I am a freelance author, writer, critic, artist, and entrepreneur living in the Heart of the Texas Hill Country.
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Do you ever find yourself trying to relate your life to a book? I often find myself doing just that. Sometimes a short sentence will pop into my head, and suddenly I’ve escaped somewhere in story, and attempt to remind myself that I need to write that down. Don’t forget this James, until you get the opportunity to write that down. And, of course, I always end up forgetting it. When I do remember I remember only that I did not want to forget something, but, for the life of me I cannot remember what that something was. My favorite slam poet, Buddy Wakefield, has a great line in his poem Information Man: “There are times when you will lay your head to rest and have a moment of brilliance that will grow into a perfect order of words, but you will fall asleep instead of painting it down on paper. When you wake up, you will have forgotten the idea completely, and miss it like a front tooth. But, at least you know how to recognize moments of brilliance.”
I will be sitting on my couch, listening to music, and working—probably marketing, because geeze driving people to my site is insanely difficult—and I will look out the window, and escape once again. I am transported beyond the tree just outside my window, the leaves lightly fluttering in the wind, and then I am who knows where. Just gone. Inasmuch as I could be browsing Facebook, just lying in bed scrolling through the countless useless posts the nature of which inspire anxiety, and frustration, and sometimes inspiration.
A hermit surrounded with books lives out his ‘endless numbered days’ in hiding only from Facebook, his cats pawing at the windows and the door desperately seeking something more than the pacing, the reading, the writing, and the one record, bent and dusty, circling beneath the needle again, and again, and again.
Every story I escape to is a reflection of myself in a different time looking back on me today, and acknowledging the process, the conversations that I might have that help me to make sense of Trump, of Gun Regulation, of our Minimum Wage and Inflation, of Healthcare, and Education, and the staggering degree of Indifference, of how Desensitized we are, and how much Worse it’s getting, and how with the development each new iPhone we see only a Devolution in our ability, and our Willingness to Interact with one another, and how Differently each Generation of Humanity is being Affected, and therefore Conditioned to Behave, to React, and to Ignore. The Glass Figurine on my bookshelf and in my Television Screen, and how Complacently we do Nothing.
I could write that story, but we are already desensitized to it. The character development is trite, the conflict is familiar, and the end is only as ingredient to the means. We hear time and again to write what we know, or if we have something to say to figure out the best way to say it, and then to bellow it throughout the hills, “to sound [our] barbaric YAWP!”
And then, of course, there are some stories that I will escape to that have me immersed, and taken, and welcomed some stories that I will bleed to never return from. These stories our born off the same seeds and foundation as any other story I might pen. These stories are equal to my fears in every way except for the manner in which we express empathy, and offer acceptance. I am sitting in the same couch, looking through the same window, and beyond the same tree, and yet the world beyond that tree is one that I view through an open window, an unlocked door, while my cats are lounging on the front porch.
I do sometimes consider creating fantastic worlds with heroic ideals and acts of altruism, and I will even sit down and stare at my computer, and begin typing, I will have written pages upon pages, but then I look at the window, and I find myself instead writing a short blog that touches on the challenges of marketing, the experiences of creating, the dream of writing, and the indifference of politics while my cat, standing on a windowsill of books, stares out at the leaves of the tree fluttering in the wind just outside my window.