Authoring

“Every time I write a book, I’ve probably taken five years off my life.” Rachel Cusk, an award winning memoirist.

It certainly doesn’t help to spend that much time sitting. Some recent literature suggests that’s not a good idea with regard to your health.

Nonetheless, I find it extremely relaxing and engaging to write books for publication. It is a beneficial, all consuming part of my latter years. The activity has enriched by God’s grace, this period of my life.

The paradox is a little like many things in life such as home ownership. It’s a wonderful privilege to own a home. But, it also gives you the opportunity for numerous instances of repair/maintenance. They come as a surprise and sometimes an expense that is more than you anticipated.

That’s life.

Looking Forward

“Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears, then don’t remember me at all.” Laura Ingalls Wilder, the late American author.

Our lives have depth and suffering. We have obstacles that find us pushing uphill. At the same time, silliness, laughter, and smiles sprinkle the days of our journey.

Sitting here today pushing 78 in a few months, I notice many of those “obituaried” never outdistanced me. I attempted to be remembered with some lightness in penning my memoirs.

The value of a wide-brimmed, beaming smile is incalculable as with its sibling belly laughter. May you and I be remembered by God’s grace with some of that lightness besides the tears.

Hearing

“Have you never noticed that most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness?”Margaret Millar, the late American Canadian writer.

If I want monology, I will write a memoir or some fiction. If I want to listen, I ‘ll ask probing questions about the issues raised.

I won”t give an example in my own life. It’s too self directed, per some of the better literature I have read. It has taken me years and years to understand loving conversation particularly with those with whom I hold the closest bonds.

No one said it would be easy. It isn’t. It is only through God’s direction I ever learned and retained any of this. I still stumble.

Glancing at Where We Have Been

It was 1977. Kristine and I met and married in the last nine months of the year.

Two unique movies that year would later produce multiple, top-draw sequels, Rocky and Star Wars. I sat there watching Star Wars and just did not get it. Kris did love the film as did millions of others

Rocky I understood. It was about overcoming people’s expectations. It was a beautifully crafted film.

But those were only films. Reality is a far cry from filmdom

Today, 45 years later, we are blessed with the ultimate appeal, loving God and following His lead. He turned our life around for the first time 38 years ago. There isn’t anything even close that Kris and I have ever experienced.

Young Inside?

“We are always the same age inside.” Gertrude Stein, American author. It seems somewhat true, but always is a pretty strong word. When an oldster is using Velcro instead of laces for his shoes and is harboring arthritis all over his body, how young does he feel; inside?

I have all four of my extremities working out in physical therapy (PT) now and I feel all of my 77 years inside and out. Of course Gertrude only lived to 72. Up to 72, my PT was limited to one body part at a time. I felt young outside and inside, so I get her drift.

On the other hand as it becomes more obvious to us with age that humans decay over time, I think our lives can be richer appreciating God’s gift of life each day.

The Writer’s Multilane Highway

“We will always have more to discover, more to invent, more to understand and that’s much closer to art and literature than any science.” Daniel Tammet, an English writer.

And why is that? There are a host of different ways an auditorium filled with poets could poetically describe an experience.

And there are a plethora of choices for writers. With multiple edits an author writing prose can invent or modify many scenes, characters, beginnings and endings. He or she can write a story that can be understood several different ways. The author can pen entirely new ways to express, for instance, the beauty of a sunset over a magnificent body of water.

The options to the the writer are wide open, thank God

The Examined Life

Look for a long time at what pleases you, and a longer time at what pains you.” Collette, the 20th-century, French novelist who wrote Gigi.

Do we ever know ourselves? Observing what pleases you can help. Noting what bothers you can be eye-opening.

Perhaps the behavior that bothers you was a behavior that annoyed you from a parent throughout your childhood. Maybe it’s an unpleasant behavior he or she modeled for you and you’ve developed the same bad habit.

Unpleasant stuff to consider. Uphill. I couldn’t make any progress without God’s grace.

The Doing

“He who desires nothing, hopes for nothing, and is afraid of nothing, cannot be an artist.” Anton Chekhov, 19th century Russian dramatist.

Desires, hopes and fears? They touch me and compel me to write blogs, memoirs and fiction in God’s hands.

I can almost carry a tune. My drawings haven’t changed since I was 12, probably have gotten worse.

By the grace of God, I so enjoy the writing and others like you enjoy the reading. Thank God for sweet favors.

Speech?

“I am told that I talk in shorthand and then smudge it.” JRR Tolkien, renowned author of Lord of the Rings.

I live with the same problem. Give me some time to write and edit. Then you will find clarity and concise English.

But let me relate away from that keyboard and you might not be sure I am speaking English. I was better at the spoken word at 15 than I am at 77. So much for growth.

Others

“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.” Lewis Carroll, who gave us Alice in Wonderland.

Yes, it is good for my soul to help others in need. I think it’s true for all of us.

We are born demanding  and self-centered, but in maturing we generally point ever more outside ourselves. That was the beauty of a work-life in healthcare.

Here in my anectdotage I have the privilege of writing for you. What a delight. Thank you