Thursday, September 25, 2003

pinions of buddy don: ritin

whenever i wuz yunger n went thru a ruff patch of life, my bruthers n sisters, speshly my sister roena may, witch she wuz the on mos lack me in lots of ways, wood say twuz 'grist fer the mill' on a counta they knew i lacked to rite pomes n songs n stories n such. n i member thanking many a time that without pain, thay wood be no creative ritin. but the truth aint so romantick. tiz habit that makes ye rite.

as i wurk on the life of buddy don, whoever i be, i look over the diary that wuz kep all them years ago, minin the 'grist fer the mill' to see whut the nex story oughta be. taint a purrfeckly cronologickull account of thangs, but tiz close. n in this here tellin of the life of buddy don, we're up to the year i turnt 25. here's sumthin writ in the diary back in january of 1977 that splains more'n i knew i wuz splainin bout ritin n life:

"Thursday, January 20, 1977 12:10 a.m.

"I am convinced that a person will grow tired of doing anything eventually. It doesn't matter how enjoyable the activity may have been when the person first performed it, soon enough it will begin to be less than enjoyable -- at least on occasion -- after the person's done it enough times.

"So I sometimes feel about writing in this diary. I'll walk into my office, drop it onto my desk with a sigh from me and a plop from it and suddenly realize that I dread writing in here with a deep sense of loathing, loathing because I know that I will write, that I must write, even though I don't want to do so. I'm sure many people would ask in irritation and disbelief why the hell I write when I don't want to write. I mean, after all, no one is forcing me to write. If I don't write, no one will chastise me. I owe my entries to no cause or person.

"So why do I write at such times? (And, parenthetically -- how redundant -- this is certainly one of those times.) I guess I do so because at other times, when my desires are inexplicably different, I will want to write or want to read what I have written. Further, I suspect that if one is to accomplish anything worthwhile in life, one will have to be able to perform the small and too often menially boring tasks necessary to perform that something, even when one would prefer not to perform them. It really does seem worthwhile for some strange reason. I realize that I am the type of person who accomplishes things bit by bit and that my only power, therefore, is my potential relentlessness.

"I guess one of the main reasons I ever dread writing in here has to do with the nature of what I may have to write. The events of the past twenty-four hours are probably just as familiar to you as they are to me: work & study, home to parents or farm, piano practice, school, home to Clinton, sleep, a visit to Su and back to you again. Why dwell upon such repetitive trivia anway? What makes me think I will ever want to know at some future date that I did indeed manage to follow my routine for yet one more day? I honestly don't know.

"I claim to love philosophy, religion, the occult, mysticism, history, literature, and the like. I do so, I say, because it makes me question, makes me wonder. I don't sit back in complacent comfort without examinig 'life' and its meaning and my relationship to it. I am a thinker, I say (and I think). But I sometimes wonder if by asking the big unanswerable questions about reality, existence, the universe, etc., I am really avoiding those same questions by making them big and assuming them to be unanswerable. What about me? Why am I mired in this routine? I feel like a man, sinking slowly into the depths of deadly quicksand, who looks to the heavens and seeing the stars, becomes distracted by the problems of their distance and beauty and thereby never really perceives his true situation until it's too late.

"Could it be that the really important questions are similar to, if not the same as, why writing in my own diary bores me?"

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