Is it not imperative that writer’s think, or does the thinking just cause problems with the writing? This is a very serious question to which we don’t want answers. Is the admonition, think before you write a hinderance or the answer? On the off-chance of shedding too much light on a subject writers would prefer to keep in the dark, I offer this humble but erudite Homily.
It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.
I began to think alone – “to relax,” I told myself – but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.
I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself.
I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could think about what I had read of Thoreau and Kafka.
I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”
Things weren’t going so great at home either. One evening after throwing away the TV I asked my wife about the meaning of life. She just glared at me and then stalked out and spent that night at her mother’s.
I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, “Paul, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.” This gave me a lot to think about.
I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confessed, “I’ve been thinking–”
“I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”
“But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.”
“It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as writers do and writers don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won’t have any money!”
“That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently, and she began to cry.
I’d had enough. “I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door.
I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, with NPR on the radio. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors– they didn’t open. The library was closed.
To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.
As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker’s Anonymous poster.
Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.
I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed– easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.
There are a couple of books here that won’t require too much thinking. If you are so inclined I would very much appreciate it you would take a look at some of my books. I’ll let you decide which are the non-thinking ones.
Have a great day no matter how much you have to think. As always, Aloha-pjs/
Oh, Dear, A Short & Futile Life, coming soon from Second Wind Publishing, may cause you to think. It asks the age-old question, “What happens when the government abolishes individual rights guaranteed in the Constitution by the Bill of Rights claiming to be acting as the instrument of protection?”
Another novel, a mystery; Body on the Church Steps, coming out even sooner from Second Wind Publishing, requires no deep thinking at all. It only raised the question, which pastor killed her?
To watch The Telephone Killer video click here.
The Telephone Killer is now also available as an audiobook.
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