In The Beginning
I hadn’t been writing much lately and was confronted with the desperate, frightening reality that maybe the well had run dry. I was in an existential crisis. I revisited some of the things I was putting out 6 months, or maybe a year ago. I went through a really productive cycle then, just one of several that I’ve experienced in my life. Each one seems to have been precipitated by an emotional crisis. Writing was just an inexpensive form of therapy. It got me through the rough spots.
I looked at it critically and thought to myself, “Where did this come from? Some of this stuff is really good.” Most certainly, most of it was crap, but there were a few gems in there. Since my abortive attempt to fly from the second story roof of my house, I had an abundance of idle time to apply to what I saw as my legacy; a mission in my few remaining years to assemble a body of work that I could pass on. I was exceedingly proud of what I accomplished. This is called hubris. I had long ago divested myself of the notion that hubris was a sin.
But now I’ve come to a screeching halt and the ideas just don’t seem to be flowing like they were. The term “mild cognitive impairment” has been bandied about by a number of doctors. Not surprising I guess considering my years. But it is worrisome. My broken back, my separated right shoulder rotator cuff, the relentless progression of arthritis, my steadily worsening heart condition, and advancing years all seem to indicate that, if I’m determined to do something, I’d best do it soon. I’m somewhat reassured that other writers have encountered Writer’s Block, but I’m really anxious to get over it and get on with it.
But I am determined to do something. For almost a month now I’ve been working on a visual project. I possess a wealth of photographs. They stretch back to the early nineteen hundreds, mostly black and white and some in colour. They document family life through three or four generations, epic tales of emigration, economic depression, two World Wars, and the mundane passages of birth, death, marriages and moments of family pride,celebration and tragedy. I am the temporary custodian of these visual stories and I would like to preserve them so that others might share and come to an understanding of what they represent.
I have assembled the tools and technology to create digital albums of both sight and sound and presenting them for family, friends, and the world. Mastering these various technics has been an arduous task as I’m a sort of learn-as-you-go type of guy. There were a few false steps at first in figuring out how I would do what I wanted. I had an idea, but I had to search out the applications that I needed, then learn how to use them. There must have been an easier way and more savvy people out there who could have done it for me. But reaching the stage that I’m at has been an education and an adventure.
I’m hoping that the end result will be as satisfying as writing a piece of prose. When it comes to “Means, Motive and Opportunity” what I was lacking was the appropriate means. I was determined to acquire them..
If I get bored, I can always go back to writing.