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Sojourn in Sudbury

Posted May 25th, 2012 at 04:04 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus
I am in Sudbury.
If you donít know, itís considered Northern, even if itís only sort of Northern. All the trees are birch and evergreen and there are rocks and lakes and moose and owls everywhere. Okay so I havenít seen any owls. But I bet theyíre watching me. Because I look tasty. The economy here is Northern- mines, forestry, hunting, fishing, winter sports.

Iím here for a job fair thing- apparently there are always openings in the mines and forests. Iím not really interested in either but sometimes that doesnít matter much- especially when you are looking for a job.

I thought it would be interesting to come but all I have done is think about home. They say you donít appreciated the mountains until you live on the plains- and so I am shining on my poor, dirty, highest-unemployment-in-the-country home city. Not even the city so much, but my small cluttered house. And my kids. And my Scape.

I have, for some reason, decided to be a writer. Its part of the what-am-I-doing?-I should-do-what-IĖam-compelled-to delusion.

This trip is boring. The other people are nice enough. The younger watch TV and the older drink. (says something about the life we lead, doesnít it? The young dream and the old try to forget). Sometimes they switch it around for a little bit and the old watch TV and the young drink, but that never lasts long. I donít fit with either crowd, not being much into either activity. Why arenít there any gamers? Maybe I should drink AND watch TV....

Iíve read two books in two days- but thatís all I brought. (last two in the bloody Jack Series- fun stuff) I decided today that I had to get more books or I would shrivel and die. I received directions to a used book store and hoofed it there. I thought I liked used book stores- I certainly like books. When I went in they wanted my backpack- leave it at the counter. I said ďno thank youĒ- it has all my belongings in it right now. The store people got upset. They pointed angrily at a sign which said ďno backpacksĒ. I guess I look like a book thief. So I walked out.

Whatís my problem?
I didnít like the look of the store anyway. The books seemed unhappy. But I guess thatís why theyíre there- theyíre homeless. Itís an orphanage. So now I am filled, predictably, with doubt. All those unwanted books. Why should any book I write be any different? They wonít be- so why I am so moved to write? Who do I think I am?

I donít think Iím arrogant. I think each of us can do whatever they choose- it can be difficult, but if you really want to do it, you can. I can be a writer and so can you.

Iíll tell you why Iím move to write. . I am a ridiculously shy person. Before I dropped out of university I dropped classes where they called attendance, because I was too shy to speak publicly. (Yet there have been times when I spoke in front of rooms full of people.) Yes, I will get to the point, instead of sounding even crazier.

Reading is solitary. Personal. You do it in a private space- your head. I cannot count the number of times I have been touched, moved, changed, brought to stillness - by someoneís written words. And thatís what I want to do. Not to be famous, or rich, or sought after by crazed female fans. I want to move someone Iíve never met, a thing Iíll never know about. Iím happy not knowing about it. Thatís what it is for me. Duh, it just occurred to me- thatís probably part of why Iím blogging too. Plus Iím trying to figure out things by writing them through. Kind of sad when it takes forever to understand your own actions.

So why did I overreact at the used book store? (maybe I can understand more of my actions?) Maybe because I was anticipating and dreaming of reading alone, in my private happy mind place, and those musty piles of books with the snotty clerks were just too far removed from my day dream?

I donít really know, I guess. Right now Iím sitting outside, itís a beautiful evening in Sudbury, coolness is just beginning to infiltrate the sunshine, and the air tastes good. A bumblebee appears, and then zips away. I smell bread baking. And now I understand. I donít require a book. Iím in my happy place. It can be almost anywhere. And thatís why I like scape, and other games with good company. They take me to my happy place.

The only mine I want to work in is the one in my head- stringing words into sentences, living through the phrases as I write them down. Building something carefully and then marveling at the wonder of it. Like a huge scape set up. Itís all so clear.
So why do I hesitate so?
Total Comments 5


kolakoski's Avatar

A Lack of Faith . . . ?

Well met!

"I want to move someone Iíve never met . . . So why do I hesitate so?"

Haven't you been told, too many times to count, how much pleasure your writing has given those on this site, and, directly or indirectly, how talented you are as a writer?

Only you know, somewhere in your psyche, why you do what you do, or don't do what you don't. As a singer, the same issues have plagued me my whole life. Only now, at 62 years of age, and confronted by changing circumstances similar to yours (unemployment) and, at times , a far too understanding wife, have I become truly aware of their scope - and how they have affected me. Perhaps I, in my isolated ignorance (and general self-absorption ), am merely projecting, but I suspect that you suffer from a lack of faith in the value of what you have to offer, in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

The solution is simple, but for people like us, daunting - talk to other people, rather than sitting alone, thinking about things. Thinking gets in the way - "garbage in, garbage out" - when many of the thoughts are based on false premises we've been carrying around for most of our lives from those experiences in our upbringing that caused our shyness in the first place, compounded by the resulting isolation.

Doing isn't so hard - it's the starting that is difficult. For me, it's undoubtedly a lifetime of depression - feeling hopeless about the end result of doing things - that inhibits me from acting. If you can truly enjoy your art, practicing it for its own sake rather than making it a chore, based on it having to "go somewhere," maybe you can begin anew. In Karate, "beginner's mind" is cultivated when going for promotion to Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt). The idea is to approach your art afresh - to recommit - every day, without judgment of the past. Was it Nike whose slogan was "just do it" - how glib!

Anyways, I hope some of my words were helpful. You have the admiration and respect of the entire 'scaper Community, for your writing and your relationships with the young ones, within and outside your family. You may pause, but don't quit!



Posted May 25th, 2012 at 05:26 PM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Updated May 25th, 2012 at 05:32 PM by kolakoski
TrollBrute's Avatar

Jump in!

I'll echo everything kolakoski already said here, you're an excellent writer, Sylvano. I for one, check the Blogs section here just to see if you've put up another post. If writing is what you want to do and (more importantly) it makes you happy, go for it! If you enjoy it, the love you put into your work will shine through to the reader. As an amateur writer myself, I know how daunting the prospect of trying to get your thoughts down onto paper (or screen) can be, the thoughts that rattle in your head (What if it's terrible? What if I have nothing new to say? What if I do but I can't get it down?). The hardest part is getting started, you've got to just ignore everything else and jump right in.

I just recently finished reading On Writing by Stephen King and found it very inspiring. Another great book is If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. One of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, recently gave this inspiring speech on making good art.
Posted May 25th, 2012 at 06:18 PM by TrollBrute TrollBrute is offline
chas's Avatar
See my blog on this site...
Posted May 25th, 2012 at 09:37 PM by chas chas is offline
MegaSilver's Avatar
kolakoski, you have no idea how much what you have said has just impacted me. The paragraph that starts off with "the solution" is exactly the same boat I am in.
Posted May 26th, 2012 at 10:24 PM by MegaSilver MegaSilver is offline
Sylvano the Wasabus's Avatar
Thank you all, for your support and wisdom.
I wish I could remember to be more open-minded.
I keep getting slapped with a fish- being reminded that the further I go in life, the more there is to learn.
Posted May 29th, 2012 at 03:44 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus Sylvano the Wasabus is offline
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