Thursday, 9 April 2020

A note for the survivors.

And should death arrive before I wake, know this.
So long as I’ve overseen my own affairs, the motto here has ever been those many stories told about me are all true, and you should be encouraged to make up more if you feel like it.  As whatever you might choose to think or believe about the man behind the words has not been a principal concern of mine.
Here, for the most part it did not matter.
What has ever received the best of my attention was the literary work to which I long ago chose to devote my life.  A simple belief in the necessity of it would not only guide my early efforts but holds me to the difficult but rewarding task to this day.
I’ve also either held or promoted specific beliefs about writing, writers and the business of literature, music and art throughout my time.  Despite a predilection for espousing a variety of often unpopular political and philosophical ideals, it has been my great joy to live at a time when doing so remained, for the most part, free enough to allow such madness.  For this real privilege, my personal gratitude to the builders of our once great society shall ever remain abundant.
That such freedom no longer exists is considered a far greater shame in these parts.
C’est la vie.  For it does go on, and despite clinging to an outdated concept of free will it has long been apparent we’re all best choosing to embrace the ruthless forward momentum of time’s relentless arrow.
What remains to be reckoned is how long a man might enjoy the ride.  But, and no matter its eventual end date, you may be rest assured the entire business has proven far more entertaining than could ever have been imagined.  And for the record, despite a lifetime of denial devotion to the world of imagination has long reigned here.
For only in fiction might the routine mystery of temporal existence be revealed.
To share an unvarnished insight worthy of it has thus long been the dream of the writer occupying this chair.  And like it or don’t, to the best of my ability the job was done.  What you’ll find here is work of an individual, not that of a hidden cabal of editors, marketers and advertising ‘professionals’ vying for your precious entertainment dollars.
When I’ve gone, the world is certainly free to decipher and claim what it might.  But while I’ve been here, my life has been devoted to preservation of a solitary vision.  And for that brave few who dare consume the stuff eventually produced by it, you may ever trust what here reflects is not elsewhere found.
I hope most you long enjoy figuring it out.
Know always, the work consumed me and was the great joy of my life.
Long ago, I began a habit of making notes.  I did it to avoid having to later rely on memory when conjuring fiction, which as a young man I realised could often differ between witnesses to the same event.  Upon this private habit, the verisimilitude of my work should later rest.  Long holding great regard for the characters inhabiting my fiction however, as the work was completed those private notes seen by none but myself, were destroyed.
Aware of the relentless need for homo sapiens to pick over the bones of its dead, my hope was to impede posthumous investigation.
At last, enough work is complete to have near exhausted not only the ghosts of the past, but many of the notes made about them.  Now, with the breath of life so strong within me that only death could be near, it appears what remains might best be left for later discovery.  Or perhaps the infirmary of old age has blunted my discretion, as concern for either those moved to one day search or what they may find no longer seems of interest.
These last years off the road changed a man, that I will not deny.  My eldest son is charged with responsibility for whatever I leave behind.  His decisions, much as my own made on behalf of my intestate father at a similar point in time decades ago, are final.
While here, I’ve had my say in every way that mattered and I’m grateful to and for the family, friends and lovers that made it possible.  More than anything you should know I’ve had a wonderful time.  And ever remember, when you read or listen to my words, I’m alive and closer to you than I could hope to be while here.  There, from between each line I will be smiling always, a long-gone pirate forever doing my best to help you navigate the endless vagaries of life’s magnificent ocean.
Enjoy the ride.  Do your best.
Thanks for being here.

April 9, 2020