Monday, September 24, 2012

I and Thou

“Let us remember...that in the end we go to poetry for one reason, so that we might more fully inhabit our lives and the world in which we live them, and that if we more fully inhabit these things, we might be less apt to destroy both.” ― Christian Wiman

I’ve written here at my blog numerous times about funding for the arts. Endowments for the humanities. In other words: a handout.

A piece on NPR this a.m. caught my attention—so many musicians are gaining an audience because of Spotify, YouTube, and other mediums made possible through the Internet. Yet the Internet is killing them. With downloading and digital sharing royalties are siphoned or greatly diminished. It’s the same for publishing. Without the Internet I wouldn’t have had 30 stories published. If I had to rely on print journals alone maybe I’d have 2 stories out there. But with the advent of hand-held digital devices, more and more people are reading from the screen—thus flash is growing in popularity. It is a form perfectly suited for those reading off screens. We used to call short shorts bathroom material now it’s all the rage. 750 words or less is what editors are crying out for. Problem is we’re just not getting paid for it. Not when free content abounds.

So, yeah, I’m a victim. I’m looking for my cut of writer welfare.

Maybe that’s why the whole 47% thing last week hit me in the gut. Some of us are working really really hard, yet not getting ahead, or at least not raking in millions. Also I pay taxes.

Thus I was really excited to discover a new blog started by Dinty Moore (not the stew) a writer, instructor, and publisher of creative non-fiction called We Represent the 47%

So far there are 48 contributors each with their own story of how they built that, and how they also helped others to build. It is mutual. Symbiotic. We’re all helping each other, and that’s something that I’ve always found distinctive of Americans. At one minute we can tear each other apart, but when disaster strikes, towers fall we all manage to come together to help one another. I found myself drawn in by each of the entries, mini-memoirs, realizing that at one point or another we’ve all been there for another person. The stories made me feel grateful and proud to live where I live—even though I think by the end of this election cycle I am going to be SICK AND TIRED of political ads.

So let us go to poetry, slow down and live one moment at a time. It is almost impossible to be open to life and at the same time closed off. A heart full of appreciation cannot be at the same time critical.

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