Speaking is as distinct from talking as listening is from hearing.
beyond sculpture, beyond acting, beyond playing music (in any of its
forms), beyond stand up comedy, generating true conversation (authentic
speaking received by authentic listening) is possibly the purest
Writing is a form of speaking for which reading is the counterpart of
listening. I write for you. I experience it as a very personal gift
that you read me. I do not write to voice opinions. I
the importance of opinions in conversation. All opinions. Yours. Mine.
My intention in writing is not to expound my opinions of things. Nor is
it to impart something new for you to know. Interimly my intention is
for my writing to dance with your reading so that you have an
experience of who I really am.
But that's not all. Since I am clear that who I really am is the same
Self that we all really are, ultimately my intention is for my writing
to dance with your reading so that you have an experience of who you
really are. By
By osmosis. Not by getting any new meaning nor by understanding
something you did not understand before: there is no new material here.
There's nothing to get
and you already got it.
I have always been enamored of the masters of the written word, almost
as much as I have always been enamored of the masters of conversation
(notice I did not say I am enamored of talkers nor did I say I am
enamored of commentators). Just as I eventually had to train myself to
distinguish merely talking about something from speaking new
possibilities into being, so had I to train myself to distinguish
writing which merely describes something from writing which evokes a
never before experienced experience by the simple innocent act of it
Henry Miller caused me to sit up and take notice whenever I read him
(or, for that matter, whenever I read about him). Even if I did not
totally "get" him, something certainly happened whenever I read him. If
I had to describe what it was, I would say that my mind followed the
arcs his words traced, and traveled along the same paths and through
the same streams of consciousness that his went through as he wrote
them. Consequently, he became my tour guide through the world of his
own imagination, forthrightness, and provocative depravity.
He was brilliant at what he did. A pioneer. A breakthrough artist.
Reading what he wrote was always somewhat of a wild and wonderful ride
for me. I could even say that it was a liberating ride inasmuch as
Henry Miller could never be deemed to be shy or covert in his explicit
commentaries. Reading him (not so much what he wrote but rather his
unabashed gleeful willingness to write whatever he wrote)
showed me decisively where I was prudishly shut down.
What I learned from him was that I did not want to emulate his style of
writing, brilliant as it was. Nor did I want to emulate the responses
he evoked, eye-poppingly raw as they were. What I did want to emulate
was the deployment of writing (and, by implication, of reading) as one
degree of separation from a Speaking And Listening conversation which
generates an experience, the experience of who we really are if,
indeed, that experience can be generated and shared by writing and
reading at all.
Hello Henry Miller. Thank You for being outrageous, audacious, and (in
terms of continuing to write what you wrote until you were read)
tenacious. Thank You for clearly proving that writing directed
intentionally or by free association gets inside our most intimate
eliciting all sorts of wild and wonderful responses. While our
intentions and the end results you and I produce from writing may
differ (you leave people with Henry Miller, I intend to leave them with
themselves), I acknowledge you for blazing a trail on which the written
word, when prudently wielded with heft and balance, becomes an
implement of power, grace, and (in the truest sense of the word)