Sunday, May 17, 2009

Better drive a Merk than take one




"There is nothing worse than an idle hour, with no occupation offering. People who have many such hours are simply animals waiting docilely for death. We all come to that state soon or late. It is the curse of senility."
--H. L. Mencken

It was late in life that even the great H. L. Mencken, sage of Baltimore, himself became senile, his association centres gone (ein gutes beer?) and his cigar put out forever.
I am not Mencken (but would I not love to have been!) and sadly that is the way it seems to go in my senior apartment complex.
People seemed to have worked all their lives, housewives, factory hands, nurses, sales ladies--and then the wham. Senility. Yes, yes, alzheimers and all that, but it seems the majority of seniors have spent their lives in an almost robotic dream state, work, sleep, eat excrete, absentmindedly fornicate, raise children, turn senile and die, never having given themselves a second thought.
Perhaps just as well, as those of us who had been too sentient end up with something like ADD, or some other euphemism for stupid kid.
Second childhood. for some. Heh. Some call it creative writing.
But writing is thinking. Holds the alzhemer's down, like smoking snogging, and drinking, but the doctors don't want to tell you that. Make them into drug-addled basket cases, there is health for you.
The Garden of Eden foiled. The pill before the grape. The caduceus in the garden, the snake long ago slithered off in disgust.
In the year of our lord (AMA), those of us too weak to work and too strong to die have this last recourse: Create, think. Write or die.
And make no sawbones about it.
A successful writer is worth any number of M.D.'s.
They try to kill us with bad doctoring, but they know it is still we who write their obits.
Better drive a Merk than take one.

##

23 comments:

JR's Thumbprints said...

Man is this depressing. I better keep busy so I won't think about it. Then again, I feel like a gerbil on a wheel going round and round.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Sorry I depressed you, pal.
Writing itself is an affirmation-- and you do.
Better a busy gerbil than a crazy one. Believe, me, I know.

Charles Gramlich said...

I certainly don't have many idle hours. Or moments. I agree with your assessement about the medical system working to keep us just a little bit sick.

ivan@c reativewriting.ca said...

Charles,

You're back.

Or writing from the cruiseship?

Good to see you in any event, pal.

the walking man said...

As long as I can remember how to arrange the alphabet into words and words into sentences I won't worry about what demented places the thoughts take me...as long as it is away from doctors.

Mona said...

Ivan? Killing yourself by 'Degrees'?

I guess I have mental dystrophy at the moment...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mona,

Well, I am not Jupiter and you are not Semele, but he could certainly drive a princess blind. She didn't think he could.(Re Painting.19th century French painter Gustave Moreau).

ivan@creativeriting.ca said...

Mark,
What I worry about is not words. It's the lyrics...What if the process itself is lost?
To put it in plain english, what if, in my dotage, I get a mental block that will not clear.

Midnight said...

Well, Ivan, in case of a mental block, Bushido demands Seppuku.

Writers though, are allowed a drink, to clear their mind, and center their spirit.

Banzai !

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Uh, perhaps a food column.

Recommended by Drunken Heinz?

Midnight said...

Perfect. I've got just the title :


'Food is Good.'

By Ivan.


'The Astro-Intestinal Journey,

of a Connoisseur.'

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Some think that's how philosophy was born.

Midnight said...

Me too.

Midnight said...

Philosophy :

Think first, then dream.


With any luck,

She'll make you cream.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

WTF

Donnetta Lee said...

Regarding-we write their obits--Reminds me of how I have felt about speech therapy through the years. So and so may be richer/prettier/happier/etc than I am--but, if he has a stroke, he'll be coming to me happily.

Ah well. 3 days left. And then what? Think-then dream (Midnight)? Or think then do? D

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Uh,

Eric Clapton...(J.J. Cale?): After Midnight we're going to let it all hang down?)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Donnetta,

Been retired for some time, but can't stop worki'.
Of course, there are bill collectors. Can't stop running~
Heh. Gotta stay in shape.
You did it right, babe.
Stuck 'er through to the end.
...I did not stick it through in teaching. Had to be the great writer. Heh.
Had a penchant. Lost the pension.
Jury still out on that one.
Congats on being in the winner's circle now. Enjoy the things you worked for.

the walking man said...

Never complain never explain old man. You've outlived the man who made those words famous Henry Ford the second and just like Frank Sinatra you are doing it your way.

Piss on the regrets because they are useless inhibitions for the present desire to make your self over again.

ivan@creaiveriting.ca said...

Something of a karma mechanic, Mark.

Thanks.

Midnight said...

Speakin' of karma ... that'll teach me for stayin' up drinkin' all nite ; crashing around seven and being paged for work at 11am.

But luckily, the Gods of Recreation, have smiled upon me, once again.

Lou said...

I hear people say "I can't wait to retire," and I say what will you do..they reply "sit in a chair on a beach in Florida" and I say "huh?"

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Well, Donnetta has been a real trooper.
She was ill much of the time she was administering to the kids.
Maybe now she needs a good, long rest.
Recover her energies in Florida.
And then, who knows? A novella?
Betcha it'll be dark! Heh.