Sunday, 1 May 2011

Chapter 19: Soul versus Brain and a little Sailing

I’ve included this collection of stories, however awkward and clumsy they appear now, to illustrate an important point. At the time I did not understand the significance of what was happening but I have now come to realise that in those post phobia years my mind finally began to relax and my soul was eventually heard over a usually busy brain. I intend to explore this subject further in later blogs but I want to mention it briefly now because this simple phenomenon would have far reaching ramifications on my life to come.

I have read books all my life but never as voraciously as the period when I attended secondary school. I read only fiction which served, in retrospect, as an escape from the reality of long, cold, dark winter nights. I still remember clearly the moment when reaching the final passages of a novel set on the West African diamond coast telling myself in an unusual moment of arrogance that I could write a better novel than the ones I was reading. At the time I knew nothing of the craft and if I had I would’ve spoken with considerably more modesty. Why I didn’t put pen to paper then and there I fail to explain but at the time I knew little of souls and my brain was occupied making rational life choices such as education, career and the search for a meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling life.
But in the post phobia years I actually had very little to think seriously about. The phobia dilemma was solved, I was progressing along a career path, I was able to travel regularly and I had an expanding investment portfolio. However, it was not what my soul wanted and as the noise in my brain dimmed somewhat in that post phobia period my soul was able to be heard and it told me in no uncertain terms to write.

This may seem a highly abstract concept but without any conscious input from myself the story The Peg formed in my mind and the urge to write it down became more and more intense to the point where one night I was drawn from my comfortable chair in front of the television to find pen and paper and convert the thoughts into text. It was then I discovered the enormous satisfaction and joy in seeing the written word. Once The Peg was out of my mind and moulded into shape another story, Ten Mil’, quickly evolved and I proceeded to write that down as well and so the process continued. I am still bewildered at the strength of the urge that was upon me. The stories evolving in my head wouldn’t go away and I couldn’t rest until I had them written them down and I could see them in print.

Throughout the period of self assessment and mental healing I turned to a sport which I had pursued as a kid and continued well into adult life - sailing. This activity kick started another writing discipline within me during the time of the initial stories. When searching for unique presentation perspectives for some of our crew social gatherings I struck upon the idea of pop poetry.
The next two blogs will reveal these initial attempts.

Having then also acquiring a taste for the rhyming words I went on to try my hand at something slightly more complex, and this is revealed in the third blog hence, The Sherrin in Flight.

Towards the end of this period I attempted to compose other prose apart from the Reluctant Surveyor series and one of these is presented in the fourth blog from now which is a collection of thoughts integrated into a story, A Fleeting Glimpse, which depicts the trivialisation of human life.

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