Because it needs doing, this writer does it.
A fellow somewhat renowned for lack of ambition, were someone else tending to it, you may rest assured a man would not persist with effort both thankless and difficult.
For to this writer, the well of whatever from which the words spring has ever been both mystery and necessity. A man was also forced, long ago, to accept that a life-long struggle learning to master and control what ~ from the outside ~ amounts to little more than angst-ridden neuroses propped up by emotional immaturity, could lead to neither popularity nor riches.
Despite this knowledge and with serious intent, the writer kept the business to himself through what was a lengthy and often public life. Not because he wanted to, but as result of knowing it should not be managed by any other means.
For to know, there is but a single way. One must be. This according to a man reckoned wise by minds brighter than this, who is claimed to have once said ~ paraphrased here ~ that to be, one must do.
Long ago, in a land far away, this writer drank of that beverage.
Everything since was as result.
To make sense of it, one must first accept that playing a part, like an actor, is not a substitute for living life. Nor is reporting of its events, from any perspective, be it live or from a historical viewpoint, considered here a realistic documentation of facts suitable for fictional history. For by now, we should all know most of the stuff that fills our textbooks, web searches and news sources was written by peons at work on behalf of history’s winners.
The paradox and failure of most writer’s work, after all, is a need to report third-hand information as first-hand knowledge.
So it is, and so it shall remain.
For this writer, even second-hand information is much like moral authority, a necessary evil considered best practiced by others. In these parts, the job is telling the facts of how it was for a participant, not telling you what to think, believe or feel about it.
Like it or not, life remains short, brutal and dumb. The long-term danger of whitewashing both history and diversity, though often convenient, has rarely been more apparent in western democracy than it is just now. A society spoon-fed single-viewpoints in search of homogeneity without acknowledging the sometimes-bitter facts regarding alternative lifestyles or differing perspectives, eventually leads to repressive and stunted political regimes marked by divisive populism and tyranny of the masses.
These are facts of early twenty-first century life.
The challenge to writers and artists in all disciplines, everywhere but here in the west particularly, is responding to the times in which we live and create history together.
As the next man, this writer leaves the crumbs he can produce to mark a trail for those who might seek to find them.
That’s part of what it means to be a responsible individual around here.
As required by such a philosophy, the writer works to record what happened, not as observer, but as participant. In each case, with a first goal of telling how it was. That means including the hard stuff, and not dressing up or rationalizing any of it.
How it went, is all that’s been told.
The characters you meet in this writer’s work may not be beautiful or famous, but they reflect a shared time and common experiences lived not so long ago. A man is also comfortable saying that like many of us, most of them do the best they can to get by, and that’s about all that can be asked of anyone. Thus, though like a mirror easily distorted, literature provides a lingering reminder of the endlessly confounding and multi-dimensional nature of our shared temporal existence. Able only to reflect that which might pass before it, the looking-glass yet reveals secrets we find near impossible to either resist or deny.
In that way, this writer’s work seeks to provide a reflection of the singular experience of a markedly small and decidedly underrepresented group of people from within the cultural and historical mosaic that composes life in modern Canada. The goal is to create a recording of a rarely-told individual history, written neither from a need for apology nor desire for reconciliation, but rather as an unvarnished and uniquely Canadian history that reveals the facts of life in post-colonial society.
For here, just as people do everywhere, we recreate each other using images distorted by perspective, for better and for worse. This writer’s sole purpose and art’s real societal value ~ the raison d’etre for each ~ is achieved only by revealing that fact.
To this writer, there can be nothing more.
As the reader, everything else is up to you.
Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing the blog.
- TFPMarch 21, 2019