“There will always be people who say it does not exist because they cannot have it. But I tell you it is true and that you have it and that you are lucky even if you die tomorrow. “There’s no one thing that’s true. It’s all true.”.
My best writing is done in my head, there are no witnesses only the sound of my fingers pecking at my keyboard, perhaps it should stay that way. Its late, not for me but its late. I poke my head out the companionway for a smoke and a cold chill blows across my face, I pull the hatch door to block the cool breeze and stare at the island behind me. There are several boats anchored out but I can see the high tide mark like a black line painted across the land. The water is low maybe 10 feet down, its quiet out there but in my head a loud voice roars. There is a story in here, one that will be forgotten by morning but right now it feels important. I want to tell it but I’m my only witness so I listen to the key strokes that tell me what I already know. I think about about Hemmingway. I’m not alone, I’m the just the lone witness…
I’m drowning and nobody can help me. Eyes and ears bare witness but they have no arms to pull me out of they gyre. Lead feet, tired arms, I want to give in but my mind is there still there, why?
Perhaps I’m just high on red wine but I think about alternate universes and the path I chose vers that path that could have been. Did I know more then than I do now or is it something else? Have I blindly followed my instinct for so many years not knowing where I’m going but just following a feeling? I look down at my old fat and wrinkled fingers stroking the keys, I don’t recognize them but they know my story better than I do so I listen to them hanging on to every word. I want to see where they go, where I go, I want to know my story.
I’ve never really looked at my hands before, they are old, rough and weathered. Covered with scars they are working mans hands, I’ve never been a working man but I listen… they are my story, my history my…
Do I look old? I don’t feel that way but surely these aren’t my hands, my fingers, my scars… Have I become my father? or my fathers father? I wonder who I am. I dare not look in the mirror, I haven’t in twenty or thirty years. Who might I see? Who is that stranger staring at me? I blow out the candles and continue through the dark. There are three distinct voices now, me, myself and I. I know them all intimately but they are also strangers, or am I the stranger?
To write well one needs more than than the ability to write well. The story is everything, never ending yet always beginning. You don’t need to understand my story but its evolving as am I because man cannot live on bread alone.
“There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that? There is only now, and if now is only two days, then two days is your life and everything in it will be in proportion. This is how you live a life in two days. And if you stop complaining and asking for what you never will get, you will have a good life. A good life is not measured by any biblical span.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls