I spent money I don’t have to purchase pictures I can use to try and help illustrate the stories I tell and the points I want to make.
When you ask me why I did it I don’t know if I will tell you it is because I have complete confidence in my ability to earn it back or if it is because I am committing myself to my art.
But if you ask me if blogging is an art I will say yes because blogging is writing and writing is storytelling and that is undoubtedly and most assuredly an ancient art.
The Art Of Blogging & Bad Meatloaf
Several weeks ago I ran some errands for my parents and helped them do a few things around their house. They were the kinds of things that irritated me as a kid but don’t bother me now because I see mom and dad are a few steps slower than they used to be and I am still happy to be on a ladder.
Ma and Pa Steiner were two days away from leaving for a trip so my dad asked me to take some groceries back home so that they wouldn’t spoil and go to waste.
One of them was aÂ meatloafÂ from one of theÂ fancy shmancy supermarkets, you know the kind that specialize in organic foods in which kind farmers sing the cows and sheep to sleep because slitting their throats.
I thanked my dad, grabbed the meatloaf, some burgers and a few other perishables and headed back home.
When I got to the house I found out we had plans for dinner that night so instead of eating the meatloaf I froze it and it sat in the freezer judging the other meats for two weeks.
Monday morning I took it out to defrost and ignored the sigh of relief that came from the other meat it had been keeping company with. By the time Monday evening came I had worked up quite the hunger and was excited to sink my teeth into it.
And then life played a big joke on me and turned that fancy meatloaf into a cardboard box that looked like meatloaf but tasted like a box that had been used to store musty sheets.
In spite of what some people might say or tell you there are moments when I am detail oriented, thorough and relentless in my preparation which is why before I called my dad to suggest he never buy this again I made a point to confirm I hadn’t pissed off the house elves.
Because everyone knows if you piss off the house elves they turn your food into something that looks good and tastes awful. The sad truth is this sort of disappointment isn’t limited to meals because we find it in the blogosphere on a regular basis.
Think about how many times you come across a headline that looks awesome and dive into the post expecting to enjoy something tasty and fulfilling only to discover someone just poured motor oil down your throat.
What is even worse is when you write something you think is great and then discover it is awful. None of us are immune to that particular ill either, if you have never written a piece of garbage you have never written.
A Good Writer Is A Naked Dreamer
The longer I do this the more certain I become that a good writer is a naked dreamer who sheds their skin and lets their readers see them for who they are, or at least major parts and pieces.
There are boundaries and lines we shouldn’t or don’t cross but I am not very good about paying attention to those lines. Some of it is because by nature I am someone who wants to know what lies on the other side of the rainbow and because when you say ‘no’ I want to find out why.
But it is also because I am a dreamer and I don’t always walk upon the same ground as you do.
A year ago I thought I had figured out most of the answers to the biggest questions I had in my life. It was just a matter of taking care of a few things before it was all going to fall into place and then life decided I needed to be humbled again.
I didn’t see either sword coming but I felt them go in one side and come out the other. I am not a man who cries but you damn well better believe I screamed because that shit hurt.
People forget the funny thing about pain is that once you take a deep breath and figure out what you are feeling you adjust to it. It is like jumping into really hot or really cold water, startles you for a moment and then you adjust.
Except when I adjusted to it the people that stabbed me pushed me over a cliff and walked away. Didn’t stick around long enough to see me bounce off of every pointy outcropping nor did they witness the cactus that broke my fall.
That’s when I realized that 2011, a year I had described as being a real motherfucker had an identical twin named 2014.
Someone should have told 2014 that when you rip man’s heart out you better not leave him with the means to repair and reinsert it.
Words Power The Resurrection
That money I spent that I don’t have is going to be part of the resurrection. It is tied into words and storytelling and there is more power there than people realize.
You remember Crazy Old Ben Kenobi who lived in the desert for his actions but that in large part is because of the words he used. When he waved his hands and said “these are not the droids you are looking for” he used The Force to make the storm troopers turn away but words are the motor that powers The Force.
That Emily Dickinson quote makes me smile because I understand and respect the truth it set forth. It is a power I hope to wield wisely and often.
My children know there words we never use and some we rarely use. They also recognize there are moments when I am precise and intentional with them.
You won’t hear me say I am sorry often but it happens with far greater ease and frequency than it once did. Nor will you hear me say “I love you” unless I am very certain.
That meatloaf was a significant disappointment but then again, bad meals are one of the things I like least. With some hard work and a bit of luck and cooperation the worst thing I’ll face in 2015 is a bad meal or two.
But if I don’t, I’ll be fine because I’ll find the write words.