Hands are important to me and not for the obvious reasons about all they allow us to do.
They are my connection to the past, the present and the future.
Look at my father’s hands and then look at mine and unless you can see our faces or bodies you won’t know to whom they belong.
Look at my son’s and you’ll see he has them too. I noticed it the day he was born and have used the size of his hands as a silent measurement of his physical growth.
All three of us have the same feet too, except the youngest currently owns a pair that almost look too big for his body. When he tells me he is shorter than most of his friends I point to his feet and tell him he is going to grow into those and that the time is coming when he’ll look me in the eye standing up.
Why Should You Be A Writer?
Every time someone asks me why I am a writer I ask them what I should be. Sometimes they tell me I should have become an attorney or a doctor.
Sometimes they tell me I should have done something with programming. “You like technology Josh, you could still become a software engineer.”
I nod my head and smile. I could have done all of those things and if I choose to make a change I can do them all now.
Every single one of those options is open to me. They are not out of reach. I am not too old nor am I incapable of doing the work it would take to get the education and experience that leads to a career in any one of those fields.
But that is not who I have chosen to be. While I would never say it is impossible for me to follow any of those paths for the moment it is unlikely.
I am a writer because I like arranging words and because this is as natural as breathing to me. Much of it is effortless, I don’t think about what I am doing, I just do it.
But that doesn’t preclude the need for practice or prevent me from understanding that I can do more with what I have by taking steps to push myself.
My parents say I have always had an active imagination and been a storyteller and that fits with my own memories because I don’t recall a time when I didn’t.
There is an art to it all. There was a time when I thought that was hokey and kind of ridiculous but not any more. Now when I write I want people to feel something.
This is why you have to pick at the scabs and poke the scars of your own life and sometimes others.
You have to find things that people relate to, things that move them. You need to paint a picture in their mind and then let their imagination and their memories of their experiences fill in the gaps.
If I knew how to do it with a brush I’d paint a picture. If I knew how to write music that would move you then that is what I would do.
Sometimes I wonder if I could learn how to use a camera to take pictures and videos that would do so too.
There Will Never Be Enough Time
There will never be enough time for me to do what I want to do. If I got the good genes and nothing too crazy happens you’ll be stuck with me for another 50 or 60 years, maybe even another 90.
But that is not enough time for me to chase after all of the butterflies, live in all the places and do all of the different things I want to do.
Some of you have accused me of being too firmly focused in the now and others say I spend too much time in the when but you misunderstand how loudly I hear the ticking of the clock and how often I feel like I racing the sun.
I don’t need your approval nor do I ask for it. You don’t have to believe as I do or see as I see. You do you and I’ll do me.
It is how it has always been and how it always shall be.
Technology may advance or it may regress but people are who we have always been and we are who we choose to be.
I choose to be the storyteller. I choose to be the guy who tries to use words to make you feel something. Maybe you’ll laugh, maybe you’ll cry or maybe I’ll make you really, really angry but that is ok with me.
A writer who can’t make people feel something isn’t a very good writer.
And in the world I live in a writer who hasn’t lived and loved a little can’t match up against the one who has. That doesn’t have to apply to your world.
You don’t need to please, entertain or amuse everyone nor should you try. But if you don’t manage to touch someone than that might be a sign it is time to mix things up a little.