Monday, January 11, 2010

'Death, Where is Thy Sting?'

It's almost midnight here, but its quiet and I can write. Today was a day filled with hope and possibility. I think I may have found another sub-let, so I almost have the living arrangement solved. People have been coming through for me with donations and support, from unexpected places, from the nooks and crannies, and from a deep place of compassion and spirit. I am truly grateful tonight, truly humbled, and very much in awe. I've been hitting the pavement early, continuing to look and find the heart of Austin. Baby is lying by my feet, and I'm feeling an overwhelming sense of purpose. What began as the exploration of the journey of my father has now become the journey of myself as an artist. What began as an idea and a dream has now become something so real it sears the senses. What began as the first step has now become 100,000 steps. What began as a way of dealing with death has now become a celebration of life.

Tonight's meeting had to do with the nature and behavior of a sober person having to deal with situations where there is alcohol. As I sat there and listened, I became aware of my own association with these places. I was thinking... I love a honky tonk bar. I love the smell of them, I love the music, I love the impending sense of danger towards the end of the night. As I thought about it, I realized that these are the places where I found my comfort level, (with alcohol of course), these are the places that I developed my drinking behaviors. I reveled in the romance of cowboys, bohemians, and writers. The rationalization of the drinking muse. A dangerous game for me in reality, for there was always the notion of death for me in these episodes, as if death would take me when I didn't expect it. The alcohol the anesthesia for the operation that I would never wake up from.

I can remember from a very young age I was always to preoccupied with death, even though most would think I had a 'sunny' personality. The first taste of beer I had was with my Dad in Page, Arizona, when I was about five years old. He took me into the 'Page Club' where he ordered a beer and let me taste it. Why is that memory so vivid? Was it because my body had an initial reaction to it that I didn't understand? Or was it because its one of the earliest memories of me with my father? Or is it a combination of both of these things? I do know, however, that this was my first drink of alcohol. I don't really want to bore you with a drunk-a-logue story, I only write about it because it was such a realization for me tonight, I always started out drinking with a celebratory motive and never knew where it was going to end. In many ways for me, that was the allure, that was the adventure. Would it end in my death? Would it end in another city? Would it end in a hospital? Would it end in jail? Yes, the hospital, jails, other cities, were realities that came to pass, but death? She escaped me. You know that moment that happens to all of us, that miraculous unexplainable happening where we wished someone could have experienced it with us--so we could explain it? Or, those moments where the irony or the black and white paradox is so distinct that it could never be explained as some kind of coincidence? How do I explain so many times that I cheated death? How is it that I survived when so many of those I grew up with didn't? I AM humbled.

Perhaps this is why I chose the life that I did. The paradox of cheating death leads to the eventual revelation that you are unafraid of it. The paradox lies in the idea of being so unafraid of it that it causes you to live in a way that is liberated. Being unafraid of it doesn't have to beckon it, it can serve to make you unafraid of most of the other insecurities in life. Let me explain something. I am making a choice that I must begin to be even more honest with you than I have ever been. Although there are stories that must come out that will probably cause my mother some anxiety, I feel that I must be honest. Why must I do this in such a public forum? Because that's what I do, I am a confessional--ist. It something I must do to stay alive. It's something I must do to tell my story. What will my critics say? They will tell you that I am breaking down the confines of restraint. They will tell you that I am sick. They will tell you that it doesn't serve anyone to open up the dungeon and let the demons come out. Let them rail. Let them wail. (I feel a little like I'm regurgitating 'Notes From the Underground') It's liberating! It's liberating knowing that I can tell my story without restraint! Okay, I need to stop here. I'm getting a little carried away, all in good time, my friends, all in good time... goodnight.

6 comments:

Gerry said...

I am sure every memoir is part confessional, but the truth is what is so necessary as I see it, because the truth and how it shapes us is always there whether we go into it or not. The truth makes others say oh, so now I think I am getting the real picture of why this writer is like he is. Of course as you write you come up with ways to make the truth palatable and the writing of it the reward for possibly disturbing the reader.

Chuckh said...

Things I learned as a writer: Start from the beginning and show us the highlights, that's what I say. Get in-depth only if it propels the reader forward. Those are the choices a writer has to make. Will this push the story or slow it down? Is this interesting enough to continue or should I touch on it and move on. And, yes, truth is in there, but I am willing to bet most biographers push beyond truth for entertainment purposes. LOL

Pamela said...

I look forward to reading what you have to say. I always have.
Pam

kanyonlandking-annk.blogspot.com said...

I hope your memoir just rolls off the tongue. Mine feels like it's being chipped from rock. Truth? What's that? It seems everyone finds their own in some strange place.

SueinWisconsin said...

". . . Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

ElsaFindlay said...

愛情不是慈善事業,不能隨便施捨。.........................