..and it is winning.
I have been damaged before, so much so that I had been near breaking, but I held strong and healed. And perhaps I am stronger at those nearly broken points, but maybe those points were already strong enough to withstand the onslaughts they bore.
The new damage began many years ago, intensifying over the last two, and ramping up the last few months. I know I am not alone in my recent suffering, but the damage that was being inflicted prior has made this, for me, a bit more difficult. Along with these latest trials there has been betrayal — and now, well now I feel that the damaged parts of my soul can’t withstand this latest assault.
I may end up breaking.
It is no secret to those who read this blog, or know me, I am a fan of Ernest Hemingway. What you may not know is that I was a fan of Hemingway’s life before I was a fan of his writing. For all of his flaws, and I know there were many — he lived life on his terms. I didn’t seek to live a life as he did, because for the most part, I had been living that life. The Joe who became a fan of Hemingway’s zest for life, shared that zest as well.
That Joe lived life on his terms. That Joe would never have allowed himself to be so disrespected. That Joe had not only courage of conviction, but courage in most everything.
That Joe is gone.
Beaten down. Battered. Bruised.
That Joe would not recognize this incarnation. He would be ashamed of the coward who has allowed himself to be used, and belittled, and demeaned, and lied to, and nearly destroyed.
He has allowed his spirit to be broken. He has allowed his mind to be abused. He has allowed his very soul to be pulverized.
For what? For tenuous and insecure — security?
It is my hope when the damage becomes so great. When I am broken beyond repair. Somewhere deep down I find the courage of my past. I find the courage of Hemingway. I find the courage to know when life is no longer worth the living. I find the final act of strength Ernest Hemingway demonstrated. Until then I will hopefully regain my ability to write and tell stories.
As time goes on, so will I, just as it had in the past. Just as time and experience matured me then, it allowed me to appreciate the depth of Hemingway’s writings.
Because then I had enough wisdom to understand the subtext he claims did not exist, and because of that understanding, I wanted to follow my passion and be a writer.
As much as Poe shaped my early views of writing, after discovering Ernest Hemingway’s stories, it is he who inspired me to improve my writing skills and style. It is with no intended conceit whatsoever, that I genuinely believe I am a superior storyteller than the great master. Yet, even if that belief is founded, I have not found his success or notoriety or acclaim. But most importantly, I have not found a broad audience, not for the monetary reward, but for others to appreciate the blood I have spilled upon my keyboard. Because in the end, the reason we write, is for others to read.
I write of the damaged and broken, because that is the norm. For each person who overcomes their demons, there are hundreds, if not thousands, who do not.
It is their stories I tell. Truth be told, I was also telling variations of my stories.