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A Brief Thought About Perspective

In case last Monday's post didn't make it clear, lately I've been having a crisis of conscience about keeping up with my writing.  I keep finding it difficult to justify in the context of familial or day job obligations.

I won't say that I've checked my attitude or anything like that because it would be a lie.  But I did have an incredibly self-aggrandizing thought last week when I was reading some of Edgar Allen Poe's poetry to Lulabelle, and it kinda gave me a much-needed boost.


I had this image of Poe waking up in a funk and begrudgingly walking off to his job as a desk jockey for some 19th century banker or something.  You know, a temporary gig to pay the bills.  And he does enough at the office to keep things moving, but he can't stand it because he knows that this "Raven" thing he's been working on is pretty good and he'd much rather be working on that.

So Mr. Bigglesworth, the banker, comes by and goes, "Ed, I need you to come in on Saturday and help us recalculate the interest for all these loans."  But Poe refuses, because Saturday is his writing time.

And then Poe's wife and his parents and, I don't know, his neighbors all hear about how he turned down the opportunity to get in good with Mr. Bigglesworth and maybe get that promotion.  They all scoff at him and say, "I can't believe you're still working on that silly poetry instead of focusing on your career.  Are you still writing that stupid thing about the crow or whatever the hell it is?"

But Poe ignores them.  Somehow, he just knows that one day "The Raven" is going to be one of the greatest works in American literature.  He knows it'll be studied by students at all grade levels for the next hundred and seventy years.  He knows that if he doesn't write this poem, he's withholding a masterpiece from the world.  He knows he has no right to do that.

If anybody could take a biography of Poe from 2015 and show it to Mr. Bigglesworth, he'd see just how laughable it is for him to waste another minute of Poe's time with banking bullshit.  There is only one reason Poe exists on this planet, and it sure as hell isn't so he can work a day job.

Maybe it's ridiculous to think that way about my own work, but who knows?  Hindsight makes everything look stupid as hell.