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In to the Wind

October 10, 2012
By Mike Gilchrist , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Thirty-nine degrees; not quite the chilliest morning of the fall season, but close. The leaves are changing into the most brilliant display of fall colors in recent memory. This change itself has been responsible for a peak in passion for the writer, in the past. Not so this year, yet. My wick needs to be wetted with the fuel of desire so the passionate light can burn bright and the words flow. In the meantime I can only hope, only dream of those things which brought me to my most passionate states.

I should strive to be as passionate as the carrion picking apart the carcass of the rather large buck coon lying dead in the road. Day-by-day it gets smaller as the vultures pick it apart, rancid piece of flesh by rancid piece of flesh. Perhaps too I should be as passionate as the largest vulture in the venue, that one which waits for the last moment to fly to safety as I bear down on them with my car. Such tenacity just has to be passion. To immerse oneself in the toils of life that bring us passion is a noble thing. The kettle of vultures flying in a circle, eyes set on the return to the kill cause a certain pause in my thinking.

I should be as passionate as the student fresh from summer savoring the first days of high school. A temporary timidity breaks way to an embrace of the challenges at hand. To be able to tackle the world and become whatever the heart desires is founded in the determination to do well and leave ones mark. Such passion is instead but a memory of what I could have become instead of what I have become.

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I should strive to be as passionate as the solitary cat jumping into the air in an attempt to catch a moth. She lingers for merely an instant before moving on to the next conquest, the next distraction, the next episode in the life of an animal with perhaps a shorter attention span than me. Perhaps it is that ignorance is bliss and in the knowing, life just seems harder, more perilous and daunting. I think I could learn some things from cats; maybe not.

I should be as passionate as the heifer tending her calf, never letting the youngster out of her sight. In an instinctual way, she just knows she must tend to the calf and keep him from harm's way. Woe to any animal that makes the mistake of getting too near her offspring. Dogs, cat, coons, all the same, will become footballs to the hoofs of the doting mother. But alas, my children no longer need me. Grown and on their own, they only see me when their lot becomes too hard, too harsh and they need the help and understanding of someone who loves them, or as is more often the case, help with their car, or some money.

Writing habits are either the bane or the bust of the writer. You are either able to insert yourself into the proper slot, or you're not. Too many times my writing is from the perspective of the dispassionate observer. At times I ache to write with passion, as I have before. Passion, in my opinion comes from the anticipation of things which drive our intellect, our libido, or our humanity. On the one hand, the writer strives for similarity to epic works in literary ambition; on the other hand, the comic or parodic manner in which such features are often treated serves to maintain a suitable generic distance between lofty epic poetry and prose fiction, a form considerably lower than epic in the perceived hierarchy of literary kinds. In all likelihood, I merely muddle.

If writing always came easy, like it does when I am not dispassionate, and in fact passionate about something, anything, then this oversized leather recliner, with a white Sony laptop computer either on the arm or in my lap is de rigueur. Aging eyes preclude the use of those damnable black keyboards designed by some sadistic engineer wearing too tight jeans and smallish round wire rimmed glasses. The quest for a computer with a white keyboard led me to research and find the next big thing in my life, which is now too aging by months and wears a coffee stain over what I imagine to be the right side speaker vent. It proves it is used, loved, and at times adept at capturing the words which flow from the brain, down the arms to the fingers, and out to the keyboard in fits and starts.

If it weren't for spell check, I'd be no writer at all, and my writing would not be discernable from words which might flow from say an eighth grader more passionate than I.

Early morning is my time. No television, no sunlight, no other distractions, just the quest to capture certain thoughts which are at times best left unsaid or unwritten. But, such is the angst of the writer cohabitating intellectually with his other side, which can be typified as abject dreamer.

The depth of our love is only diminished by the count of our wounds. Take care any wounds you inflict are superficial and not so deep they cause scars.

Until next time--

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In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2005 - 2012 Mike Gilchrist. Readers, feel free to contact me at via email, or write to me at P.O. Box 255, Toledo, IA 52342.



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