After all of my writing from the last 10 years, save a few pieces here and there, is now confirmed as lost, what have I learned?
A few practical things:
I have a good friend who calls me a tree hugging folkie. I wouldn’t qualify that as a complete or total description of the man I see in the mirror but in the same breath it does aptly describe a part of me. I in-fact smile every time he says it. Point being; in the day and age of electronic clouds and in the hopeful earnestness of being green, I have not been printing ‘everything’ out in the hopes of keeping all of it if possible, in a fire proof, easily portable, physical, tangible to the touch, safe. I’ve been swimming in the cloud.
When I’m writing poetry, I’m writing mostly in small Moleskine journals. Once I’ve written it, typed it and stored it, I don’t keep up with those journals.
I will now.
I will now embrace a certain level of vanity for the sake of personal posterity.
After contacting the ‘cloud’ people for back up and what not, I’ve discovered everything is magically linked. So what you’ve thought you’ve downloaded onto multiple devices, can still miraculously disappear. Trust me. Miracles happen every day. Take a moment to look around. Walking talking miracles are before us all time.
One of the other things I’ve learned, is be true to who you are in all situations. I’m not a computer techno guy at all. I certainly can work my way around a computer of course. However, beyond typing manuscripts and filing them into electronic folders and apparently ‘clouds’ for safety….eh…I just write. Back in the day, I kept everything on paper and when I moved, boxes of papers moved with me. In trying to keep up with the times, going electronically green and staying true to my tree hugging folkie persona, I made the gallant attempt to be new school when in-fact I’m old school.
It has cost me.
I also shouldn’t have been lazy and I should have given a little study to the electronic day and age in which we live.
Still, with that being said-
I’m going to kill a tree or two every now and then.
I’ll be sure to give it a hug before I do and I’ll plant two in it’s place.
I’m also going to secure an external hard drive for storing words. I’m also going to be a bit more administrative and not quite so flippant with the words I write. Because the truth of the matter is; all that writing was hard work. Hours of rewrites, emotion spent, reflection, solitude, experiences of life lived, witnessed, documented….memories of love, of time with my boys, memories of working in inner-city housing projects; memories I’ll keep until they of course begin to fade-
I became aware of my new found non-library this past Saturday morning. Since then;
I haven’t cried.
My language hasn’t even turned blue.
I did have three martini’s and stare out of the reading room window for an hour or two while sitting in the dark, but over all I’ve tried to keep it close to the vest.
Although, I have walked around with a sort of gnawing in my stomach and chest. It’s kind of like watching the death of love walk out the door while still tasting that last hollow kiss. It’s kind of like watching…eh…I don’t really know how to adequately explain how I feel.
I feel weird.
I didn’t necessarily have something ‘taken’ from me. At least I don’t think so. Though it is odd, that all the other non-writing documents are floating freely in my clouds. They are still secure and retrievable. Only the word documents have turned to rain and dropped from the sky and out of sight.
I have tried not to be consumed with this event.
I watched the Superbowl yesterday with my wife. The game and commercials were both lacking luster so my mind wandered. It was raining outside. I went out to walk the dog. It was raining hard. I imagined every drop of rain to be a word that I once wrote. I thought about rummaging through my closet to find an old Moleskine journal and burying it as seed.
I slowly realized the dog was looking up at me wet and shivering. It was a winter rain after all. A cold rain bouncing off frozen tundra. It is not planting season.
I went inside, cleaned my glasses and looked at a dejected Peyton Manning sitting on the bench alone without his teammates.
I thought about how in the end it is said, ‘everything will burn away except His word’ and I want to be cool with that, but at the moment…eh, I don’t know how I feel about that either. Not disagreeing with it, or denying it, and I do understand that which is being said. I’m just being real. It’s okay to wrestle. Never trust a man without a limp.
I’ve since spoken with others who have lost things in the clouds. It does happen. People do get hit by lighting. People do win the lottery. Life happens. We read about it and move on.
Ironically, I am getting ready to launch a new web site. I was going to the ‘cloud’ this past Saturday morning to retrieve some words so I could begin posting to this new web-site. That is when the discovery was made. All discoveries are surprises aren’t they? Some people buy a painting at a garage sale for the frame and discover a Picasso under the “Still Life of Fruit’. Other people find one of the greatest character actors of their generation dead with a hypodermic needle of bad heroin still stuck in arm of the found lifeless body.
So, I guess, I honestly don’t know how I feel.
I’m saddened yes. It’s okay to acknowledge that. To dwell on it? No.
I’m a bit pissed at myself for being careless with something that I valued and ultimately wanted to give and share.
I suppose it’s an invitation to move forward.
Well, it has to be an opportunity, otherwise I’ll just lay awake at night trying to remember the taste of a long ago hollow kiss.
It’s not as though I’m going to now quit writing.
The Truth Triumphant
Really, all I need to do is to simply write. To find who I am.
“It is never to late to become what you have always dreamed.” So said a woman named George.
Here I am an undisciplined man.
A man who has been given a slow eye.
A man who sees but to what end?
A man with a longing and a hole…who yet, knows the Complete…
A man who has vacated a warehouse of gifts.
A man who lingers along the chain link fence…
A man who now needs bi-focals to read, “Do Not Disturb”
A man whose vanity is to dress in hand me down clothes…
Dressed in the pretense of a minimalist theology…all the while riding a top a camel
and looking through a needles eye.
There is no patch…to bring together that which has been torn…
That which has been lost…
That which has been neglected…
Neglectful days flowing into seasons of remembrance require something all together new.
The old garments were minimalist vanity too…let us not lie.
Really, clothes that fit simply and true, without pretense, or suggestion…
Pants without elastic waistbands manufactured to form to the shape-shifters of even just why…
Boots and denim are needed.
Boots and denim that fit and that do not leak or shrink are needed
For this journey, this discourse of discovery…
This, resolve that leads to revelation…
This, truth triumphant…that paralyzes us all into everlasting submission
The only place where our rightful freedom is born.