Thursday, July 16, 2009

And quiet comes the Dawn. A corresponence

Star Light, Star Bright…

I was sitting on my patio, on my birthday, drinking my 2nd bourbon and enjoying the view of my backyard as darkness settled and the mosquitoes were effectively repelled by citronella candles (one placed directly between my feet – the little bloodsuckers always go for my feet and ankles). The first star of evening appeared, and that childhood bit of magic came to mind:

Star light

Star bright

I wish I may

I wish I might

Have this wish

I wish tonight

I can’t remember what I wished for as a child – and childhood seems a blurry memory with the occasional sharp photo or screen clip. But, as an adult, on my second bout of what looks like long-term unemployment, with a failed marriage 10 years behind me, and some failed relationships less than that – I know what I wish for.


Remember, in the fairy tales, where we can still see “reports” of magic in action, wishing is fraught with peril. One may wish for riches, and find oneself rich, but miserable. One may wish for love, and find that the loved one is an ass (sometimes literally, as fairy tales go). One may wish for brains, and find that they were there already. But to wish for happiness? What’s the worst that could happen?

I could become the village idiot, drooling, laughing, and…happy. Not that that’s the way I’d like it to turn out, but once it happened, well, I’d just be happy.

I’d prefer that happy meant a career that challenged and excited me, a family that was healthy and happy as well, and a group of friends that allowed me to be me – and liked me that way.

As I thought about it, and as dusk turned to night, I realized that I already had two out of three. All I need is the career. Happy birthday to me, as I enjoy two out of three, and thank you for making part of my wish come true.



"Never offend people with style when you can offend them with substance."
--Sam Brown

Dear Ginger,

I used to get in your frame of mind when living in a neat white cottage on Lake Sincoe hereabouts, retired at 32 with already enough to live on, a loving family and not a care in the world, save for not a failed marriage but a failed novel!
I had made the mistake upon successfully publishing some fragments of a work which I had somehow sutured together to make up something titled The Black Icon, and thinking I was a real novelist, I went on to do a second "book".
As is almost always the case, we have only one book in us.The first is usually quite good, but really just a fragment. of what you had hoped to write; the second book is bound to be a failure.
It was.
But good people had given me the cottage and enough to live on for a very long time. All I had to do was produce this second book.
Hah. ..."Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party."--that was about all I could do after 240 pages. Stuck. And very likely, for a long time. I was written out. I was out of gas.

But there were emoluments, or perks, as you would say today.
Like you, I would
"(sit) on my patio, on my birthday, drinking my 2nd bourbon and enjoying the view of my backyard as darkness settled ", slapping at mosquitoes --and think of Dostoevsky.

Out across my acre of field, there were lightning bugs, glow worms winking on and off, and high above the cedars, the pearly Milky Way glowing in the rural night, undimmed by city lights. Stars that jumped right out at you through the milk.. How grand would it be, I sighed, as I had my third drink, If I had been Dostoevsky.

No matter. I was happy was I not? The children were sleeping peacefully upsairs, there was someone beside me, eyes aglow, like mine through the drink and firelight..

Later that night there would be love as the the glow worms flashed on and off throgh the windows of our attic bedroom in the 2 1/2 storey classic frame farmouse

Content, no?

But this was a condition of happiness, not achievement.

I had achieved paradise not with accomplishment, but somehow by default. The reward coming before the actual project completion, the book. The question was, what was life for?... For happiness or achievement?

No matter. There had been new family and love.

So I had a fourth drink and swore I saw, in a Dali dream-- right there in my back yard-- Dostoevsky's ghost rolling in a cloud through my high cedars, emitting thunder flashes here and there. It could have been me rolling by.. For one day there would be the book, and there would be success and applause.

Well, it turned out almost like that, but all things like this take time, years and years, and now 35 years later, I still have the same glorious Dostoevsky fantasy as I look out my balcony window out of my new home, also near some woods, and swear I still see that wandering, powerful CB cloud just outside my balcony, about to flash fire. That cloud of my dreams.

