Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Drinking Jet Fuel with the Boys

In recent weeks and months I've had a wonderful correspondence conversation with someone on the far shore of the USA, from my perspective, who knows more about the things that make up a life, the good and the bad, than I shall ever be able to approximate.

In this modern world, we are Facebook Friends and while we both exist in the flesh and blood on our respective coasts, we are ghosts of ether and wire to one another as are millions and billions of others where relationships are defined by mouseclicks, lol's and idk's.

You would not be surprised I know to learn I have few flesh and blood friends and not many more as facebook friends, so her invitation was a challenge and a riddle. It remains so as I've benefited from our acquaintance far more than she.

And to close the ledger on friends and their number, I have little doubt I'll have fewer still in the hereafter though I have the sinking suspicion none of us will need to dress warmly for where we're going.

She will be a very famous writer someday, sooner rather than later, because she is already an amazingly brilliant writer now, wielding words like too many use weapons, seeking not to hurt but to heal some of which vexes her and so many others around her.

"We win at making better mistakes" is a sentence from the short story whose link I shared that, to me, reads as an admission, an accusation and perhaps a defiant celebration. I don't know what to say or do when I read it, and that may be her intent or her fear.

But is not of she I sing, at least not today (and no, I'm not actually singing) but rather of  someone, Tony Hoagland, whose work (actually a poem of his, Jet) she shared with me a few days ago and to which I return on a regular basis, drawn if not intoxicated by its command of language both thrilling me as a reader and chilling me as a scribe who sits here and types this, striving to be someone Hoagland has long ago become.

I've decided some things don't need to be understood, they just are and if I appreciate them for that, I can gain a moment of clarity and perhaps a respite from a world of noise and whirled noise pretending to be so many other things they can never achieve.


-bill kenny

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