Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the great island of Nantucket! Good to be with you on this Tuesday morning, after a soaking rain storm overnight, the seventeenth day of August, 2010. After taking some time off, a few days, touring Martha’s Vineyard and visiting the dunes of Race Point, climbing the tallest granite structure in all of New England, the Pilgrim Monument, and enjoying some long walks along beaches like the one you see above you, I began my annual writer’s conference yesterday at the Craigville Beach Conference Center. Every year, this being the 48th year since it’s inception in 1963, the “Cape Cod Writer’s Center”, puts on a world class gathering of writers (most published) from all disciplines, to partake in workshops, attend lectures and socialize with “their own kind”, you know, the “professional left”. Well, truth be told, most of these great writers could care less about politics and therefore, I have no idea, nor do I really care, what side of history they are on. What I do care about is their craft and their dedication to improving it–so as to communicate with their brothers and sisters, doing what authors do, bringing readers and writers together in a symphony of Knowledge so that neither one of them feels so alone in this crazy, upside down world we seem to all be sharing at this present moment. Why, you might ask have books become so important in this day and age? For the reason that I just stated. To feel as if they are NOT ALONE– (and they are not). The writer has the privilege of conveying his or her message, via the befuddled form of communication that words often are, to an audience that is invisible to their eyes and ears. But, with blind faith and a desire to reach down, deep down inside, and pull out whatever it is that needs to get out, the writer is somehow able to reach those people who, sometimes, need those words as much as they need air. I know, I have been there. I have been in those deep dark caves where no light seemed to get through, where nothing, NOTHING, made sense. And, yet, when I read someone like Eckhart Tolle, or C.S. Lewis, or Oscar Wilde, I somehow feel alive and full of hope again, laughing out loud at the verbs and nouns thrown together with such majesty that I found myself laughing out loud, deep guttural laughing out loud at myself. Not so much at my own expense, although that is sometimes a good side effect, but more at what I was fearing, what was stealing my Joy, my Peace, my Love. After a class in the afternoon called, “What’s so funny?”, I attended a lecture put on by none other than the great television and radio personality Jordan Rich, who reviews books on WBZ here in Boston. His demeanor and gentle kindness, as he addressed a large, for Cape Cod standards, audience at the historical landmark Tabernacle, part of the historic campus that is normally an exclusive summer village atop “Green Mountain”, with classes held in “the Manor”, “the Lodge” and “the Inn”. As I listened to his words of encouragement and hope, inspired by the fact that he, too, is truly interested in his fellow man, a very rare trait these days, I began to relax more and more, feeling less isolated and unsure of myself, slowing down my “thinking” and just allowing my true essence flow through. He spoke of all of the authors he has interviewed on his nightly radio show (WBZ radio-Boston), playing all night long here on the sand bar that never sleeps, and spoke to their dedication to an art form that seems to be picking UP speed rather than alternative. I rarely speak of my upcoming book, “Taking Fog to Nantucket”, for it is heavy on so many topics and levels, PTSD being one of them, perhaps the most prolific, but I feel as though I should say this about that work and why I feel it is so paramount in this day and age. Fear is a hell of a thing to live with, especially when it is in the form of an invisible disease, keeping one in a prison of sorts, paralyzed by an unknown anxiety/panic that one cannot seem to put a handle on, thus, making it doubly worse for the victim of it–for on the outside, you look just fine, or, as I said to Mr. Rich, as I had the opportunity to meet and speak with him, which was my great honor, “you become a great actor”. However, on the flip side of that, you feel as if you are living a lie, in a way, for you don’t really feel “fine”, and don’t wish to tell that to anyone for a) no one would understand b) no one cares c) “get over yourself” attitude creeps in, making you feel even worse about yourself than you did before, reinforcing that “stigma” that prevented you from getting help to begin with… Matching one’s insides with one’s outside is the clear goal of any treatment to this dis-ease and thus, the first thing that must go is that stigma that so many face when they even consider getting any outside help. This is especially true with soldiers who have seen so much horror, and, as they return back to the states, are usually left with nothing in the way of CONNECTION with other human beings, for those human beings, although they may love and care for them, such as their family and friends, they just don’t, and can’t, understand the depths to which their loved one may have sunk, moreover, are powerless to help them, creating an even greater divide, that may have been a reality even before the trauma took place. So, many turn to drugs and alcohol, which works in the short term, but leaves one worse off after the drug (s) have worn off. This is why books, any book, are so important in this, again, my deepest apologies for the tired old cliche, “day and age”…to feel less alone, to feel worthy and loved as a human being, designed by creative intelligence, to feel that sense of belonging that we ALL need, no matter how tough you “think” you are, and most importantly to become self actualized yourself– so that you to can be of maximum service to your fellow human beings who share this little blue rock I call earth. Thank you Mr. Jordan Rich, for making the trek down here to Craigville Beach and Cape Cod in general, bringing some LIGHT back into a darkened world. We are here, on this planet, for a short amount of “time”, and the only “sin” I can think of is to not use that time wisely, to not reach your own potential, whatever that may be, and “gather those rose buds while ye may”… “We each have a verse to contribute to this earthly plane, what will yours be?” GOD’S SPEED to the GULF, all of the people of the Bayou, SEA TURTLES, DOLPHINS, WHALES, BROWN PELICANS, SEA BASS and marsh lands therein…may JUSTICE be served. Have a wonderful day folks! Peace~M
August 17, 2010
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