18 February 2013 I read a newspaper article recently by an essayist, who wondered why he wrote in such an underappreciated genre. My mind pictured a cobwebbed garret, an unshaved, slightly addled soul with apologetic eyes turning out essays that no one would read. I was relieved to find he did have a wife, a daughter, a St. Bernard, 2000 feet of living space and a nice job. Of course, here am I…indulger in unitary pastimes…poetry and photography…the lone individual, reporting on the movement of ocean currents, but never floating on them (not really true, I have gotten wet). We eventually get to know ourselves…me, the disappearing poet and photographer. I’ve had friends who gather attention around themselves, not for egocentric reasons, but that’s just how they’re constructed. Some of us get out on a dance floor, unconcerned about how we look. Others never get out there, afraid we won’t look as good as Baryshnikov. Me? I was in the latter group, but getting better. I realize I’m at least as good as many of the folks out there, so why not have fun. On the other hand, I’m comfortable, too, looking endlessly, tunnel-visioned, through a camera lens or dancing on the point of a pen. I can’t help it.
Talking about essayists, I have a recommendation. A friend (former college roommate and history professor) has a new blog site, turning out wonderful insights and commentaries on the passing scene. Visit him, Richard Skolnik, at: www.catchmydrift.net. You’ll thank me.