9-4-2016 – Back To School

A few updates for you, my readers…

To begin with, I am returning to college after a roughly 9 year absence. I attended Lower Columbia College from 2004 – 2007. I think I was a good student. I worked hard at school and my workstudy job. I applied myself, I think my GPA was 2.5 at least, probably closer to 3.0 – I have my unofficial transcript somewhere.

For a long time I told the story of how I was cheated out of the degree I was pursuing. But even if that were true, I see now that no matter the machinations of others, it is possible to overcome anything thrown at you if you really want to do it. If you really believe in yourself and want whatever it is they are keeping from you bad enough. How else do black people from neighborhoods that are a step away from hell become famous rappers?

Success can never be given to you, and its not really about earning it. Success is something you work at. If you are a miner you keep digging until you find that precious material you are looking for. It seems as if working for it and earning it are the same thing. But to my mind earning has some hidden implication of a right. You have a right to whatever you feel you have earned.

But working for something and getting it doesn’t really imply some right to it. You worked until you got it, end of story. There is a quote from Bob Ross I would like to share, I may not have the words exact, “Talent is a pursued Interest. Anything you are willing to practice you can do.” I think this applies to success as well. It is something you pursue and practice until you have mastered it.

I was still a Christian back then, I was a completely different person. Physically I may look the same, and I have the same marvelous mind as I had back then, but my whole mentality and spirituality is different, as is my motivation. I go simply seeking to finish what I started all those years ago, and come away from it with something practical, some salable skill I can use to support myself. I intend to step out into the world on my own. Not, as I have previously been, to the exclusion of all outside help. I learned my lesson well in Parkdale. Trying to go it alone, believing that I have to – this is no way to live.

No, even while I seek to support myself I will practice openness and receptivity to the aid of others in whatever form it may take. Because no matter how much I learn, how smart I may be, how intelligent or hardworking, I still can not do and know everything. I can not operate independently from others. I can not exclude myself from other humans and expect to progress is any reasonable direction.

We are, all of us, dependent on each other, whether or not we want to admit it or are aware of it. The man who says he built his empire entirely by himself is lying to you. Under the foundation stones, seeped into the very walls of the structure, are the blood and sweat of others, mixed right along with his own.

The second thing I want to tell you is I think I finally have found the heart of the dragon hoarding the treasure of words to which I have so far had little access. I have been reading, “On Poetry” by Glyn Maxwell. Perhaps many of you already suspect this, but I have never studied poetry, or taken any courses. I have never been taught how to write it. I found this book in an effort to address that, frustrated with my inability to write complex, beautiful phrases.

This book has helped me to ask myself what the white space is to me, and I have discovered that I am afraid of it. That I have demeaned it, seeing it only as a container where I could pour out my feelings and thoughts, really more like stuff that I have regurgitated and thrown up. It has been something that I knew would not criticize or judge me. Something that I knew had to hear me, listen to me and whatever it was I had to say.

There is more to this, but my attitude to the white space also influenced my attitude to the black. I suspect this is why I have been, so far, unable to write, complete and publish any book, and why my poetry is so, plain. It is probably also why I struggle to draw or paint. I am afraid of the white space, I demean it, disrespect it out of my fear of it, and because I I fear the white space, I fear the black. I can never really fully embrace that which I fear. I must love the white space, treat it as something special, something precious and rare. In doing that I love the black, and treasure it as well.

If I was living in the Myst Universe, and had in my hands a rare D’ni linking book, with a desire to create a world in it, I would be careful with each and every word. So many of these books were destroyed in that storyline, the D’ni are presumed dead, the art is long lost. Assuming I was even able to learn the Art, any linking book I found would be a rare and precious commodity indeed.

To treat everything I write as I would treat a rare D’ni linking book is the task that lies before me. I may not write as many books, but what I do write will be of the highest quality possible. Anything done in love shines bright and lives long.

So that’s it for now. I will post additional updates as needed.

 

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