I asked Inspired Mic presenters to send me a little something about themselves and what they write. I gave them free reign to pick and choose material about themselves that would be informative and promotional. As The Inspired Mic grows, potential audience participants would like to know something about those who steel their nerves and get up in front of a live audience to present their creativity. In the days leading up to the November 18th event, each of the November readers who send me their info will be In the Spotlight:
Is it more difficult for a poet sort than other kinds of writers to produce a Spotlight such as this? This poet mind thinks it is.
I’m an American born and raised in post-war France whose native language is French, whose life in most respects was French. When I was 11 my father wisely realized his two sons were incapable of communicating in English. So, off to the American School of Paris for two years where, for the first time, I really experienced being a stranger in a strange land. After those two, long years, back to a French school, home again! Not for long. My father became very sick that year and he thought it best to uproot, to bring all of us to the US. He died within a month of our arrival. It wasn’t until much later that I came to terms with the magnitude of losing father and almost everything familiar at the same time.
High school and college (by no means uneventful years) somehow prepared me for gainful employment. I settled into a career as an examiner of labor-management conflicts and was trained to elicit facts (stories) from individuals and to reduce them to legal writing. Coincidentally, in those early years of my new life, I became interested in the spirituality of Jesuits and Trappists. There I met a stranger: monastic silence. It was an odd, unsettling experience at first but it didn’t take long for me to take to it as a fish does to water. Today it’s as necessary for me as breathing. Back then it improved my investigative ear and nurtured my solitary writing. We grew close.
When I retired in 2008 I had little choice: the writing habit was established and I could not be my full self without solitary writing. And, bonus, the subject matter could change. Now I was free to pursue leads left behind by other voices like Pascal’s message that The heart has its reasons which reason cannot know. Suddenly I was free to evoke music, moods, colors, bring the past into the present tense, mine hidden treasures, read a lot. Express what’s hard to say. Speak with a poet’s face.
It’s a call, sometimes arriving in a flash, sometimes appearing after considerable and familiar under-the-radar mulling. Full disclosure: I have an idea or two for more prosaic projects. I hope tempus doesn’t fugit too quickly.
For the time being I’m satisfied sharing my writings in impromptu one-on-ones, one-on-fews, or in settings like the Inspired Mic. Publishing them has crossed my snail’s mind and some persons have nudged me to do just that. Perhaps I will.