Jim Trainer

Ugh

In Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, Jim Trainer, mental health, TOUR, travel, travel writing on February 2, 2016 at 5:04 pm

The present paints the past with gold.  The past paints the future with lead.
-Henry Rollins

Have a seat.  This could take awhile.  I write about things to understand them, get an edge on pain or clear a vista, high and wide, so I can take the grand view.  When I started writing in earnest I was a young man.  The channels were clear, my health was good and life hadn’t broke my heart yet.  With a CVS notebook I could tell the future.  As a writer and an artist I could study motif, could meld the physical world and I could self-realize.  But maybe I was just green.  Innocent.  The real challenge could be to try it now, prophesy at the stubborn age of 40, marked and beat by life, and some battles won-the argument could be made that only now can I self-realize and that’s because I’ve become who I am.

I believe in everything and nothing.  I believe in that angry, young man.  Looking back I think the kid really came through. I also believe that it was a young man’s thinking that I could somehow be whatever I wanted.  As much I never wanted to be like my old man I am him, and at the same time nothing like him at all.  I’ve heard that life doesn’t begin until your Father dies.  It made sense then and it makes sense now.  I am my old man, with his trappings, his strength, his aloofness and his bitter, black Irish loyalty.  My mother is still alive.  That’s a harder nut to crack.  If I could’ve been whatever I wanted, I would’ve done so without any of her support either.  Unless what I wanted was to stay in school for thirty years but only receive my PhD to retire in the sunny hills of Italy where I’d write part one of my memoir-I was on my own.

It’s hard not to be resentful.  Just as hard to do it too, and get overcome with an old and tyrannical anger.  When my dad left, she called the shots, and her shots amounted to sleeping in the park on Christmas Eve for not raking the leaves.  What a fucking quagmire-to feel it sting and simultaneously surmise how pointless and inane it all is.  My youth made me who I am.  As mentioned, the kid came through.  In fact he’s here with me and we shudder, and get struck by the lightning of anxiety when it’s time to get it on the books-that is, take it on the road and self-realize a dream of mine to be an artist full-time.  If I’d of took his example I’d be dead in 10 years.  If I took her example I’d of went to school on her dime and retire to a condo in the sky with two-thousand copies of my latest book in the closet, and plans to hit the big 5 by 2017.

Instead I sit here in the bright afternoon coughing up these words and performing surgery on myself.  I look back and read over this post and it’s a living, throbbing thing.  I’m caught between a torrential anger toward parents who never supported me and a crippling anxiety about the future.  One could argue that these are heads of the same monster-one looking back in disgust and the other looking ahead in dread.  There is no way out.  Only in and through.  As sure as these United States sprawling across the laminated map on the southern office wall.  As sure as the Great White Machine and copier/printer/scanner propped up beside the desk.  As sure as the Bose wireless dialed into 44 gigs, the half full SD card and the Tacoma Guild hanging on the wall.  Have iPad, will travel.  I’ll be stalking this dream awhile longer.  As if there could be any doubt.  Not from you, good Reader.  Never.  Wherever is your heart I call home

 

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  1. “Ugh”. I loved this blog! Brutal. And I love you. Inaccurate in spots. Sounds like a mid-life crisis; we all have them. They come right before all the blessings. I have apologized many times for trying to kill your dream years ago when I did not believe your dream served you, the man you were and would become.
    I was dead wrong, it is you and it serves you so well, my Son.
    My dream came much later in my life than yours. Yes, you saw it in all the books in my condo which I am selling. I will withstand your trying to kill my dream with your words, as I tried to kill yours many years ago. Thank you for not letting me do that.
    Let’s talk 1:1.

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