Friday, June 17, 2016

A Life of Unity -- Reflections on Obsessions and Personal Life

Starting in 1971 (the year I was born), my maternal grandfather, Virgil Inman, started keeping a diary/journal. On my trip to South Bend, my grandmother gave me 1971-1976 (those she had read) for me to transcribe and edit and try to one day get published.

My grandparents were avid birders, and my grandfather's diary seems to be almost entirely about birding. We see lists of birds he saw on this or that birding trip. The most mentions of people involve those who were birding with him, talked to him about birds, and/or were members of the Audubon Society. There are few mentions of his family, and the day of my birth results in a brief mention of that event before he starts writing about birds.

In many ways this and my other blogs are my own diaries/journals, and in many ways I have done exactly what my grandfather did in his. Just search this blog for Anna, Melina, Daniel, and Dylan, and see how relatively few hits you get compared to Nietzsche, Shakespeare, poetry, or spontaneous orders. My obsessions are what I write about much more than anything personal. And if you do search for my family members' names, you will find that much of the time I am writing about some topic in which I use them as an example.

I'm not sure how interested anyone would be in reading about more personal things. I don't know how interested anyone is in reading this blog at all. Its topics evolve, change, jump around, and will continue to do so, I'm sure. I've decided to focus more on theatre, on playwriting, and as a result, I'm sure what I write about here will reflect that change.

I have also written before about how I am my interests, meaning if you have been following this blog, if you have been reading what I have been writing, you have about as intimate an understanding of me as possible.With most people you can disentangle the different parts of their world; with me, you mostly cannot. There are a few exceptions--too much of my employment, for example--but I don't typically write about work. I would if my work and my employment ever managed to overlap. Which is the goal, of course. Because unless and until they do, I will remain unfulfilled in life.

For many a job is a way to make money and life is almost completely fulfilled through relationships with others. My personal relationships are few, and mostly involve my wife and children, who do in fact fulfill pretty much any and all of my needs when it comes to personal relationships. But my wife understands the degree to which my identity is tied in with the writing/work I do. Still, they are prioritized over that work, as evidenced by the fact that I spend time with them when I should be working, and by the fact that I will be starting training for a job I'm taking just to have an income.

Still, I want to live a more fulfilling life. And that's why I have decided to concentrate more on being a playwright and on doing what I need to do to run my own theatre to perform my plays (following a strong tradition of poets/playwrights over the past several centuries) so I can at last concentrate on the writing/work I think is truly most important for me to do. Perhaps I can even get the theatre to a place where we can be a theatre family, so to speak. Complete unity of everything important in my life. That is the ultimate goal.

I'm sure my grandfather would have loved to have such unity as well. For his job he worked with computers. But there's no mention of that in what I've read of the diary so far. And I've only ever heard brief mention of the work he did to make a living over the decades. But there was never any question about the birds. I imagine he would have loved to have been an ornithologist so his life could have achieved unity. I'm too much like him for him not to have wanted the same thing.
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