"Autobiographies of great nations are written in three manuscripts – a book of deeds, a book of words, and a book of art.
Of the three, I would choose the latter as truest testimony." - Sir Kenneth Smith, Great Civilisations

"I must write each day without fail, not so much for the success of the work, as in order not to get out of my routine." - Leo Tolstoy

I have never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think the pleasures of not writing are so
great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again. - John Updike

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour
is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dilemmas and Choices, Tiredness and Task

Early February 2010 has found me pressed by some kind of personal spiritual warfare which has become deeply besetting to my task at hand of writing finely and conscientiously. With it came time and money concerns that are ever my old nemesis and bearers of bad news. But on the upside, I received an unlooked-for invitation to a college luncheon to meet the university president and while there hope to speak to a professor I've long been considering to discuss a book project I have in mind. And whether he would be personally interested in collaborating on it with me. It'll take a year or so to write but I already have the notes completed and am guessing its length at about 250 pages, maybe 300 with footnotes, appendices and diagrams.  I could probably write this in a couple of weeks but am thinking that a schedule of one month per chapter theme may be a more reasonable goal. But before attending to this task however I would like to finish my remaining poetry sets that I've roughed out for completion. I expect that to be yet another year in the making. And so, time, time, time. So fickled, so pressing, so withdrawing and never friend.

Currently I'm finishing up a large body of poetic pieces which will take me through most of this year I believe.  And I've yet to find a publicist who could help me market my material successfully when I get these completed. It probably would help if I would look but it seems a large and disappointing task ahead of me at the moment.  I started writing for myself the last two years and believe that what I've written will inspire many who would read my material on a number of different levels and in a number of different areas of their life. Generally, I've written what I deem to be popular poetry and not cryptic poetry for every age - having written some pieces for kids and other pieces for adults; some for holidays, others for events; some for life stages and others for momentous times.  If anything, I wish I had more years to expand each select area I've written about, embellishing each area with more similar themes; especially fun/practical/whimsical pieces for kids and adults who are still exhilarating in their childhood at whatever age they may be.

Currently, I'm stuck in the middle of a prose piece which is atypically long (about 15pp) and grasping for clarity and direction. I call it "The Tapestry".  It's completely written through its first four sections but I intend to re-write parts of each as well as to add additional sections to it while re-orientating it away from the first half's western mindset couched in dualistic/dichotomous terms towards an eastern dualism focusing on the balance and harmony of the first half's themes.  It may then consist of two parts dealing with the same/similar subject matter but written paradoxically showing two sides of the same coin, as it were.  All of it couched in a storyline of mystery and "aha" moments.  Upon completion, it'll be the third piece complimenting two other pieces ("Stars and Moon," "Celtic Nights") which I've written, each as different in subject material and style as from the other, but forming a neat trilogy that I had never expected and only saw belatedly during their development.

This current prose piece is a dark read about fate and destiny, sovereignty and free will, determinism and choice couched in mythic Egyptian symbolism using Genesis as an overlay. The other two pieces deal with several other biblical themes of eschatology, harmatology and soteriology while utilizing either old English folklore or Celtic tones, and each set in allegorical or biblical parable format.  They are fun reads (esp. alone in the dark) and may mimic Edgar Allen Poe a little bit - but never as cleverly as he had done!! Beyond that, they require a bit more thinking amongst them and do not simply serve as idle tales in-and-of themselves for mere thrill.

However, between daily obstacles, demands, and necessities, I've found these past weeks a difficult run and it would be nice to find some funding and an office or cottage somewhere from which I may daily write that could produce inspiration to my weary soul, and that without interruption and with considered focus. It's hard to be creative when pressed by so much, and its hard to write everyday when I'm stretched by so many personal demands. Still, even when I don't feel like writing I've found that once I sit down to attend to the task at hand, that words and ideas will flow out from me, along with lots and lots of new material that someday I hope to develop. Which is all well and good, I suppose, but my frustration lies in the fact that I have so much to write about and constantly fight for the time to do this ungrateful, unending, undying task so well while so finely misunderstood and slighted by my fellow companions ignorant of its possible consequences and blessings. Its as perplexing some days as my would-be allegories.

As always,

Peace

RE Slater
February 9, 2010


Addendum
I did meet with the professor above and had a delightful time discovering an old friend made ever more close because of a common mentor and teacher each of us had studied under but at separate times. The bond was encouraging and his help both welcomed and professional as much as it was warm and personal. I couldn't have been more happy at this discovery. Now for ability and strength to begin this belated task of some 25+ years in the making.