Monday, February 4, 2013

#35 / Who Is Going To Read This, Anyway?

I have been thinking about writing a book for a really long time. Here is what I found, from 2009, when I looked in my files:

Who Is Going To Read This, Anyway?

This is a kind of a memoir, I guess. But who is going to read it, anyway? And will they even have the chance? My son and daughter might read it: Sonya Drottar and Philips Patton. Maybe my grandson and granddaughter will read it: Dylan and Delaney Drottar. That is, if we all last that long! And how about Bob Dylan? Wouldn’t that be grand! After all, I think he did come to my wedding. No, I really believe that! Came to the doorway, but didn’t come in. That sort of an appearance. That was on September 27, 1969, at the Friends Meeting in Palo Alto. Don’t you think he’d like to see how it all turned out? 
Then there are my friends: Denise and Alan Holbert. They might read it, if I promise not to talk about God too much. And my friends Larry and Joanne Spears. They would probably prefer a little more about God. Not to mention Steve and Bill Hurlbut. And how about my wife, Marilyn? Well, I assume she’d read it, given the chance.

I do or have had a few other friends who care about me. They’d like to read it, I expect, just to see if I say anything about them, good, bad or indifferent! Put their names in print. Don’t worry, I won’t say anything! Even if I do expect to be dead when you read it!

I had friends in college, and law school, and theological seminary. Even in elementary and high school. Some of them still remember me. I’m sure they do. I remember them! And every work place I’ve been in (the few I had): my law office; County Government; the Planning and Conservation League; LandWatch. I’m a lawyer again, now. Back where I started, in downtown Santa Cruz. All those folks from my work life might be in the audience: all those who sailed with me. Yes, even those who literally sailed with me. I was in the merchant marine, after all. Maybe someone from that trip would look this up. Jason Greenlee, for instance; now there’s a name from the past! 
My siblings and their children would probably read this thing. Again, if they got the chance. Some people in Santa Cruz might read it, too. Well, maybe they would. Curiosity being what it is! After all, I’m supposedly one of the two most important people who lived in Santa Cruz County during the Twentieth Century. That’s according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Well, it’s the Twenty-First Century now. Old news! I do have some other acquaintances, too, in Sacramento and from around California, but I kind of doubt they’d seek this out. But maybe they would. Maybe some of them would read it, if they got the chance. 
I’m thinking that this thing will probably come to light after I’m dead. But what if we’re all dead? That 2012 date does keep coming to my mind! 
If you are reading this (whenever you’re reading it, and whoever you are), you should know that I started writing this memoir (or whatever it turns out to be) on Sunday, January 4, 2009, at 4:51 p.m. Up until that time, I hadn’t done anything much all day but read The Bad Girl by Vargas Llosa. And in an English translation, too! I did finish the book, but I blush to confess that I read it in English. I went to a lot of trouble to learn Spanish, and I used to do all my reading in Spanish. So it’s embarrassing to admit that I read this book in translation. I just think I’m slacking off. This is just another evidence of a more general condition. That’s what I’m feeling. Maybe it’s that I’m getting older. Losing some of my drive. So, one thing to do when you’re down and out is to write a memoir of what it’s all about. Right? Make sense of it all, as it’s slipping away? That could be an excuse (or an explanation) for what got me started on this today. 
Then there’s the letter from Jim Hansen and his wife, written to Barack and Michelle Obama. It’s about global warming, and it’s on the Internet. I read that today, too, and it’s kind of a motivator for this memoir. I’ve been trying to get the word out about global warming, myself. That it’s serious. That it’s not just an “inconvenience” we probably should deal with sometime soon. My suspicions are, and I hate to say it, that we’re coming to the end of the line here. You know, “game over.” That kind of an “end of the line.” The Hansens’ letter more or less reinforces my worst fears, though I should be clear that the letter itself isn’t really responsible for my reaction. My expectations have never been high. Despite my congenital pessimism (and I do have that affliction, no doubt), I have always believed that anything is possible.

Actually, I haven’t always believed that. That’s not really an accurate statement, but I do insist it’s true. I’ve built my whole philosophy of life on that premise. That’s what my “two worlds hypothesis” is really suggesting. My father told me that “anything is possible,” and that “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” He said, “If you don’t have a dream, you can’t have a dream come true.” I studied “Utopia” at Stanford; so, I’ve decided to believe that anything is possible! And I’ve seen some evidence, too, I do admit! 
Whatever this turns out to be (and I’m thinking something along the lines of Eduardo Galeano, whom I did read in Spanish), I’ve started it today. Maybe it’s just a note in the bottle. Cast back up on the bank when the flood goes down. You know, if it keeps on raining, the levee’s going to break!

Four years later, I am still right there!

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1 comment:

  1. Writing a book is an interesting experience. It can be the most all-absorbing experience one has ever had. It takes perseverance, courage, blind faith, solitude and above all an overriding vision.

    Writing the book is only the first step, unless one is willing to file it away as a letter to one's ancestors. Editing, formatting, proofing, printing, publishing and marketing are all endeavors that require as much creativity and perseverance as writing.

    Writing a book can be a life changing experience!


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