People can’t change
my father always insisted.
Fundamentally, he said,
without a shred of doubt,
people cannot change themselves.
Fifty years later
as he was dying
his born-angry baby
standing quietly by his deathbed
with no apparent anger
made him think
Fuck, he thought,
looks like I may have been
wrong about that
I wish I hadn’t been so
about it all my life.
Then he died.
I have incorporated several notes I got from two discerning readers in the rewriting of the 3,000 word abstract of my long manuscript about the life and times of my father. Each note contained a bit of painful truth, and mingled with my own dissatisfaction with the shorter piece. Kept me up last night, forcing me out of bed to write the first few paragraphs which now begin the rewrite.
Here is the near 4,000 word version, which I believe is somewhat improved.
Substantially rewritten, the thing I sent you the other day. I was excited at having cleared the mental deck to start writing it, and in my mild euphoria, sent it a day too soon. There were a lot of sloppy, shit lines in there begging for the axe, or the doctor. I obliged the malformed little fuckers, saving the ones I could.
Working on part two now, just thought I’d take a minute to e-check in. Hope your work is going well and you’re whistling while you do it.
Writing easily, and steady progress, only come, I think, by writing steadily, every day.
Don’t take a day off when you don’t write, edit and improve at least a couple of lines. Even if it’s just a text.
In my college gym class there was a sign in the apparatus room where the gymnasts worked out. It said: practice good hand stands everywhere.
gradient by Crayola (markers, two sets)
Crude calligraphy aside, we hold these two to be self-evident.
The first means “the law does not concern itself with trifles”, a self-evident yet supremely aggravating truth to everyone fucked without a remedy at law.
The second means “first do no harm” and it is one we should all try to live by, is it not?