Sometimes I wonder why I write and what purpose it serves. And the fact that it is impossible to know the answer to things like that doesn’t even slow me down. The speculation-and-imagination machine chugs on, churning out all sorts of clever platitudes and sophomoric sayings that the editorial glands in my brain sometimes make me choke on. Purple paisley prose rolls out of my pen and curls and swirls across the page being more about the silly sounds and internal rhymes and alliterations than about the actual ideas. And I enjoy the process far more than you do.
Making connections is probably the most important process of the whole endeavor. Having returned home to Iowa for a week in July, I can testify that connecting your childhood to your recent past and your promising present is essential to determining both who you are and who you are supposed to be. The boy I was in the 60’s and 70’s is a key to understanding why I write what I do. I was smarter than a kid is supposed to be. A nerd is a target for verbal and physical abuse based on a shared feeling among those not as cerebral that it is somehow unfair to be smarter than ordinary folks. I learned to defend myself with wit and superior planning. I found it is possible to create an indispensable role for myself in practically any situation. I learned to be a good listener. I absorbed all the fascinating little nuances of personality and possibility that other people unintentionally exude. I learned to organize and prioritize and use all the other ize-es that help you structure reality to your liking. And I learned that it is possible, as a teacher, to pass the secrets of life and love and laughter on to others. Here is one true thing… The point of learning anything is to pass it on to others.
If you get nothing else at all out of this silly, meandering post of purple paisley prose, I hope it is that previous sentence. I delude myself into believing that all the experiences I have had and all the things I have learned can be wrapped up into pretty packages and given as gifts to coming generations. I strive to write with quality and make the ideas engaging and powerful. I am always experimenting with style. For example, this post is based on free-writing and associative thinking. I intended to create a “boneless” structure of gelatinous prose centered around one true thing. And I intentionally wrote it to resemble a blobby pile of mud in which the reader must dig for that nugget of gold. And I think I have succeeded in making it thoroughly muddy with random big words, loose connections that risk bursting the paragraph’s seams, and word eddies that could potentially explode the flow. If you have waded this far through the mess, then let me reward you with one more pointless Paffooney, re-posted like a pirate.