Honestly, I’ve been conflicted lately. It infuriates me to no end to see that the world as a whole continues to turn, even though so many peoples’ worlds have ceased turning, after the death of a great husband, father, coworker, and friend. I’m so leery of letting the memory of Nick fade into the ether.The immediacy of an unexpected death really leaves a hole in the lives left behind. I have to conciously remind myself that I won’t see him at my next training; that I won’t be receiving a text message back if I send him one; that I will never again hear his name spoken in a present tense. I feel guilty for not keeping in contact like I should have and not making an even greater effort to get to know him. I feel guilty that as soon as I hit “publish” on this post, I will have updated all my social media to reflect that I’ve written something new. I plan on keeping my post about Nick as a sticky for awhile because if you’ve stumbled across this blog (regardless of how you’ve found me), I want you to know a little bit about the man behind all the news stories lately.
Grief is a weird monster; noone seems to have the exact amount of time one should pause before continuing on in their lives. The scale is different for everyone involved in that person’s life. His immediate family will probably never recover from this premature taking of their loved one; his closest friends will always keep his memory with them. What about us casual acquaintances? The fact that I was in a complete state of shell-shock for a man that I only truly knew over the course of a few months says quite a bit about his character. Granted, I’m a bit oversensitive at times, but losing someone who had spent their entire life in a quiet, humble life of service is a huge loss and a huge wake-up call as well. That state of shell-shock completely froze any sense of writing or inspiration for a few days.
All that being said, however, writing holds a certain type of catharsis for me. I want to write. I need to write. Looking at my writing from outside myself, I’ve got to be honest; I’m never quite happy with how it turns out. I realize that my strong point seems to come from using an informal “voice” for my writings. I do this on purpose, because it’s the easiest way I write. I sit in front of this blank page and just start typing. Some of my sentences flow with the smallest amount of effort, while others get erased completely. Sometimes an entire paragraph won’t seem to fit in the vein of the rest of what I’ve been writing and it gets removed.
I have spent a good portion of my life reading as well as writing. I have read hundreds of books (thousands perhaps) and each has had its own “voice”. My literary tastes run wild, I’ll admit. From the formal writings of Cormac McCarthy’s “Border Trilogy” and Vladimir Nabokov’s “Invitation to a Beheading” and “Lolita”, to the serious silliness of Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity”, I’m all over the map. Although I’d like to be able to write at the level of McCarthy and Nabokov (I hear Faulkner is quite good as well), I’m afraid I’ve not quite matured yet in my own writing style. On a sidenote; if anyone reading this post is a fan of McCarthy, PLEASE drop me some recommendations of authors similar to him. Is Faulkner as great as what I’m hearing? I’ve looked over the synopsis of a couple of his books and I have to admit, they don’t sound all that interesting. McCarthy’s pessimism (is it TRULY pessimistic or just brutal realism?) just fascinates me; I love his writing style and the fact that he pulls no punches whatsoever. His villian in “No Country For Old Men”, Anton Chigurh, is probably one of the scariest bad guys I’ve EVER read about. Chills down the spine as he tells a victim;
“When I came into your life your life was over. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is the end. You can say that things could have turned out differently. That they could have been some other way. But what does that mean? They are not some other way. They are this way.”
I’ve written quite a bit of silly stuff and inconsequential stuff over the years. Even some of my older stuff, while writing from the heart, was crass, obnoxious and boorish. It honestly seems like there should be more “accomplished” by anything I create and put out there in the public eye. Yes, I enjoy ranting and raving about movies/books/music but I’m not feeling all that silly and obnoxious right now.
During this re-emergence of my writing, I’ve had the honor of finding other writers out there. Stumbling across Cristian Mihai’s blog has been a real delight. I have his blog in my WordPress reader along with my Google NewsReader. I guess I’m double-covered in case he tries to sneak some literary bombshell past me. If you haven’t headed over to his page, I highly suggest you do. I will warn you that you may be there awhile though. There is a ton to read over there, and none of it is boring or self-serving. (Quick hint, start with THIS POST and go from there). Oh yeah, you’re welcome. If you’re in the mood for some lighter-hearted fare, make sure you swing by Tarreyn Land. Tarreyn throws out some whimsical, silly stuff that is sure to put a smile on your face. Along that same note, check out my buddy Dave’s blog. His sense of humor is pretty close to mine and he has a knack for turning the most mundane stories into entertaining and humorous anecdotes.
If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this, congratulations. I wasn’t exactly sure how long it would ramble or what direction it would take, but I knew this would ramble. I needed a ramble.