I’ve long been told by family, friends and the occasional oddball chatting in a bar, that I should write a book. That seemed to be a bit out of my reach. I started thinking, “What can I write about?” “Who’s going to read it? How can I possibly write a whole bloody book? Are you all mad? Do you know how much toil it is writing a letter? Never mind a damned BOOK for goodness sake.” And there I left it. To moulder and die amongst the cobwebs of my ambitions.
But the seed had been planted. Gestation took a while and then I was writing articles for magazines. Writing poetry for myself and a few trusted friends. And so the process began. In drips and drabs, like a faucet with a dodgy washer. None of it, to my mind at least, fit for anything but the doggerel heap and a safety match. In point of fact, I wrote in pen or pencil on paper for ages. Still do sometimes. And, truth be told, I did set fire to a lot of the stuff and I can’t even remember how it all went. Goes to show how shit it must have been!
One day some years ago a friend of mine named Mario showed me how to write a poem. Just like that . . . out of the blue. In ballpoint ink on a paper serviette in the bar of his restaurant. He titled it “The Great Eternal Leapfrog” and I’ll never forget it. It was published in Mario’s anthology of poetry titled “Banana Crates & Wire Mesh”. With Mario’s permission I include it here for your pleasure:
“The Great Eternal Leapfrog”
We die so that others
transcending the living
who in turn
so yet others
on and on
in an eternal continuum
THE ONE SEED
Mario D’Offizi ~ 2001 © – all rights reserved
With that Mario handed me the paper napkin and turned away to the kitchen. I had never been so awestruck in my life. We still chat and cajole one another with the telling of this story to people who are not familiar with it. I hold this instant in time close to my heart as it was this expression of unbridled camaraderie and generosity of spirit that got me onto the writing path. He believed in me then in 2010 and he believes in me still. Ever encouraging me, scolding my tardiness and slothfulness. He praises my work which is a source of immense pride but an uncomfortable pride as we are all our own harshest critics.
Working with Mario with his record of two published works is a labour of blood sweat and tears of the nicest kind. I know that he’ll never praise a piece of sub standard work by me and that’s what a real friend will do. Tell you the truth! I still have doubts about my work even though I’ve taken the plunge and posted numerous anecdotes and experiences from my life’s journey so far. I’ve posted some poetry which I am told is “good” but am not too sure of. Most of all, I’ve worn my heart on my sleeve and taken a chance. Isn’t that what living this life is all about? Give it your best shot and hope for the best.
I’ll post here as regularly as I possibly can. I’m not making any promises right now as experience has taught me that “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” – May the road that I follow on this blog be a road of truth and discovery. May this journey of reflection expunge the ghosts of my past. I believe it’s a process called catharsis. Which, if good for my soul and psyche, I trust will also provide interest and entertainment for you, my dear readers. Without you, my Blog posts are meaningless and I trust that you enjoy my story on whatever level that resonates with your life experiences. Look for the similarities in our experiences and not the differences. For we are all the same in the end albeit with slight variations in shadow and light.
Thank you, dear reader, for coming by today. I hope that your visit was a fruitful one. And, even if it wasn’t, please leave your comments for me to read. Many heads are far better than one when trying to tell a story of life on the byways and roads less trodden.
Peter The Celt, Cape Town 27 April 2017 © all rights reserved. “The Great Eternal Leapfrog” by Mario D’Offizi © 2010 reproduced by kind permission of the Author.