I always know when I have something on my mind I need to write about.
Because I avoid writing about it.
I check my email, drop into the black hole of Facebook, have a coffee, and then another. Think of all the things I need to do, and there are always things I need to do.
But for me, writing is still the one thing I most need to do.
It’s where my muse lives, and far too often I ignore her.
We all of us have a muse.
If you’re very lucky, your muse might be where you also can make a living day to day. Rare, I think, but possible. And that doesn’t mean it’s easy, it just means that each day you can retire knowing you’re following that one true thread, that still, small voice your heart hears through all the noise the world makes.
It doesn’t mean that muse will make you money.
That’s part of the noise.
More often than not your muse will cost you.
And it doesn’t mean you have to be a one-dimensional cartoon caricature, forsaking all else for your muse. Although some take that tack against all fair breezes or howling winds, following only that one thread.
I often think that if I were a youth today, I would be diagnosed as ADHD and heavily medicated, as I find almost everything and every day intensely interesting and worth my attention. Even now as I write this, my head is awash in images of where the writing might go, of what to include, what to leave out, the bird that just flew by, the people drifting in and out the coffee house, Tracy’s son Bobby in a multi-million dollar Texas hold’em tournament today.
But if I wrestle my brain into these words, I’m brought back to the last blog I wrote, and the reaction of my friend Curt, and the reason I write.
I write to find peace.
And there are those who will sigh and patronize that idea with campfire Kumbaya references, but it is an acknowledgement of the one true thread that informs my life. And in re-reading what I wrote in that blog, and what Curt wrote, I realize that we both really want the same thing, for ourselves, for our grandchildren.
And my goal is always to try to find the common ground, to find resolution to what may seem to be intractable positions, to find peace. Curt and I just come at the problem from different positions.
As a mediator for almost 20 years, I learned that the idea of a “position” is not to be taken lightly. When two parties are at odds, they each come to the table with a “position,” one they know is right, one they know will hold up in court, one from which they adamantly refuse to budge.
A position from which they will have to move.
That is the work of mediation.
Because no one, including myself, likes to move off of their position. We know we’re right, and we’ll be damned if we’re the one that will have to move. No, THEY need to move to ME.
But that’s the way of the courts, that’s the way of the world in general. It’s not the way of mediation and it’s not the way to bring any semblance of peace in the world. It’s the way of dictators and overlords, of the aristocracy and oligarchies, of the haves versus the have-nots.
So, in writing what I write, I stir up some passion, some controversy, and that’s a good thing. Without the friction of competing positions, we’ll never find that middle ground where people can agree to disagree, but agree to get on with the busyness of life without coming to blows.
And that’s why when I’m writing well, I try to bring in my own passion, but I try to write clearly and back up what I write with sources that I consider reliable.
In the last paragraph of my last blog, I quoted the most reliable source a person might know relative to personal experience; that would be myself on my own personal experience.
Tracy and I received excellent health care in the Bahamas at a fraction of what it would have cost in the States. That’s just true.
Curt followed up his comment on our memorable honeymoon with an excoriation of the Affordable Care Act. There is much about the ACA that I don’t agree with, the most egregious part for me that it continues to fund an insurance industry that adds nothing to health care but expense.
And towards the end of his second to the last comment he said, “Then let's vote em all out and start fresh. We do agree that money is the issue.”
And I do think that that’s where we have to start, because if we don’t, we’ll never find peace, and it’s in the best interest of those in power that we continue to be at odds with one another.
But that’s another blog.