The feeling of my fingers on the keys,
prior to any distinct or identifiable thought, is enough to set
writing in motion. The sense of touch and the urge to create are
natural companions. I feel it now, and I feel it when I take up,
hold, and examine these old worn volumes.
all likelihood, if not for friend and fellow blogger Jonathan Chant,
I wouldn’t have seen this notice for the book spine poetry contest being held on
LibraryThing. The idea is to create a poem using book spines. Since
most of my books are old worn hardcovers (a form of poetry in and of
itself), I thought I’d have a hard time coming up
with an entry. But, as it so happens, there’s a stack of books
slightly behind my desk and to my left, at about half an arm’s
length, many with dust jackets. It took only five seconds or so to
identify the “poem” above. All three books are part of a much larger
gift of books (173 in all!) from another friend and fellow blogger,
Gerry Boyd. All I have to do now is read them.
I love so much what I do that it has
quite nearly been my undoing.
In fact, I might already be undone and not know it. I call
this hopeful state my apprenticeship — that prolonged period during
which my foolish plans have been dashed justifiably against the
rocks, leaving me shaggy and unemployable, too young to retire, too
old to care or know better, and full of daring and vinegar and a
healthy stock of four-letter words. Since this period began when I
was about fifteen, that means I’ve been flailing now for more than
forty-one years. Should I live on, who knows what the future will
bring. More writing? That seems likely. Fame, money, or even a
measure of financial security? I haven’t the slightest idea. I have
only ever worked for an honest living — nothing else concerns me.
The notion that I might be an artist, as distinguished from other
walks of life, is enticing but ultimately useless to me. I’ve said
it before and I’ll say it again: Living is the one true art.
The greatest contribution we can make is to better know ourselves.
What we do as a result will inevitably be art, because it will
spring from life’s very urge to create and rejoice in itself —
the entire movement and consummation of which, is love.