Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Squeak for Voices Stolen

Stolen, it's a common word in our world. Riots break out in Iran with cries of a stolen election. Is it true? Can we know? Or has our trust been stolen in the sources of news that can reach us so quickly and sometimes mislead us. Should I trust the headline that says the election was "fair and healthy"?

Identities are stolen. Innocence can be stolen, but don't let them steal your hope.

Yes, your thunder can be 'stole.'

Or your pig...."he stole a pig and away he run..." What happened to that guy or the pig? "The pig was eat and Tom was beat and Tom went howling down the street." Perhaps Anonymous wasn't telling us an actual true story in "Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son" but it's a believable story.

Much thieving occurs under the mighty drug of self delusion. What a classic character Tolkien created in the whispers of Gollum, "It's mine, all mine, my precious."

As Woody Guthrie sang in his Pretty Boy Floyd :

As through this life you travel, You'll meet some funny men
Some rob you with a six gun And some with a fountain pen.

I've been learning about some pen and ink "t" crossing and some "i" dotting that may line right up to spell a "thief" in my personal realm. Once I have the facts, I might squeak about it a little bit, although I suspect that pig has already been "eat." Most probably I'll arm myself with the reminder I need...or maybe I'll remind myself of the armour I need.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal." (Gospel according to Matthew 6:19)

All right, I'll work on that. I may need to steal away a little quiet from this noisy world to hear aright, but I'll work on that. And it's also good to remind myself to keep my own word true in all realms; a form of not stealing from myself. Truth is alchemy - a transformer of the common into the precious.

If someone does steal your voice, if your one vote is stolen, that's a hard thing; which is one of the reasons it's hard to read about the elections in Iran and wonder who did have a say? There are over 42 million young people in Iran. From Tehran ( APF):
"The main mobile telephone network in Iran was cut in the capital Tehran Saturday evening while popular Internet websites Facebook and YouTube also appeared to be blocked."
If the elective voice of the Iranian people was stolen, I hope they won't lose hope. Because I am able, I'm just squeaking a little here for those who may may not currently be able to squeak for themselves or may be in danger when they do. No matter where you stand, bad things can happen in the street, look at Tom and the pig. You can read the Tehran APF story here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Why did God Invent Writers?

The reader knows that the author in his memoir, The Tender Bar, is in fact going to become, not an attorney, but a writer, so it makes the conversation he records with a priest on the Amtrak stand out as a turning point for him.
"Can I tell you something?" the priest asked. "Do you know why God invented writers? Because He loves a good story. And He doesn't give a damn about words. Words are the curtain we've hung between Him and our true selves. Try not to think about the words. Don't strain for the perfect sentence. There's no such thing. Writing is guess work. Every sentence is an educated guess, the reader's as much as yours. Think about that the next time you curl a piece of paper into your typewriter."
(p. 225 The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer 2006 Hyperion N.Y.)

Unfortunately the author also tells us a few pages later that "The inspiration I took from my talk with Father AMTRAK wore off as quickly as the scotch." ( ibid p. 226)

I am feeling something similar about reading this 416 page tome. While it's inspiring in style, and well crafted, I can't wait for this guy to get into rehab! I suppose that means the author, whose voice is quite likable, has engaged me and that there is enough insight in his narrative voice as he recounts difficult events and his frequently misplaced hope and admiration, for me to trust that he will do more than survive the bar, his doomed lusty first love and the self defeating behaviors he documents so well. He's got me concerned for him, but I'm not yet fully convinced the tale is worth recommending.

This is what being in a book group does....gets you to read books you may not have otherwise encountered and finish them before you pick up any of the others you have stacked up and ready to read.

But this little word from Father AMTRAK also caught my eye because for just a moment it made me miss my typewriter..."curl a piece of paper into a typewriter..." I can hear the ratchet sound as I roll the wheel. ~~~~~~~~~~~