Saturday, August 08, 2009

it's a busy time for everyone, most of all the kids, who are shuttled from daycare to friends' houses, to the lake, to do their thing, which is grow, full-time. the older ones have to prepare mentally at least for a new school year, but i, having just finished a term today, and having but a week to wipe clean my brain to start a new one, am going brain dead, trying to focus on the young ones, trying to live in the moment, though most of the moments around here are quite hot & humid, summers being what they are.

nevertheless, i have a lot of irons in the fire, and I'll beg the reader's forgiveness for wasting time with me as i get my act together with some of the stuff i'm doing. surely you'll see, below this post, some scraps from my autobiography; rather than focus on a set of stories that I'm trying to pull together, my mind keeps being pulled back to my college years, partly by experiencing vicariously the college years of my jayhawk son, who, ironically but not surprisingly, now wants to see some of the world. having access problems at home, it's easier for me to sit down and write a piece like this at night, than to get online and actually put it there; as a result, some of my posts are arriving late, and not in order, etc. but that's not my point. I'm reliving those days, the early ones in boston, and really putting them in there entails organizing, and looking at what I have so far, which is tentatively called just passing through. and that forces me to look at my whole life and what is missing from the memoir, and there are a few things to point out there. a number of good stories. a quest to look at communes and what they are made of. a love angle; there actually was one in those years; i've been hesitant to put the people I was most close to in there, but , since i'm respectful of privacy in general, i could be more literally truthful with some of it too. and finally, if i were to tie it all together, what would I do? how would I do that?

the question comes up because of teacher man, an interesting guy, who wrote his own memoirs, carefully, and made a fortune, quite accidentally. raw truth can sell like hotcakes; that's something I've learned, and something I should keep in mind as I pull it together. Now naturally I've been avoiding my latest collection of stories, pile of leaves, because it's such work actually pulling this stuff together; yet, that's what I should do; that's what I should be spending my time on, this break. I'm a writer; I can get it in a file; I can make it palatable; I can clean it up. I have to tell myself these things, because, in some ways, I'd rather spend my breaks in facebook.

speaking of which, my campaign to get obama to put his library in little egypt is underway; I should mention that though I'll remain detached from the outcome, what I'd really like is a really great job, doing something completely new, and working for obama in this way, in my own home territory, would be just about perfect. I think everyone gets caught up in the political aspects of his presidency- what he's doing right, and wrong, etc., and we on the left, his closest supporters, may end up most critical. at the same time, to me, as a guy spending most of my time with a very young, black illinoisan boy, nothing is clearer than the fact that his mere being there is about the most profound change this country has ever seen- and we shouldn't forget it. If I could bring but a shadow of that profound movement to this area, i'd feel like my life was worthwhile, as if it weren't. to that end, I'll devote my energy to mastering facebook groups, and the art of getting people to 'follow' you; it'll be an interesting ride. To the same end, I'm considering getting involved in what could be called the aamsi, african-american museum of southern Illinois, which, best i can figure, needs a web page. it's an angle; it's a learning experience; it's a new dawn, and I'm grateful that new things pop up sometimes, for sure.

on the graphic arts front, more photos of the castle park have arrived; this will soon be a portfolio, and will be presentable to mr. b.r., known as king b, who may or may not want a calendar made from them. it's a project; it's an iron in the fire; it's a happening thing. And finally, on the music front, gigs are popping up everywhere, and it's all one can do to keep one's head above water, with so much going on. state fair, battle of the bands, you name it; I may be getting some media exposure, here, pretty quick. It may do me in; on the other hand, it may make life more interesting, worth stirring for. a venue to sell books; a way out. This business of straddling media may force me, eventually, to pick a log to go over the falls on. of course that could be stated as, progress, I suppose.

late at night, in the coop with the young guys, having an ice cream treat, and a young worker begins talking about boston. says it's just attractive to her, a city, somewhere far from here, and she's going to go, by hook or crook. wants to know if anyone knows anything about it. yes, i do, i say, i've been writing about it, which i have. i was able to sum up my memories pretty well. of course i don't know how it's changed over thirty seven years. in some ways, lots; in others, not at all, i'm sure. it's people, who, before it's all over, need to get out, and see some of it.

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