Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Writer

To be a writer is sort of a calling that is less to do with money and more to do with needing to express yourself like a musician, a sculptor or any other kind of artist. For me, the calling came likely in 4th grade when my teacher, Mrs. Krell, read my story in front of the class and asked, "Class. Who do you think wrote this story?" And the little girl sitting next to me named Debbie said, "Fredric wrote it because he is blushing!" and Mrs. Krell said, "That's right!"

So, even though I always knew my Dad and Grandad were great story tellers which is what people did around campfires before there was electricity and telephones and TVs and radios. They would gather around the fireplace in the living room. (if they had one) and tell stories to each other about their lives or made up stories about anthropomorphizing animals like Brer Fox and Brer Bear and Bear Rabbit and all sorts of other homespun stories.

So, even when truthful stories were told there was always a certain amount of exaggeration expected. Because it was usually the menfolk who told stories in my family. But not always. Sometimes the women told stories but they were different kinds of stories than the men told. Men's stories usually had more to do (in my family) with hunting, racing cars, wild spaces and wilderness, guns and sometimes women. Women's stories were usually more geared towards the children and men's stories were usually geared more towards the men and boys. So, there was usually a more separate life in regard to women and men. This began to change with World War II, the Korean War, the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and beyond to where we are today. For people who grew up like I did in the 1950s todays people are sort of confusing for us. So, even though we watched all the changes we really at times don't get how people see things. We see the differences in how programs on the news and TV are. We see the differences the internet and social media make in some ways. But, generally it seems sort of incomprehensible how younger people are viewing reality compared to how we in the 1950s grew up. So, I guess each generation is different in how they see things. And not only that every region on earth is also different in how people in that region see things even in the same country sometimes.

But, in regard to being a writer it is not usually about money at all at first and for most of us it is never about money at all. So, for me, writing has always been a way for me to express myself, to understand both myself and the world better, and always to keep whatever I wrote (when my mother didn't find it and throw it away) so I could share what life was like in different eras of my life with others, with family, with friends, with people who want to better understand certain things like what it was like to grow up in California in the 1950, 1960s, 1970s and beyond. Since I was born in 1948 just after World War II ended I can share a great deal about that.

So, being a writer is a lot like being any other kind of musician or artist. I always wanted to be able to draw well. But was frustrated in this because I was either left handed or ambidextrous and forced to write right handed either way. So, being a good artist in drawing always eluded me. However, I took easily to being a singer and a musician. My mother was an incredible singer and often reduced people to tears in church with her very spiritual coloratura soprano voice. So, I also found I could not only sing but that I was good on a piano and violin. I eventually in junior high gave up playing in the orchestra with the violin though because I didn't think I was good enough and preferred the piano and organ and keyboards and synthesizers. Later I taught myself the flute and guitar and played and sang for all my girlfriends on the piano or guitar or both. I started writing lyrics at first for popular songs that I played off of music on the piano. I took 8 years formal training on the piano so I also played piano and organ in church often from about age 13 or 14 until I was 21 when I left the church because of a falling out because I was just too 1960s from about 20 years old on. I basically found my church hypocritical and then realized all churches were hypocritical and I found I couldn't live with that then.

Now however, I realize that all people are fallible and so I tend to be less judgemental. However, I still find churches in general much too hypocritical for me to be majorly involved in for the same reason I don't like telling lies. I prefer to be as truthful as possible because sometimes you life depends upon it in ways you don't expect. So, I have watched many people I knew in my church die literally both directly and indirectly from the hypocrisies they tolerated in themselves in relation to all the compromises they made all those years. However, if you don't change by your 20s or 30s it is likely you are stuck with who you are from you 50s to 70s on whether that is hypocritical or not.

I was so idealistic then but if you ask me whether I'm being hypocritical in relation to being married I would have to say anyone married is hypocritical in order to stay married, especially if they have children. Because without compromise there is no marriage that works. And without a good family children often don't survive as children or as adults and often cannot make families of their own work. So, life is difficult any way you look at it and we all have to find a way to stay alive any way we can in the end.

So then, "Is youth wasted on the Young?" "Definitely. But without the way it works civilization couldn't work at all."

Just writing down what I felt and thought helped to keep me alive at different times in my life especially around 12 to14 and 18 to 25.During these times my writings, playing music and my friends and my parents and girlfriends kept me alive. So, if you can write what you really think and feel, oftentimes you can answer your own questions and by doing so you can survive your own lives. Often it isn't when you write it because sometimes you are so overwhelmed by what you are going through you might be crying and alone. (Men don't tend to cry in public and usually do this very alone). So, it is usually later  a day or two or a week or a month when you pick up what you wrote and go, "My God. That's the answer. I was so emotional I couldn't see the logic of this at the time!

So, often you answer your own questions without realizing it by writing. But sometimes it takes a few days or weeks or longer to realize what you actually solved in the process. And other times what you write might save other lives too. And other times what you write might make you laugh. Or, you might say, "Wow! That is really amazing!"

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