Ginger, you peering up into the hemlocks, craving love and me into the heavy cumulus of a Dostoevskian fantasy.

It is amazing that through sme parallel world you and I are somehow tonight on the same frequency.

Wondering, pondering..


I like very much your musings.

I would like to reproduce them, somewhere, though all I have of late as a former small publisher is my blog.

I do not know if it will be this third thing you seek, but I do feel it very near.



the walking man said...

I wonder what it would be like to wish with the expectation that wishes do in fact come true? said...


My Significant Other used to tell me that. Think way down the road. Image it.

Donnetta Lee said...

Beautiful words, Ginger. Took me right into the feeling. Ivan, you sure are looking chipper (wink)!

ivan@c said...


Ditto for Ginger.

Re the photo. I steal pictures from blogger JR all the time. That'll teach him to be a better looking me when younger.

Mona said...

This is all so familiar story...

All I know, is that happiness comes from within & that Misery lies in the want for more ( of anything)

And human mind is such that it can always imagine more...Even the concept of Heaven can be improved upon... said...

A propos!
But I have met people who are crazy smart, and that is the way they are.

PhilipH said...

Lovely post. If you promise not to tell anybody I'll confess that when I was about five or six had some strange thoughts as I sat alone in our small back garden.

My main thought was that I would always be a child.

I honestly felt that there were grown-ups and children. Didn't ever think I'd grow in a big man, like my Dad.

In some ways I guess I'm still a six-year-old kid. Well, my missus would concur - if she ever saw this comment.

Lee Beth said...

hello. just checking out new blogs and really like yours. feel free to come check out mine. said...


I have read somewhere that a writer should be childlike, but never childish.
Myself, I throw tantrums and make scenes.
How else is one going to get anything done? :) said...

Lee Beth,


Actually, this site has been on air for six years.

I tried hitting your comment space but my browser turned all wonky. Jamming coming from your site? My site?
Will try again.

Ginger said...


Over the course of my life I've often heard people comment on my ability to find a silver lining, and once on my naivete (the most memorable occasion was a gentleman who ostensibly hired me to walk his lovely Great Dane, but who soon made it clear that what he really wanted was someone who would spank him - yeesh!)

My life experiences should have made me cynical and perhaps a bit bitter, but I haven't been able to lose that bit of the child...and at this point in my life I'm glad of it.


Charles Gramlich said...

I didn't think about wanting happiness when I was a kid because I was basically pretty happy. I dreamed of adventure. said...


Well you appear to be reasonably happy after returning From Babel Con
You report that you sat on panels on pulp fiction, dreams and nightmares, and science versus the occult.
Right up your alley as a kinda published paranormal writer, huh?

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...


Wishes do come true, although we must understand that what we wish for and the interpetation of the dream may not be exactly the same...smiles. But you knew that now didn't you?

Ivan, heck I don't know what to say except maybe you have lived a extrodinary life from what I have read and well, is it what you wanted. Or looking back could there be something that was missing?

Either way.... you are wonderful.

Soft love
T said...


(Blush) :)

JR's Thumbprints said...

The light is dim. This is my third (nope, fourth) attempt. Do you own stock in blogger? It's bad enough you're stalking me, pretending to be me, but seriously, the family pet? The bunny boiled beyond recognition? I guess I need to look at this as "the glass half full." I'll tell all everyone I've been published by Island Grove Press. I'll tell them the name of my fictional piece is "Caflish." said...


Seems your photographer is jealous of his/her copyright. At least he made Island Grove Press, a tough market to crack. Hey.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Oh, but it is I and a self-timer and Adobe Photoshop that've created this wonderful piece of art. (This is my 2nd attempt.)

ivan@creativewriting. ca said...

Oh, it's a self-portrait. Marvellous.
Ya want an ISBN number or what? You can certainly say you got a photo published by Island Grove Press. We ain't sayin nothin' about stories.
Hey so this site is now accessible on the second try! Glad Google got unstuck.

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