Writing today, when I got to it, was not easy for me. But by my writing every day I have shown I can usually come up with something.
There were three or four starts about my father. Nearly all of my concentration on my mother was negative. I wasn’t interested in being negative. Started with a word. Pulled words out of the air. Ideas follow words; they usually do. Today they didn’t. “Do your penitence, I get it”: I usually do, but writing every day is a commitment; it ‘s about not getting block and creating something (anything) every day.
With the loss of sleep, and pretending to be asleep, the direction this would take changed many times. I am a writer. I can write. I am not concerned when the words don’t come; when my brain doesn’t work; and…with the pressure of writing every day…when I repeatedly tried and came up with nothing. I want to be writer, and I won’t give up trying. I am engaged in constant games with myself, which seems to indicate that I’m trying too hard.
To be who I am and where I am is to be in touch with my community and my country; and so I should have plenty to write about. And in our country we have just elected for the first time an African American president, and we are faced with some of the biggest challenges of our lifetime. “Two Wars and an Economic Collapse.” That’s something, but it is also something everyone else is writing about: original ideas about something usually don’t out of thin air and require time to evolve and a lot of thought. And so today was not a creative time or as creative as it could’ve been had I been more patient and allowed my brain to work without pushing it. (Recently I came up with some new ideas about acting; and a few weeks since then and I’m well on my way to creating a new method.) Isn’t that how it works? Now I’m cooking. Now I can sleep.
But we were once best friends. It was so throughout elementary school and high school. When we were children, we played together everyday. He tolerated me more than I did him. I didn’t have many friends but was friendly to everyone. We had since gone in different directions: he had stayed in Texas and I had been around the world. When I later looked him up, our conversation was strained; and what we talked about quickly told us that we no longer had much in common. I had a liberal bias that took me further left than our sitting Democratic president. He wanted me to know now, before we sat down for supper, what football team he thought would end up in the Super Bowl. He wanted me to know that he didn’t want to talk about politics.
We didn’t talk about how we really felt. We talked about specifics, not feelings. He had been converted; and what was important to me was that I no longer practiced a faith that placed a high priority on conversion. When he spoke of his past mistakes in life, I didn’t mention mine, which were as serious as his. He wanted me to know what God meant to him. That was when I decided to go against my better judgement and bring up politics. This was a recipe for disaster and definitely wouldn’t have led to a civil discussion. Then my friend made a suggestion that at that point worked for me: “let’s watch a football game.” Let’s watch instead of talk.
I’m not a pundit. I say that knowing that I lose most arguments. And I like to talk…so I’ve often found myself engaged in arguments that I couldn’t win. So when my old friend used his clicker to find the Texas-Texas A&M football game, he did us both a favor and saved me from certain ridicule. Ridicule comes to people who haven’t thought their argument out. Thankfully, I don’t find myself in that situation today because for the first time in many years, instead of voting against someone for president, I voted for someone. Obama! I still get misty eyed.
A good place to stop for now. Randy Ford
Read an open letter to Obama from Alice Walker: http://beyourownfairygodmot…