Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saving the World, One Writer’s Workshop At A Time

I wish I was prettier, a little younger, a tad smarter,
a bit more charming, the old dude said. But it’s not to be.
So, absent the fairy who gives such gifts,
I’ll earn my weekly bread
with a bit of advice.

Not much is expected of a writer, he said, very little is required.
But if as a writer it comes to writing, you may need a plan.
And, in the passage of time, you might execute your plan.
That’s it. Leave your spare change at the door on your
way out. But there were objections and muttering,

which didn’t seem to bother the old dude much. I paid
for this, grumbled some. I don’t get paid enough,
he said, to listen to you whine. But it pays
the bills, so here’s more. Write to
exercise your demons.

They need the work. Write to recycle your trash.
Write to stir a few inches of soil. Write to
aerate the ground in which you propose
growing roots. Write to flower
for the honeybees around.

Writing is not driving, is not clear-cutting forests, is not beating
dogs or neglecting children. Writing is not gorging on fiberless
snacks. Writing is not salinating the land, is not acidifying
mountain lakes. As a rule, writing is not rudeness.
Writing is not sleeping through armaggedon.

When one writes, one does not go to war, does not arrest potheads,
does not commit hate crimes, does not tap phone lines. Writing is
celebration, is mining deep, is throwing one’s voice, is wandering
far, is back to Africa, is apologies to tribes, is bottomless pools.
While they write, while accepting gifts, writers do not borrow

money. Writing is now. Like all habits, it takes a few months to acquire.
It is almost entirely non-polluting and potentially harmless to all
but the most powerful. That’s it. No questions, please. And, as
I mentioned earlier, leave your change at the door as you

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