Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stay in Michigan

If you read the history page you'll find that my stay in Michigan, which is happening right now, is the impetus for the blog.  Indeed, I have much reason to thank Joel and Megan Walther for their hospitality in letting me stay with them for a week in La Salle, Michigan, even though both are still working full-time as pastors of United Methodist congregations.  Granted, being a pastor is a somewhat flexible job in terms of when work gets done; not at all flexible in terms of how much crap there is to get done.

In fact, one of the first things Joel said to me when we were talking about my visit many months ago was, "It will be good, we can hang out and you can write."  I doubt that's an exact quotation, but the chances of his correcting me are slim.  At the time I didn't think it would be a problem if I didn't write at all for the entire week.  I mean, I've now been graduated from seminary for over a month.  You'd think that if I'm dedicated to writing and being a writer that in a month's time I would have done a lot of writing.  That's what I thought a few months ago, anyway.  Apparently I was quite wrong.

Transitioning into my new life at home, living with my parents for now, unpacking and getting used to the surroundings, was actually quite exhausting.  Depressing, too.  In a lot of ways I think the time off was good for me to rest my body and mind, which had been on the go for at least seven years through college and graduate school; that's if we don't count high school.  I certainly needed time off.  But then, the whole next year is planned time off where, yes, I will write, but I don't intend to really push myself to do much.  A month in, however, I found that I had done nothing at all, and that was disconcerting.

Hopping on a train from Boston (actually Providence, where my father works, but I don't want to confuse anyone who knows I live in the Boston area, so from now on Boston is where everything happens) into a car with some friends (Thomas and Jen James) into another car with other friends (the Walthers and Hannah Tucker) and then finally arriving many, many hours later in southern Michigan, apparently pumped my mind into action.  Suddenly I found that I had ideas, motivation, time, and support.  In the middle of all the traveling was a wedding of my friends Jake and Joanna Paysour which brought some much needed joy into my life.

All in all I realize something that many of the most famous writers throughout history have realized: travel does a writer good.  Travel, as my friend Alexandra constantly informs me, allows a person to consume new things in new ways.  Clearly consumption is an important part of an artist's life, which she and I are, or at least what I claim to be: I'm an artist by writing.  And staying in an unfamiliar place as a vacation or time to rest is also very helpful.  Away from home I feel like I have no excuse not to write.  It feels quite natural that away from home I'd be doing a lot of writing, actually.  What else is there to do?  Perhaps if Joel and Megan lived in Detroit I'd be more anxious to see the sights... though then again, I've visited Detroit before.  Basically, Joel and Megan have given me what I need to get my head in the game.

We should all thank Joel and Megan Walther, then, for the creation of yet another blog.  God knows the world needs another blog.  We should also thank Joel and Megan, though, for the creation of a blog of someone who is now finally hot on the trail of becoming a famous writer.  Here I go, folks.  Hope you enjoy the ride... and hope you keep in mind how cool it is to know someone before they become famous so you can say later, "I knew that guy before he became famous!"

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