I was leafing through Goethe’s Poetry and Life and I came upon this phrase: “This loathing of life has both physical and moral causes…” I was sufficiently stirred by this to read on. “All comfort in life is based upon a regular occurrence of external phenomena. The changes of the day and night, of the seasons, of flowers and fruits, and all other recurring pleasures that come to us. that we may and should enjoy them- these are the mainsprings of our earthly life. The more open we are to these enjoyments, the happier we are; but if these changing phenomena unfold themselves and we take no interest in them, if we are insensible to such fair solicitations, then comes on the sorest evil, the heaviest disease- we regard life as a loathsome burden.” -Saul Bellow’s, Dangling Man.
I find this to be soul searching literature. This is the philosophy by which I live my life. Hence, my love of a falling leaf. Although that alone doesn’t summarize the depths of that simple thought/phrase. That ‘one’ leaf changed my life. I can only hope we all find a leaf of such magnitude. The proof of all things.
Saul Bellow, along with using a bit of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s poetry, masterfully lays out a path for any individual to break down happiness and how to apply it, if so inclined. It’s not the things, certainly NOT the things, we buy and stuff into our already full garages to show to our ‘friends’ just how far we’ve made it; at a very young age I realized just how fake that was while watching adults parade their facades.
As an adult I’ve found that writing is not only my outlet, but a space for my soul to become tangible. Whether my writing is any good or not, well that’s not for me to decide, but I will write. And I will read literature that touches my heart and forces me to look from the page and dive into my thoughts while staring at a blank wall and processing what I’ve just learned.
I wish you all the best,
I’m thankful for the support so many of you have so unselfishly given me.
In 1999 I read books in a shitty apartment with a bottle of wine as my best friend Red Wine was good for me Hemingway was better I pulled on those bottles I still like to read in shitty environments I never feel alone
Saw the old man at the dump today. I like that he’s old. He asked for my Christmas tree, for his goats. ‘Put it next to my rig,’ he said. He owns a 90’s minivan. I put that tree right next to his rig, drove down and around the bend to where two more old guys work. One runs the shack, the other the compressor. ‘How are you, buddy?’ Mo asked. He’s had a stroke and pushes his words out. I was feeling depressed today. I still am, but it’s snowing and I went to the dump.
Writing is like anything. It’s like breathing or smoking and watching how the smoke rises around your face then looking at the make of your vehicle, a GMC, and noticing the license plate says vacation land. I don’t believe it’s always meant to be hard. Sometimes it’s meant to be what you see. What you feel. What you remember. I know, remembering what you felt can bring on the terribly difficult and that portion can certainly be hard. But it’s all right there. Waiting. It’s a matter of doing it. All of it. Just like anything else.
You ever walk up a flight of concrete stairs and wonder who poured the cement? How long until it starts to crack? And how many winters it can survive until the cement needs to be ripped out and new steps need to be created?