Writing is my love, my work. My mind devours ideas and words then forces them onto the page, virtual and tangible. To still my restlessness, there is literature. Nourishment of the soul, particularly as I found myself turning 40 last month, grows more important.
An avid reader since my days as a toddler, my nightstand always holds at least four books. Herodotus is my constant companion, Ovidian my love. Ben Coes’ The Last Refuge quenched my thirst for intense, action filled thrillers. It is without question my favorite fiction in a decade. To satisfy my appetite for literature, I turned to DH Lawrence and was utterly satisfied.
For many years, I have much preferred DH Lawrence’s poetry to any of his short stories or novels. Honestly, his poetry holds a richness, a lushness in the language. His other writings are deeply inferior, and absurd in their obvious and eager pursuit of climax.
His poetry though, embodied in Self Pity or Liaison, or Pomegranate communicates. There is an awareness, a presence. It enchants, ignites. The compartmentalized nature of private life, the secrets we keep, the discretion with which we act provides a safety net. Like trapeze artists, we trust the net will hold. In Aware, quoted below, there is the private acknowledgement to self. There is little so exciting as the prospect of a new lover, or a lover’s passion rekindled, and our decision to surrender in the moment. Consequences be damned, at least we are aware.
Slowly the moon is rising out of the ruddy haze,
Divesting herself of her golden shift, and so
Emerging white and exquisite; and I in amaze
See in the sky before me, a woman
I did not know I loved, but there she goes and her beauty hurts my heart;
I follow her down the night, begging her not to depart.
Yes, the obligatory 2010 roundup will be posted this week. Winners, losers, surprises, expectations met and exceeded… Yes, there will be the wrap-up where I praise a few and decry others for their misbehavior or politically malevolent acts.
Before I put 2010 in the books, I want to share this following sentiment. 2011 will be different. Better. More interesting. There will be unfathomable challenges for our leaders, and we will expect President Obama and Speaker Boehner to resolve their differences, stop sniping, and do the jobs they were elected to do. We won’t care if they are prolix-rife or in 140 characters or less, we’ll just want results.
The world we live in will change, beyond what you might expect. The referendum for South Sudan’s independence is only a couple of weeks away. The crisis in the Ivory Coast will deepen. Israel, Iran, the Palestinians and their neighbors will discuss the terms for peace – again. And the world will be disappointed but heartened. Again. The cholera outbreak in Haiti will eventually be contained, though we do not know how many will die and suffer. Our border with Mexico will be plagued by violence, all the while activists will raise and spend thousands in a nonsensical play to control the uncontrollable – until our Leaders LEAD.
America’s children will be influenced by the people in their lives, by pop culture’s evangelical narcissism and hypersexual excesses. Not enough parents will have a real discussion about sex, intimacy and its appropriate place in our lives. They’ll blame promiscuity on pop culture, dismissing their culpability. The tragedy, of course, is that if we valued one another- as men and women – we could have a richer subtext to share with our children. A healthy, passionate, abundant and gratifying intimate relationship with the man or woman we love… is beautiful. To be embraced. To be heralded as a hallmark of a healthy commitment, or marriage. Share that with your children – and waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right doesn’t seem such a bad idea after all. Fear of love is not healthy, filling the void with self-loathing or doubt should not be the byproduct of silence on the subject. Embrace honesty, talking with our children about finding love, dedicating ourself to it — this should be a pleasure. To give our children all the tools for emotional, personal, intellectual and professional success begins in our homes. Spend as much time on love as you do math, sports and entertainment. Watch them bloom with promise. Love should be like sunlight, encouraging growth while being a gentle antiseptic for the prickly bits we need to examine more carefully.
With that, I shall share a quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne. Known best as the beloved author of the first great American novel, The Scarlet Letter, his examinations of the human heart throughout all of his writings define insight to the human soul. Below is my favorite sentiment and one that defines my approach to 2011.
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
Indeed, Sir. Indeed.
from my recent column at geNoticed:
…It says in a few words what he failed to say in all of Hitch 22. What’s more though…he invokes Henry Miller in that title – Topic of Cancer, from Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. It is Miller he most reminds me of, a brilliant searing light in a world scarcely capable of comprehending or containing him.
Read it all HERE.