Writing has opened me to a world above and beyond my five senses and I feel like an HG Wells whenever I revisit the past and recall what life was like when I was fortunate enough to stop the world for a few brief moments and write about something.
The earliest “something” must have been while I was in grade school and I remember how I wrote about wanting to be Marine when growing up. I was influenced by the hymn (“From The Halls of Montezuma“) and I saw myself fighting for some right as I stormed up the hill os Iwo Jima.
The next dream-like meandering found me serving as an actor. I’d be a Jimmy Stewart or a Gregory Peck. Someone that would appear in front of a bunch of people in a good way to influence them to do some good for themselves and others.
Both of the early writing sojourns occurred while being taught by Catholic nuns. I wanted to “serve” and that’s where my writing seemed to take me.
I didn’t write much in high school but found myself feeling ostracized and completely different from the fellows I grew up with in the old neighborhood. I felt an empathy for those around me and couldn’t understand how my friends could bad-mouth them and try to degrade them for the color of their skin, their religion or their place of origin.
I wrote a few poems about how hurt I felt and a kind of a sadness that never really got away from me.
And then there was the war and the aftermath that caused such a rage to grow in me years after the wounds took their toll on me. I didn’t know it then, but the anger made its way into my very being and I found I could relieve myself through meditation and writing about post-teaumatic stress and the debilitating effect combat inflicts years after the mortars stop falling on the troops you once lead at the age of 21.
Years later, I was able to write about joyous such things like jumping out of an airplane and comparing it to a snowflake making its way to earth. I studied journalism and found I loved to write — all types of writing to include straight news and editorials — once getting a Sigma Delta Chi award for journalism and then writing a speech for then Pennsylvania Governor Milton J Shapp.
My writing reached what I call a crescendo when I was forced to “go out on disability” from the PTSD I suffered in the war, and I started a Blog that let me open myself to so many possibilities. Writing has continued to be the life-line for me and I hope to continue it in one of my next incarnations.
You ought to try it sometime. Write your own history while you still can remember it.