I’ve long been infatuated with Jim Harrison novellas. So much so that my oldest son’s middle name is Harrison. You see, I do that… discover greatness in another and attempt to latch myself to it in one form or another. I’m not attempting to usurp the magnetism of a special individual so much as I am trying to pick-up a bit of the magic to drive my own motivations for even one more day.
In one of my favorite stories, a narrative titled, “I Forgot to Go to Spain”, Harrison envisioned a writer struggling with a past of idealism placed in the context of his present situation as a certifiable sell-out to the marketability of his craft. In essence, he writes bios (portraits) as opposed to poetry. There is more money in the bio-writing market, however he definitely questions the reality of placing a price on the soul.
As an artist, I find it amazing that religion believes it can lay claim to something as personal and individual as the human soul. The secrets of the creative process stir my loins unlike anything I have encountered in life or religion. The firing-off of ideas like sparks that send messages to the extensions of my body before my brain – feeds my arrogance as an author and creator of my overwhelming narrative maps and figures. I don’t want to share that spirit that drives my hurried paint-filled brush, you can have the finished product… but the moment within the act of conception that is mine and I refuse to play well with others. There is a reason that Plato believed that those that desire to lead are the least qualified… the thirst for power is invigorating and often blinding. I feel god-like when in the midst of a perfect creation, how else should I feel?
The essence of man is much easier to grasp than blind faith, yet infallibly it is far beyond the scope of organized group activities. As a father preparing his children for the mad mixture of life’s beauty and strife – I realize that the problem with the world is not a lack of intelligent inhabitants, but rather a shortage of citizenry prepared to embrace the ominous reality of private ownership over their thoughts, dreams and lives. Considering the fact that we were born alone and will inevitably die alone, the looming menace of stepping forward to own both the depths and the skin of our individual lives… should be nothing short of natural for a species that has the capacity to deliver genius as regularly as the phases of the moon. – North