I Call This Compassion, and Who Knows?

I walked into this shoe store fully intending to buy $40.00 New Balance sneakers asking the salesperson to direct me to these shoes. The first shoes drawing my attention were $65 New Balance leather sneakers; would you call them cross trainers? I walked to Marjorie to ask if we could afford these with $20 arch inserts. and she responded, ” I better not hear about shoes for at least a year.” I am beholden to Marjorie for just about everything, and this was the second pair in as many days. The first had been orthotics which had included $50 innersouls and $70 Dr Comfort shoes. So, rightly so she was angry because my money went to pay an extravagant charge account. She gave me $60 dollars a week, the rest of my Social Security going toward bills, but this time I took advantage knowing that we probably had the money in the bank. Coming home I was able to wangle a second pair of shoes making the total come to about $220, and even though I knew this was too much, I reasoned that if she bought herself a pair of cheaper shoes, everything would be alright. She didn’t bite because I was pushy, and she found nothing in her size she liked.

At 4:30 a.m. the next morning I read the story of Jesus washing the feet of the Disciples, and I cried because of the jerk I had been the next day vowing to never judge my wife again. As she woke to check on me, I cried out my sincere apology and said I should go back to bed. I read a story of a woman who advised the milder sentence perpetrated upon her as a horrific crime. The young man wept into this understanding woman’s arms, and I cried all the harder. How could I have failed as a Christian, and I vowed to never judge my precious Marjorie again. But, only God can know if I will, or if I have truly changed for the better.

Charles Taylor C 2018

Published by elgwyn

I was a University and college writing teacher, now retired, so I write poetry, and essays, mostly free verse poetry. I love writing. Computers, tablets, and smart phones are the norm. When one sees university campuses with students looking at phones while walking to class, one realizes writing can be blogging. I am an ordinary man writing for artistic pleasure writing, and simple taste-- blogs are an answer to high priced self-publishing. Walt Whitman had to print his paper books himself, because in 1855, and 1860 poetry did not sell. It does not sell now unless you have a Pulitzer Prize and even then the poet usually makes a living in other ways than writing. In all ages there have been writers writing out of their own needs, and blogs are an answer to get rid of high cost of self creativity. I am an older man with fewer computer skills than my daughter who has been at computers since she was three, so here I can satisfy my need to write without spending too much on self-published books. All three blogs let me reach an audience missed by books and stand a better chance to reach a wider audience. My two books, Winter from Spring, Meditations on Gratitude, as Kindle books and paperbacks did not reach as many people as I wanted, and blogs can let me avoid the printer. Layout and design is expensive. For me writing is more like the charcoal jottings of preexisting civilization made only for posterity. Blogs face two problems as I see it. They might be submerged into a chaos of too much writing, and they depend on electronic storage. Yet, how's that different from electronic books which must have specialized publication? Paper disintegrates, blogs can be physically stored and organized for posterity in data banks. All organization becomes chaos at some point, but charcoal images on cave walls still exist after the author scribbled eons ago. So what if I reach only a few interested people, but hopefully, readers will reach out to me. Writing is essential for showing the ways of culture before history knows those ways. To record each individual is essential especial for billions of people who need to know enough reading beyond pictures to save a planet. Writing without profit isn't new to me. I'm not seeking to impress the audience. Poetry in general never sells, and personal confessional, and emotional writing exists sometimes like journal writings only for the author. At least here is my hope for wider audiences. My writing is personal and informal, but my writing expresses some serious ideas like the writing of contemporary writers to rise above chaos in my own simple way, above self-absorption, a meditation, the simple writing of an ordinary man. I hope to find my own way out of my own chaos and make my record stand alone if even in electrons. Though I hope never to express nightmare in my poetry, fiction, or essays, some serious considerations are important to me after centuries of mechanized nightmare. The next decade is probably of the same failure in our world. This decade looks to be another time of diminished individuals and the next as well. We all wish peace and hope will become normal. It looks like if hope reaches each individual, not governments there is satisfaction in making means of writing available to many. My hope is for each human being to give their own expression out of the abyss. If humankind is to survive in any common way, we must each be able to express maturity and take responsibility in something beyond self. Electronic media offers people these possibilities so long as computers can store individual lives. Here people can freely see what I write and what others write. Though I hold an MFA in creative writing my simple vision never found a wide audience. I was disappointed about this earlier in my life, but now it's just what one expects of such degrees. I found happiness in family and especially in love of my wife and daughter. Writing can be more than a pastime now that I'm older. I approach seven decades living with some disappointing times, and some satisfying times. I'm like most people, and I've been married more than 37 years, and we sent a successful daughter into the world. We happily live in a country where even the poorest have food. Often as a young man when I traveled for nearly one year through Europe, where does a culture begin to feed and house so many people, and how do all these people live in harmony since World War II? Maybe it's been a question of survival. Writers can hold a little corner with blogging, blogging for harmony and peace. This is my hope. This is my question.

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