Second Class Citizens

You were born in Greeley, Colorado–your grandma Dorothy never met you until we moved to Peru, Illinois. She and grandpa Don drove for 5 hours or more from Des Moines, Iowa just to see you when you were about three-years-old. Grandma Mary came on Amtrak from Howard, South Dakota at the same time so both grandmothers could meet you and each other. Grandma Dorothy always felt like a second-class citizen when with me because I had been to college and graduate school and studied in some of the best–Grinnell College, the University of Iowa, and Colorado State. I’m afraid I never treated your grandma Dorothy very well. Though I tried, often we didn’t really understand. If I had been a proper son maybe I would have visited her more often, written her more letters, sent her more cards, all this before she died of breast cancer at age 68. As I write this I am 67, and so far, I have no sign of cancer though I smoked for 28 years, so I will probably live to be more than 68-years-old. However, I too have felt sometimes like your grandma Dorothy towards you my dearest daughter. Perhaps, I wasn’t always the best father, and like your grandma Dorothy, I have always felt like a second-class citizen. My therapist says I am nearly recovered from bipolar disorder.

In 1990, I taught at Illinois Valley Community College. I had earned my M.F.A .in creative writing by December 15, GPA of 3.9. If I had passed my comprehensive the first time, I would have graduated with distinction.  However, I had difficulty studying for any big examination at the end of my programs, and to tell you the truth, though, I went to school for 11 years earning three advanced degrees, but I hated school, didn’t like the mind bending work, not at all, not at all, what’s too say.

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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