come and listen to my story

Although I’ve always so thoroughly enjoyed music, and can play the guitar, I’ve also, for as long as I can remember, been quite smitten with writing and public speaking, especially as an adult.  One of the most significant things people find out about me after having gotten to know me for even only a very short time is my absolutely insatiable need to be as articulate as possible.    Absolute clarity of speech and of thought, at all times, is of the utmost urgency.    As a kid I was always quite a compulsive bookworm, constantly reading everything from dictionaries and encyclopedias to cereal boxes.    The Beatles, and other singers and musicians of their era, have always been my favorites.   The music of the 1960’s, to quite a great degree, was about story telling.   In many was it was kind of like the Norton Anthology of Literature set to musical accompaniment.   As my taste in music inspired me to learn to play the guitar, my taste in literature, combined with my musical interests, inspired me to write.    Cartoon_1Great literature uses imagery in order to tell a story and to make a point.   Who can possibly avoid being intrigued by Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess” or Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop For Death”?    There’s another poem of Dickinson’s that opens with the line, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant”.    That’s what great fiction is about.    Most people generally like to receive a message or lesson in narrative rather than didactic form.   Another means of expression I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed is a good debate.    Although I was never on a debate team in school I always got quite enthused, especially as an adult student, with all kinds of debates about the culture war in this country.    Over the course of my adult lifetime, theology and philosophy have always obsessed me but I also made sure I took a wide enough variety of other classes in the humanities and social sciences that would allow me to have a real understanding of all that’s going on in the world.    I’ve always been quite a staunch conservative and my interest in expressing myself, from specifically that point of view, is quite a trademark of all my efforts at speaking and writing.   Although things can get a bit polemical at times when I’m up against someone with liberal ideas, I think I do a relatively good job of avoiding trouble.    For approximately the past twenty years I’ve been a lector at the churches where I’ve been a parishioner.    I tend to feel very much more comfortable reading from a prepared text than with impromptu or extemporaneous speech.   That’s why I’ve always especially enjoyed writing because I can have a lot more time to think something over by way of a rough draft before it’s officially ready.   I’ve always enjoyed combining my interest in writing fiction with my interest in debating about things like theology and philosophy.    Many of  western culture’s greatest writers, from Shakespeare and Milton to Tolkien and Lewis have dealt with life’s biggest questions by means of prose and poetry.    Although, unfortunately, I’ve never officially published anything I’ve written, It’s a good way to keep my mind active and continuously to raise people’s eyebrows.




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