Sunday, May 15, 2005

More remembrances.

That piece about Vancouver sort of opened the door to some other thoughts and memories. I guess I hadn’t thought about that episode in my life for quite some time. I received a lot of experiences from that time of my life and also met some friends who are still with me to this day. But you know that piece I wrote was not what I had intended to write. I had a completely other idea in mind when I started, but after speaking about Vince and being The Bear and all I just sort of got caught up in it again and started to write what I did.

I guess writing will do that to you. In this way I suppose I had never intended this blog to be what it is today. I think my original idea was just to make the court documents from Poland public so as to garner some support to help fight them. And then of course it was about trying to gain support for the book. But during the writing of these daily blogs, I got caught up in some twists and turns and the results have been… well, I would like to say that they have been interesting but I fear that this would only be for me. Digressive is I think a better word. Or just simply that i started to pull at different threads as I went along than those I had originally intended.

I first learned about this from a teacher I had back at San Francisco State. I did in fact learn probably most of what I know about writing from her. Sharp lady she, and beautiful which probably had a lot to do with it. I wish for the life of me I could remember her name now but I can picture her in my mind as clear as a bell in the office of the section administrator. She was getting a talking to about not sticking to the class plan- she was studying for her Masters and had taken our class as being a part of her course requirements. She was standing there with he arms rigid at her sides, hands balled into fists, short dark hair and the tightest of tight bodies all clinched up from trying to restrain herself from going over the desk and strangling her empty suit bureaucrat of a boss. A runner of some five to seven miles a day. And as militantly feminist (gay) as any militant can be at that most militant of institutions. She could have had that Indian name from the Costner movie: Stands with a fist. What a woman…

To tell the truth, I was so stuck on her at the time. Maybe this is why I remember so much of what she taught me. I was always finding reasons to hang out at her office. Passionate woman that. Damn, I wish I could remember her name. But beyond any of this hormone stuff, the woman was passionate about writing and would talk of things like sitting up all night because the thing you were trying to find the right words for would not let you sleep. She also tried to teach me about being conservative in the number of words I used to make my points. I think that might have had something to do with her general desire to ‘silence the male voice’ but in any case I guess I don’t get that one right even now.

But when I am writing these things, I often think of all of the things that I leave out. I mean, I try to be tight and concise but often I end up leaving out the very ideas that I had when I started to write whatever it is I am working on. This happens all the time, getting distracted by one thing or another. I guess writing will do that to you to. You know, like that.

But you know that she was right about there being interest in the things that are left out. Hemingway wrote about this. Have you ever read “Death in the Afternoon?” In the epilog he write a catalog of stories in which he did not write about in that book. It is a great essay because even in his snippets of left out ideas you can feel the emotions of those stories. But then again, that is Hemingway.

And for that matter, by way of another digression, there are quite a few stories I have in which Hemingway shows up. There was an original epilogue that I wrote for BEING HAD about my bike falling off the train on my way away from Pinsk, and Belarus. Heinway showed up there because for the longest time, Hemingway’s “Fiesta; The Sun Also Rises” was the only English language text I had and so I read it maybe 15 times. I have a copy of it in Russian now too and I have read that three times now as well. But I am digressing again.

Maybe it would be better to just say that I have quite a few stories and it is difficult to say what goes in and what stays out of this blog. As a for instance, There are a lot of family stories that I do not writing about because it has become too personal over time. I don’t write about Egor here at all because I think that writing about a 9-year-old boy is intrusive. My mom used to do that to me with friends all the time and I hated it so I try to leave him alone as much as I can. And I don’t write about Tanya either for that matter, at least about personal stuff.

But there are a lot of stories from around Pinsk that I have not bothered to illustrate. Stuff about people’s lives and how they are coping or finding their way. We have neighbors in or apartment and I never write about them or about the neighborhood folks or the market people. I never write about the local political scene and have only touched at our remarkable bleak cultural goings on. I don’t know that I have talked much about the people that inhabit our river, the fisherman, the beach goers, the drinkers. Or of the kids, both the young one’s playing in the streets or the older ones and the ins and outs of their soap operas.

I haven’t written about the men; the good looking sharpies we have now or the drunks falling down in the streets- less now then before to be sure but still as regular as clockwork. The bosses and the workers and the will-work-for-wine-ers. Or the women, single with children, the business types, the gray over worked slaves, the babas and their lives of perpetual work and movement, right up until the end; all of whom whose faces show how hard the life here really is and always has been.

And just as I have lost my way with the bog today, so I think I have lost my way with the blog in general. I never wanted this. I mean, I like this bit of writing and I think that it has at least done what I wanted it to do. But I thought that I wanted to do some real writing. I used to write plays but now I seem to have lost that. And then I tried to do that book but it has not made the impression I wanted. I mean, I wanted this voice that I am speaking to you with now. And more than this, I wanted it to be a voice that people could trust as being one that has integrity and value and conscience and, God willing, at least a little wit or truth or meaning. Or simply relevance.

But I still think it has relevance, at least I hope it does. I mean, we all do live in a society as much as we like to think of our selves as so many individual islands. And we do need to try and live together well. And I think this is all I have ever been trying to say.

And so I am going to keep writing this, even if does from time to time stray away from the point for which it was intended. Or even as with today, from point to point within each article. And I am going to try in the next short while to get back to the point of what is happening up at the village. And about what is going on here in town. And of course, all of this from the point of view of a man who has never been permitted to be who he was supposed to be because of the selfish lies of one complete asshole cop from Poland…

I hope it is and has been interesting though. I really do. And I hope in the end, this blog really does do what it has always been intended for: I hope it helps to allow for some real justice for all the those who have been had, just like me.

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More soon.


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