Writer–not “Righter”–November 15, 2011

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She was so angry with me. Having purchased my book, Living a Legendary Life, she became incensed with Chapter 1, where I assert that it really doesn’t matter what we call God. We can even call him Larry as long as our deity teaches us to love people. She felt the concept I was putting forth was theologically incorrect and contained a bit of heresy.

I looked at her, bewildered–because I am not a theologian. I don’t even play one on television. Without being too critical, I don’t usually like to find myself in the company of such creatures. I am a writer–not a “righter.” It is my job to shed light upon subjects, and get people to think and feel again, instead of merely reacting within their denomination, political party or social structure’s platform of believing. Cleverness is my greatest tool, not necessarily accuracy. I am an observer of human behavior, not an explainer or controller.

It is my job as a writer, when things are not going well, to remind us of our better selves, and if necessary, chide us into believing that being human is a blessing rather than a curse.

I chose to be a writer because I never found that people who are trying to “right” all the wrongs in the world necessarily begin with a good agenda that would actually set the direction in a forward motion. It’s hard to be “right.” Not quite so difficult to write. Maybe that’s why I chose to be a writer instead of a “righter.”

Possessing a bit of laziness and unwillingness to attach a bibliography to everything I say, I have chosen a path where I can be erred and still be entertaining and enlightening. Do I occasionally discover things that are right as I write? Only God and time will prove that to be true. But as a writer, it is my job to explore all four of the human cavities of experience–the heart, the soul, the mind and the strength.

I am supposed to get people to feel again. Also, can I construct a sentence that might cause folks to consider the existence, or even the purpose, of God? Sitting behind my desk, might there be a concept that I conjure from my imagination that will cause human beings to think beyond their culture and apprehensions? And, as one of those writers, I am not afraid of the human body, sexuality and the expression of our physicality to one another. I examine the language, the tendencies, the trends and add my own little spice of humor and wit, such as it is, to make things a bit brighter.

I am not suggesting to this woman that she call God Larry. Actually, Frank would be just fine. Seriously, I would just like her and everyone else who has become intransigent in their pursuit of eternal righteousness, to consider for one moment what is really important, and if it is important, why it might be the first thing that pops to God’s mind when He meets us. I am not bound by conventional wisdom, nor am I limited to conventional morality. Yes, I can even explore the more unseemly portions of mankind’s behavior.

I have always feared those who believe they’re right. It’s just because I know how inadequate my own efforts can be and I have not yet found anyone else who supersedes my potential by enough of a margin to make me think that they have discovered the one true path to God.

So I write.

In the process, maybe occasionally I come up with something “right,” but I will guarantee you that I say enough wrong that you must not trust every word that comes from my pen and think it is an oracle of the divine.  Shoot, often it’s not even my own best work.

It will not be our prophets that will bring our country to a state of repentance. Politicians would never have enough organization to change the world through laws. Corporations are bogged down with their own profit margin and therefore don’t always seek the best for the consumer. And in my mind’s eye, religion spends too much time trying to please a God who already seems pleased.

It is our writers who will shed light on the dark corners of human selection and make us wonder if we can actually do better. If I really believed that God was angry about being called Larry, I would suggest that He take a course in sensitivity and turn His ego down a notch or two.  After all, I have taken my share of criticism and scrutiny, and have been able to survive it and grow through it. I think God, who certainly made some interesting creations that would be well worth questioning, is perfectly able to handle any mere writer’s imaginary journey.

If you gave me a choice of Allah (who supposedly is very angry at anyone who is not a Muslim) and Jehovah (who kills Amorites because they still have a foreskin) and the thousand gods of the Hindus (who certainly tend to collide with one another) or even the God of the New Testament (who often is perplexed about whether to be more like Jesus or Paul), I think I might prefer a God named Larry, who just really would like to see people get along and be happy. Because after all, you couldn’t have a name like Larry and take yourself too seriously.

So just to make it clear to you and all future critics, I am a writer, not a “righter.” I will leave such decisions of truth and accuracy in the hands of the angels. My hands are flesh and blood–and simply write of such matters.

***************

Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

 

Jonathan sings “Let”

 

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

 

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Our Sunday School class at Methodist Church in Coldspring is readinga book called, The Shack, which is enlightening, faith and perception stretching. Larry is a good name, one of the most compelling individual I ever met was a Larry. He was a “bull dog” of a boss and made a number of people angry in our department, some complaining loudly. As things turned out, Larry developed cancer of the worst kind (stage 4 liver and colon cancer). During that period of of both disiease awarenes and spiritual awakening Larry transformed into “Cool Guy” and helpful and gentle to everyone he was with, as he not only fought the disease with his “bull dogedness” and took an experimental oral chemo from Japan that had almost no side effects. During the chemo therapy Larry even travelled to France for a long overdue vacation durng his chemo. I hope to re-connect wtih Larry and you can be sure I’ll let him know about Jonathots and a God called “Larry.” All of us can change and make a difference in people’s lives just as Larry did. Reading this makes me realize (yes, you learnas you write because writiing is thinking) that I do need to re-connect wthi Larry as I know those who could profit from his experince with cancer.

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