as I feel that I am now moving into. My writing has been so structured, due largely to the focus on educational style related to school and work. Not that I will choose to write in free from, devoid of meaning, coordination, and subject manner. On the contrary, I now recognize that what I’m setting out to do now is to let my writing foundation be indeed that, as I seek to explore what I have to offer now in the form of literary expression. I am not choosing to communicate a variety of thoughts and ideas that I have, that I feel finally needs to be captured, to flow through my fingers and into the electronic realm. Doesn’t ye olde pen and paper, rather pencil and paper sound more romantic?

This is not to suggest that I think that what I have to say matters. Well, in fact I do believe that what I have to say does indeed matter. If not to you, the reader, then maybe someone you know, or better yet, someone you do not know (maybe as of yet). I mention the latter because I do think that I will now venture into a sustained period of writing, in which I will capture beyond the file I’m saving to this flash drive so that my children may be amused by their father’s ramblings. Lest I say their children be amused as well.

Ah yes, their father’s ramblings. I know that as my Jackie becomes old enough (to read, to interpret, to define, and/or to understand) she will recall with me one of many of those “sayings” that she as a young lady has bestowed upon me as a young adult: “Daddy, you are so funny.” Shewwww, I mean after working on establishing my comedy routine with her over the past 4 years, I finally get the credit that her comedian father deserves. My dad would be so proud of me. I can feel him smiling with me.

So have you ever written? What’s funny is that once you sit down to write, the reason you sat down to write ultimately does not appear on your writing pad, laptop, or Sony mini disc recorder. Isn’t that a farce? My mind now thinks it’s so funny. It likes to deceive me at times, but affords me the patience I ask of it in my efforts to crack the egg of my need to write.

I’m so sure you see what I see. The struggle to stand up on my feet after venturing out onto the ice. Sure that’s a metaphor for my effort to write, and unless you are Susan or her older sister Ann you cannot attest to whether that is a truth…my struggle to stand up on my feet after venturing out onto the ice.

I know that Susan, the kids, and Susan’s mom have missed Ann and her kids for a while now. I was so happy to go ice skating with Ann and Andrew last Christmas. Susan couldn’t get on the ice with them, Jackie, and I. She had little Josie in the oven then.

Well, I’m thinking my writing is going to be just like my initial efforts at establishing my personal exercise routine: work your way up to 30 minutes each session, and try to do it at least three times a week. Damn those “medical experts” that came out with higher recommendations for DAILY exercise earlier this year. Well, regardless (irregardless is not a word) we all have to start somewhere.

I love you Dad. You too were so funny. In my heart and in my mind you are still always funny.

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