A prayer, for inspiration and release from the curse of chronic writer’s block.
To whom, or what, can I address my prayer? Every name has been corrupted; every title distorted; every description changed. My prayer goes to that which is beyond all names and all understanding, though I use many names and strive with all my understanding to focus my attention on You. To that which lies within, above, beyond every particular thing, giving it existence, power, beauty, wholeness, value. In my life I have been taught to call this God; a poor and inadequate title for the source of all my thoughts and the world in which I think them. Surely God is not less than any creature; thus I seek with my limited understanding to address the one who understands me fully, and with my words, the one who is the source and power of every true word.
On this planet, mere moments ago as the aeons are counted, but many lifetimes as we count the brief existence of our human lives, a true word shone with such brilliance that the world was changed, and has since been changed many times, on account of the echoes of that word. I seek no more than to echo that same word with clarity, in my own moment, and no less than to see the world changed once more. I seek to know as fully as I can the Galilean rabbi whose instructions, when heard, can transform a life, a family, a nation, a generation, the course of history; and in whose name, in violation of those same instruction, a more sinister kind of transformation has too often taken place. He came, so it seems to me, to introduce us to that which gives us life. In his name I pray, to that reality that seemed for him to be more real than the earth on which he walked. For his sake I pray, that his message would not be obscured in the cacophony of voices clamoring to speak; and in his name I pray for the weak, the poor, the suffering and sick of this world, among whose kind he seems to have moved so freely, setting the captives free.
With this in mind, and in gratitude for my own life which was given to me by grace at a time when I had no reason to expect it, and which is still going on, much to my astonishment and delight, I do make one request. Give me the gift of communication, so that the things I have been able and am still able to see, to think, to envision, to imagine, to perceive with slack-jawed wonder, may be made accessible in some truthful way to others who are hungry for a reality that cannot be contained in any religion, marketed in any program, sold with any bill of goods. Help me to help others see the reality of their own lives, their intimate connection with every thing that is, and how that connection can be recognized, cultivated, awakened, appreciated, so as to bring them into full, healthy and harmonious ongoing relationship with all that is, that is, with the world, because of this intimate ongoing connection that is present with the energetic source of all that is, that is, what is called — God.
In essence, I’d like to become a storyteller, a purveyor of truth through the engagement of all the faculties of imagination and feeling, so as to break open the barriers that prevent people from seeing what is always already right there. I want to write essays, yes; commentaries, yes, on ancient texts and on current issues; history, analysis, and all of that; but above all, may the truths that confront me come to expression with stories that will engage the imagination. This prayer is for an anointing. May the dreams that bless me nightly with fascinating detail turn themselves inside out and find their way into the public consciousness; so that the revealer of the secrets that often only come in dreams can penetrate and infiltrate the thoughts and musings of this generation. Oh, and one other thing: give me a break here, and let it be, from time to time, fun. Thank you. I appreciate it.
Amen. So be it.
*** looks around, blinks*** Looking for a place to stand and a place to start, I will begin where I am, where every human finds himself in the beginning. Nowhere, and everywhere.
Voice and Style
Of course, the first question that must be answered, at least for myself, is what sort of persona is to be projected by the narrator of my tales. Let’s get this settled. If one is to be prolific, one should not spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about what one is going to sound like, or whether one’s stye is suitable for the subject matter. Maybe ‘tis, maybe ‘tisn’t, but it will be I, me, myself who sees to that… at least until I get an editor. But since, in my arrogance, I’m to be proclaiming something like Eternal Truth (and that under the just-prayed-for divine anointing), questions of style should not really come into play. If I’m having fun, and any one else wants to read it, then fine, so be it, let ‘em, and if they want to put it down, that too. Now, here’s another thing: since for the last ten years or so I have written in snippets, items suitable for your occasional e-mail or perhaps journal posting, maybe what comes next will also be a series of snippets, strung together with paper clips or Scotch® brand adhesive tape. This also would be reflective of my somewhat fragmented lifestyle these days. But, who knows? Maybe I’ll spend less time doing useless repetitive things such as computer games, and more time working on actual productivity. We’ll see.
Besides revising my previously published book (q.v.), I will add to the store of essays online, and will perhaps follow the mandate given me by a young person of my acquaintance, and spin a brief tale. Check back here often to see.
A story will require, however, a fresh sheet of paper (La feuille Blanche), which in the world of electronic metaphor means a new file with its own name and file space. So.