I wanted to be a writer for a long time. Since maybe second grade or somewhere in there. For one reason or another, I haven’t yet finished the Great American Novel. Well, for some good reasons, actually. See, I’ve lived a privileged life, and that’s not the best thing for creativity.
To be creative, one must be somewhat marginal in one’s society. That’s easy to understand because people who are more central in society like things fine the way they are. Can’t be helped that if you’re making out fine the way things are, you don’t have any reason to dream up anything different. If you’re on the margin somewhere, then you’re not all that happy with the way things are going, and you’ll be goosed by your own circumstances to invent new ways of looking at he world. There’s actually quite a bit of biological and psychological theory behind this idea, but life is too short for me to go into it all now. But it’s true. Van Gogh, besides making a lot of really lovely paintings that showed the world as nobody else ever has, was anxious, insecure, probably suffered from a painful condition in one ear (really, no joke there) and was, as anyone can see by looking at the above picture, incredibly creative. *
You know who are the most creative people in the USA these days (and for a lot of days previously, too?) How about those whose ancestors were slaves? Or those being called vile names just because their grandparents were born in Asia? Or, for Pete’s sake, how about the descendants of the people who met my white forefathers at the boat? I’ve met a bunch of indigenous folks, and love their sense of humor! They, and the other groups I’ve mentioned, are truly creative. The lucky bastards!
Me? Well, I had cousins at Jamestown. My earliest direct ancestor in America was living in Philly in 1729. In 1730 he married a girl from New Jersey. They had thirteen sons, twelve of which fought in the revolution, including a direct ancestor of mine. Hell’s Bells, I’m a genuine W.A.S.P.! If there has ever been a more privileged group in the history of this planet, I’d like to meet some of them and compare notes. Moving along, my great-grandfather fought for the Union in the Civil War. Our side won, which is only now being discovered by a certain segment of society. Sorry, losers! Other ancestral branches include Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, and a trace of Scandinavia. Oh pauvre moi, huh? All of which means that
I’M NOT THE BEST GUY TO ASK TO PRODUCE GREAT ART!
My deprivation? Well, mom wouldn’t always buy me what I wanted. That was tough. I was in my forties when I first tasted caviar 🙁 ! And, although I got to be not bad with a six-string guitar I never got to be a guitar player hero, and of course, I can’t ever sing the blues! I mean, sure, my eyes are blue, maybe some of my blood, but sing the blues? That ain’t gonna happen, is it? All I’ve got going for me is lame comedy. Lame, because of course it is.
So, my only complaint is that I have nothing to complain about, and also I’ll never write a great novel, or compose a great song, or paint a great painting. (I’m lucky to be able to paint a wall, frankly.) I know that my story is tugging at your heartstrings, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for my GoFundMe campaign. Donate generously! It’ll take your mind off of your own many troubles when you contribute to my one and only!
Later . . .
- Those cypress trees really do look like that, even if you don’t believe me because you’ve never seen them.