The Meaning of Existence (and all that)

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A Writer's Paradox

    Wherein the author shares something that’s left him standing at a crossroad for a really long time.

Did you ever have to finally decide
Say yes to one and let the other one ride
There’s so many changes and tears you must hide
Did you ever have to finally decide

    “Did You Ever Have to Make up Your Mind”
    — John Sebastion (with The Loving Spoonful)

Start: There’s a sort of dynamic tension that’s been part of my life for a very long time, and the lyrics from the very old song above seem to sum it up pretty well. Writing is not an easy thing, though some have innate talent, and I feel I’ve been blessed with a little of that. (And, frankly, it’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do.) But, on the other hand, the majority of my life has been a spiritual journey, and I can’t help but look at my existence in what I feel is the broadest context there is.

For quite I while I’ve wrestled with what fiction is. And really, think about it: what is fiction? It can be a lot of things, but to develop a consistent audience (and make a living at it) it has to be, at some level, entertainment.

What is entertainment? To one degree or another, it’s an escape.

Escape from what? Well, that would be reality.

And what is spirituality? I feel deeply that, in practice, it is the seeking and finding of reality.

There, then, is the rub.
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A Bus Experiment

in Writing

Sanctuary, Sort Of

    Sometimes our personal sanctuary can be found in the last place we’d expect.

Start: It had been a while since I’d ridden a city bus.

Seven weeks ago in my work life I contemplated using public transit for my daily commute. There’s a bunch or reasons, but really what it came down to was figuring out if the Clark County transit system is a viable option at all.

I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Not the coolest place in the world. We actually get snow once in a blue moon, but it’s almost as rare as an honest politician. We’ve entered the serious heat of summer now (we hit about 112 degrees F. in June when I embraced this idea) and the real question was if I could tolerate the heat that must be endured in walking the couple of blocks to the relevant bus stop.

My wife thought I was an idiot for doing this: “But we’re in the middle of a heat wave!” I can’t say I blame her for feeling protective, but this is summer in Las Vegas — and exactly when, here, is it not a heat wave?

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3 comments