Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Good (in more ways than one) Book ...

So ...

I haven't written anything in what seems like a very long time. It hasn't been for lack of trying. Wrote a couple of potential entries that I ended up scrapping because they came out all contrived ... like I was trying to hard to entertain my "fans" {all 2 of you!!!}.

The other day I was in a particularly dismal funk ... wanting to write and not being able to put more than three or four coherent words together. I felt sort of like the old adage about the tree falling in the forest ... if nobody hears it, does it really make a sound. "Well, VanO, what good is a blog if nobody reads it." I'm such a melancholy cat ... I'll get over it. As soon as Sister Baby interrupts my brooding with one of her jubilant pronouncements about something mundane to everybody else on the planet but her.

So, I was thinking about my books ... the ones that "perished in the flood." I had some good ones, y'all ... and I do miss them all, but one in particular. It was a King James Bible with a Masonic seal on the front. It looked like this one:

It was my fathers. Sometime shortly after he died in 1974, my mother had given the bible to my older cousin who was a member with my father of the same masonic lodge. Some years later, he happened to open the book and found this written in my father's hand on the inside cover:

"To my oldest son, Van
--Willie Joe Owens"

So he gave it back to me ... I guess I was like 12 or 13 when the book found its way back into my possession. From that time up until it got destroyed I would, from time to time, pick it up. Occasionally I would try to read the contents ... hard to do, couldn't ever get with all the "thee's" and "thou's" ... but mostly, I would just read that inscription on the inside cover. Read it and run my finger across it hoping that maybe by some kind of cosmic phenomenon I could come in contact with that man. Nothin' ever happened but I wasn't done trying. And now the old book is as gone as he is ... and that sucks. It sucks out loud.

But the thought re-energized me when it comes to writing in general and writing this here blog in particular. I'm going to keep it up ... whether I have something entertaining or funny or profound to say or not. It will be a good thing if, some disease or accident should suddenly shuffle me off this mortal coil, my kids have their own inscription ... to know a little about ol' Daddy-O

Was that depressing? Hope not ... Next time I'll say something funny ... I'll try to.


VallyP said...

Hi Van, I LOVE your blog, so pleeeeease do't give it up. The way you write is so refreshing, so honest and from the heart that it is as if you were standing in front of me.

I don't always have things to say either, but I know people enjoy reading about the way others live their lives and the things that happen around them that they find interesting or they notice. I focus on what happens here in the Netherlands because I'm kind of a stranger in a strange land and everything is interesting to me from an observer's point of view. I very rarely write about anything personal, but that's just me.

I guess I don't even write my blog for me...I definitely do it for others to read and would probably give up if no one read it, but your blog is wonderful: heartfelt, poignant and funny by turns. If you stop, I'll badger you till you start again, see!

Thanks for another great post!

VallyP said...

PS: That's so sad that you lost your father's bible! What was this about a flood? Which flood? I had the impression you were in the east. Am I wrong?

~VanO~ said...

Val ... you are TOO kind! Thanks for the words of encouragement. Part of my issue is that I've alwayes fancied myself something of a writer and I want everything to be perfect. Sometimes I try so hard and it gets so "perfect" that by the time its finished it's not even true anymore. So I'll continue -- I will. Less editing and more just writing.
About the flood ... yes, we do live in Boston but in 2005 we were living in New Orleans ... the whole Katrina thing, you know. We lost a lot of things ... but no people and we've rebounded well so no worries there. Still, every once in a while I'll start looking for something and realize that it perished in the flood ... better something than someone.

Thanks again Val ... I've been negligent in following your wonderful blog but I promise to catch up soon.

VallyP said...

Wow, well hats off for your philosophical attitude. That must have been a horrific experience! You're right though: better something than someone....

And you are an excellent writer - I mean that - and a lot of your writing's considerable charm is its spontaneity. So, I shall be here like boomerang...