Let’s Rough It Up

Helium. I think writers need some of this. I know I do to help me float above the tedium. Because life gets tedious. And life can sometimes appear like it is designed to kill your dreams. I’m not trying to be mawkish or sentimental.

We all have our misery, our hopes, our fears, our anxieties, our failures, that little bit of the authentic in us that desperately wants to get out and which reality wants to keep down. We’re like fragile soap bubbles floating around, seeking to merge with another, but more often than not, colliding, and popping in a spray of iridescent sadness.

You’ve got to fight for your right to be a writer. Although I suppose anything a person loves takes a certain amount of crazy fighting to keep.

And you’ve got to kick-in the TV as a writer. I’m not talking about the actual TV (although you could if you wanted to). I mean the fabricated channels of thought and emotion we let become our prime time. That’s anathema for a writer; to just passively sit and flip through the channels, letting the TV drama of thought and feeling take over.

Here, this is what being a writer means to me. And I’ll let Aleksandar Hemon tell it to you: “All the lives we could live, all the people we will never know, never will be, they are everywhere. That is what the world is.”

Fuck, yes! That is what the world is, and it’s an authentic feeling, an authentic idea. It’s not sitting between the daze and the haze of reality, but going into life, slipping through the cracks in the pavement and finding the grit to produce a pearl of the dream others have passed up on, but artists keep alive.

“I happen to think that an ounce of empathy is worth a boatload of judgment.”


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