One of the more regrettable losses of my recent life is drifting farther away from my writing. I make half starts now and then, promising myself that I will persuade me to write more often, that the spark still lurks somewhere needing only a bit of gentle pushing, But, as time mercilessly grinds its way down the road of life I find the urge, willingness and talent slowly slipping away. When I do finally convince myself to write I find that I have little to say. Ideas, concepts that used to crowd the square till a moment ago all vanish in a flash, like a flock of pigeons encountering an unexpected cat. It is mighty frustrating.
I used to take much pride and pleasure in my writing. A lot of it scattered over numerous web pages are often embarrassing in both form and substance, but some do have a glimmer of promise. Importantly, most of it has an unspoiled earnestness to it even when it is tainted by a naivety that only youth can provide for. In most of it also lies the search for identity, the search for a place in the world and the search for an interpretation of the past. Disappointment, bitterness, disillusionment — all have come and gone and yet life remained doing its thing, like an unyielding child who runs laughing away from you, from your grasp and understanding, every time you get close to it.
In life, as in writing, I have often searched for an answer in greatness. I have searched for a far more noble purpose than to rid myself of the burden of ordinariness that has otherwise plagued both things. Quixotic – I ranted, raved and raged through many years, searching desperately for a cause, for a reason, for a spectacular sword to die on. Strangely, nothing of the sort happened. I did not change the world. I did not lead a revolution. I did not do anything that touched a million lives. Honestly, I did not do anything that touched even a thousand lives. This was puzzling, disconcerting and irritating at the same time.
Back to square one. Going round in circles. You get the idea.
I have always believed that the best years of anyone’s life is between 26 and 32. If you want to do your best, you have to peak at 32 in terms of being able to push yourself. At 32, I found myself struggling with the most ordinary of things. A great painter is not necessarily always a great cook. Greatness always has plenty of ordinariness to it. A lot of ordinariness has much greatness attached to it. For every great one, there are millions of living ordinary ones who do extraordinary things by choosing to make it out of bed everyday even when there is nothing great about their lives.
So, whatever happened to my own greatness? I actually no longer know about that. At the moment I have my hands full trying to be just an average decent being. It is not always easy. Once shorn of the self-assigned crown of greatness you have to first stop being as big an ass as you have often been in the past. Sometimes I manage it well, a lot of other times I struggle with it. So, the agenda for the time being is to do a decent job at being ordinary and then do the best I can. You see, it is much like my writing. I’m making an honest attempt to reduce the fluff and keep it real and I don’t succeed at it as often as I would ideally like to.
I’m working on it.