This Life I share
What is a writer other than someone who writes?
I do indeed write, but that is not why I have chosen this title over other regular activities such as playing the violin and biking.
Writing, be it poetry or prose, may not be what I do for a living, but more than anything else it defines how I live. It is the fruit of my ongoing interaction between dreams, experience, observation, and insight. What results often demands to be shared, not because I think it will be popular, but because I recognize its distinctiveness.
But is it important? Only as important as my life itself. Writing is not some distraction from the thick of life, but my way of being fully present in it. I am a poetic writer when I am present in the wonder and mystery of life, when I intuitively understand what it means to greet another with "Namaste", and when I listen to the sound of words as much as their common meaning.
Each of my works, in its own way, seeks to trigger a change in the world through you, its reader. I believe that my mission, as a non-professional writer, is to lead others toward this better world that is both possible and necessary.
Below are several more of my musings about being human, as a writer.
Just call me Human
A brief review of my website may lead you to believe I am dangerously ignorant of those principles of marketing that emphasize clarity of message for a target audience. Rest assured, I am not ignorant of them, but have consciously chosen to oppose them. Maybe I take the risk here losing the majority of all visitors and may therefore sell almost nothing.
But you are still reading, and I am still breathing.
I have designed this website so that any who feel compelled to work with me on any level (yes there are many) will have a sense of who I am. If we work together, I too would like to know who you are, and not only the role you were assigned in last season’s theatre performance (as the heroine of my novella “Royalty, Thy Name is Woman” puts it).
Thank you for accepting that I do not need to sell anything to share what I wish to share with you. Thank you also for acknowledging my existence beyond the restrictive definition of any profession. Being human sounds trite, but it turns out to be my most important title, and the only one capable of synthesizing all that is not contained in the previous ones: the entrepreneur, the consultant, and the writer. To make the title sound more auspicious (since any ol’ monkey can call himself a human) we can call it a humanist.
Humanist is what also remained when I chipped away at all the other possible descriptors, either with their specific limitations. For example:
Renaissance man. I like the idea, albeit anachronistic, but can't compare to Leonardo.
Systems thinker. Outside of any tank, I strive to understand any phenomenon (even women) from a holistic perspective. I am weary of experts.
Ecologist. Same as above, except that most ecologists do not seem to be systems thinkers, which often puts me at odds with them. I do hug trees, though.
Interculturalist. I have always been drawn to foreign cultures and am fascinated by what makes them different and why. I have lived the intercultural experience at the deepest level through deliberate emigration. My book entitled EXQUISITE is all about my affair with French culture.
Visionary. Sounds pretentious, but I do dedicate considerable time to thinking about a better future and how to manifest it. It is the entire subject of my book in progress entitled LUX by LEO.
Futurist. I did study scenario planning but have never been asked by a government or company to use that skill. In the course of my MBA, I did write a thesis called A Strategic Fit for Tomorrow’s Eco-Efficient Service Economy that would someday serve as an obscure bibliographical reference for a book called Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution. But now I join the ranks of the failed futurists, having never even remotely imagined the 2020 mass hysteria pandemic.
Father. Like the title “human”, this one I can’t escape, just as I can’t escape the feeling that I should have done things differently. I open my arms and my humanity to my two sons who have ventured into their own grand life experience.
Spouse. Requires more than one book.
Dreamer. Such a derogatory label in our world of action.
Now that I have rightly qualified as a humanist, here are some of the things I actually do:
Write books, poems, and essays. Going forward, maybe even tweets.
Play the violin. As a member of a symphony orchestra, occasionally in a quartet, for other people’s weddings (playing for my own was a bad idea). Alone, I sometimes play beneath the bridges of Paris, but most often in the bedroom wearing a yukata.
Take photos. I do enjoy photography, but am not a photographer because I have neither technique nor proper equipment. If there is any photo on this website that you really like, in spite of some technical shortcoming, I hope it is mine.
Practice Ashtanga yoga, quick swims in icy lakes, and long hikes on rough terrain. My once respectable tennis and basketball skills have been reduced to once-per-decade events for lack of a partner.
Cycle everywhere, and as fast as I can. There are other activities I reserve for slowness.
Cook up new dishes and taste new wines.
So now you understand, all I could figure out to describe myself was just simply “human.”
YOurs to Divine
There are greater poets than I,
Who can cross a shimmering bed of leaves
Without a sound.*
Greater writers are there also,
Who stories teach us who we are,
Or who we might have been.
Even though I play defly upon strings
Lesser I am to prodigés and perfectionists.
My music is drawn from a million melodies
Perhaps after death (when I decompose),
Will from me new music spring?
My philosophy-talk is good for French cafés
But is but bird talk on the shoulder of a great mind.
I add my dash of joie de vivre to daily cuisine,
But to the great chefs I take off my toque.
My strengths are infused with softness.
I am sensual beyond good sense,
romantic with no cure in sight.
I am a creator, an entrepreneur,
Chief executive of little castles in the sand.
An urbanite, a nature boy,
A basketballer, a tree-climber,
A dreamer, a mystic.
A nomad, an aristocrat.
Both Jew and Gentile,
Wandering west, returning east.
An insatiably curious mind,
but a sorry excuse for a scientist.
A pretend-to-be sportsman,
A wish-I-could-have-been dancer.
Wanting to laugh, but forgetting my jokes.
An aesthete, an epicurean,
A solitary soul and a socialite,
a this and a that,
A mess of contradictions?
Or the equilibrium of all extremes?
Am I a potency for all possibilities
(like an undifferentiated cell?)
Am I the new man for a new age,
made whole by woman?
I am all this, but what does it matter?
In the end, there is only one thing
at which I am beyond compare,
only one hour for my magnificence,
but this is yours, not mine, to divine.
*Tribute to David Whyte