It has become a very infrequent occurrence when I actually sit down to write something of substance here in my online journal. I believe this to be unfortunate as thus far I’ve lived a rather exciting life yet often cannot find the time/motivation to set these experiences down so that they may be preserved.
Instead, I have turned this into a photo journal where, using my smartphone, I can take the lazy man’s approach and have all my internet properties/accounts linked up so with the snap of an Iphone button the picture is automatically uploaded and loaded into my various pages. In this way I can satisfy my desire to catalog my life.
Indeed, that is exactly what this blog is. It is a catalog of my life where one day I will look back and read the story of my own life. Well, perhaps I shall be looking at more pictures than actually reading if I am not able to shake myself from this persistent demon that weighs me down and impedes me from writing these very words.
Perhaps it is not my own melancholy that keeps me from writing but also one I shall call “the great interrupter!” Unlike my demon, I do love my great interrupter who is also known as my two year old son. When a two year old is present, neither deep thoughts, nor the setting them down in words shall be accomplished. The Great Interrupter rarely rests and he will find me no matter where I may try and hide.
Aside from The Great Interrupter there are other forces that impede me from my writing. These sirens whose voices are not spoken yet clearly heard are the constraints known as Corporate, Community and Acquaintance. We all keep a certain image of ourselves which can often differ depending on the group we are associating with. That is to say we may have a different image/reputation at work, in our communities and with our friends and family. Make no mistake, these are constraints which, in my case at least, hold the pen back and give nourishment to my demon who diminishes my will to write.
I have decided however to cast my demon down and put these sirens aside for a moment and write. No joke, as I wrote the previous sentence The Great Interrupter has appeared and beckons me to him!!!
I’ve returned. That was very distracting and is what The Great Interrupter really excels at. In fact, I’ve lost my concentration and find that the previously pleasing Ave Maria For Cello by Max Brunch has begun to needle my brain like a scratching of a chalk board. Therefore, I’ve switched to DeadMou5’5 Aural Psynapse in the hopes of shocking my mind back into a frame in which I can release my thoughts onto the weblog.
Well, Deadmou5 didn’t work and here I sit flailing desperately reaching for any sort of music to act as a life raft and pull me back into this post. Let’s try Pavarotti.
Why do I have this urge to write? It is a force that not even my demon can hold down for ever and it will continue to break through my lethargy even if it is on the rare occasion.
Perhaps the final and most powerful tempest which discourages entries like this is that I compare. Through my smartphone, I read most of the day and realize just how many talented writers there are in the world and how in comparison to them I seem like the town simpleton. I compare them to myself and perhaps this more than all the others gives my demon the power it needs to murder any glimmer of a post in its infancy and before it takes any sort of shape.
It is this wraith of self pity that I am also eviscerating today as the will to write has become too great and I will not be able to rest until I’ve pressed the “post” button.
When I write, my mind and my experiences are the only things that exist in the universe. Nay, my mind and all my experiences become the universe. Writing for me is a way to capture, to imprison on the page the true essence of life. These are the flickers that last not more than a moment but impact and touch our very soul. The first warm spring day after a long winter, a first love, Christmas morning for a child, the discovery of beautiful music that arouses long dead memories and transports you directly to the time and place in which they occurred.
I find that as adults these moments become muted, either by age or by pushing them aside as we fall into a daily monotonous slumber. We become “task completers,” as the magic and wonder of life is slowly and completely drained.
It is this candle, the wonderful magic of life, that I wish to keep burning bright until the day I die. The mind just like any other part of the body needs exercise and to be trained. It must be trained to hold these memories tight in an arena where both the 5 year old self and the adult may have a conversation. It is where the child may remind the adult of the joys of exploration and the immense pleasure of discovery.
Writing for me is a release, a necessary activity that has for far too long been neglected. It is time to put my demon, the sirens and the tempest at bay and do that which I love to do. The Great Interrupter shall keep interrupting however. There is not much I can do about that.
It has finally arrived! The moment of Christmas Eve where nothing is stirring, not even a mouse. Everyone is in bed and at this moment, one can finally sit down and write half a paragraph without being interrupted. This is the moment where magic happens. A moment to reflect on the Christmases past and a moment where even as adults we hope to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus dashing overhead in the sky.
This is the moment where I can recall the true magic and joy of a childhood Christmas as brief yet intense flickers of my past come rushing back to me. Yes Virginia Santa does exist! He exists in the hearts and minds of all of us who can remember our childhood. He exists because everyone deep down really wants him to exist no matter how jaded and cynical they have become by adulthood.
This is the hour when one can stare at the tree and truly understand how wonderful life is. This is the moment when all the stresses, business and insanity of the modern holiday season come to a close.
This is the moment where I try and focus my mind to absorb all the wonder and excitement this brief moment in time affords. It is as a magic elixir and I wish to drink it completely without spilling a drop. My mind begins to wander to other things and I castigate myself for my carelessness. At this moment the world is perfect.
This is the moment when my childhood self returns to me and asks if I have stayed true to the adult I had always wanted to be!! Or has the passage of time dissipated my former selves so savagely that I can no longer remember, let alone keep these promises I made to myself so long ago!?
The good news is, I remember my childhood. That is to say, I remember the thoughts, feelings and emotions I had as a child. If I try hard enough I can also remember flickers of as far back as my 6 year old self. I can recall the magic of Christmas and at this moment I can almost make it come as alive as it was for me over 25 years ago. At this moment I harness the shadows and recall the joys of Christmases past so much so that I rip them from simple memory and they take concrete shape in the excitement and joy I bring to my own family and little boy.
As I sit here in front of the computer screen at 11:30pm on Christmas Eve I realize I must quickly press the “Publish” button so I can officially have this published on Christmas EVE! I write this to have a record for myself, to be able to look back and remember the magic of this night. I am at the age where I now know how quickly Christmas comes and goes and I feel that one of the most effective ways of capturing the magic of this night is to post. In this way I can look back upon the post and perhaps, as Charles Dickens advises, keep Christmas in my heart all year long.