I glimpsed a Literary debate out there in the ether, about the classic book, Lord of the Flies, about its narrow view with respect to gender particularly. The debate asks the question - in contemporary writing, what has been written to challenge that classic, now looking a little shabby, according to today’s literary lot - it was compulsory reading in schools. Apparently there is a plethora of books that have proffered different and perhaps more telling views on “primitive politics” - how different groupings, left to their own devices, would “get on”.
It had me thinking, all these books wrestling in the drama of politics and behavior - learned behavior. We all have memories, history that governs to a large extent how we operate, and I hear from many different sources how important this history is to our survival. Everything is steeped in history, how it was made and why it is what it is.
I contend, however, along with many others I am sure, that memory can also have us stuck in the mud. How we were made is history, what we see and will to be though, is a different matter. Yes, will to be. I believe we have a choice and can make a difference; we can change our direction and in so doing change what we become. I believe we have a choice, that it is not down to history, that we don’t have to continue warring, for example, just because “it has always been that way”. It makes sense to me to at least think we are in charge, that we are responsible. Oh, it’s a hereditary thing, it runs in the family. Sounds like an excuse, a cop out, doesn’t it. We can be different, if we have the will.
I guess the important question the literary debate was posing was, are we making progress, and of course we are. Are we heading in the right direction. I believe so. My novel, Yenom, has “new” people seeing new things, novel things, dreams that become their reality.
If I am not painting or playing my guitar, I am writing. This has been the case for a decade or two and sparodically before that as far back as I can remember.
My web site gives me an opportunity to share some of my unpublished writing as well as the work I have for sale.
I live in an ideal place for writing, surrounded by bush, birds, orchards, with the ocean crashing on the beautiful Tirohanga Beach below. This is just a few minutes away from Opotiki Township where a climactic scene takes place in Yenom.
Here on this page I am posting excerpts from my writings. As with my painting, I do not follow any particular style. I am obviously influenced by what I read, but only in the sense that I am open to change; I do not consciously set about to emulate or copy. We are surely all unique, have our own voices, yet spring from the same place and are heading forward together.
Excerpt from Yenom
"And I suppose you don't remember me."
Cain squinted his eyes, studied Seth closely. He donned his most thoughtful face. "You do seem familiar. Mind you, at my age one feels one knows everyone. Is there something you do that I should remember?"
"It's Seth, remember, you asked me what I wanted to be and I said an actor. We were going to write a script about a future world."
"Going to? Certainly doesn't sound like me. If I decide to do something, I just do it. Maybe it's done. Maybe this is it – our future world."
Seth looked about him, at the colorful lot, much like in the Amsterdam Market except here they were all paying him close attention. Our future world, he mused. "If this is it, I somehow missed the beginning."
"I don't know of anyone who remembers the beginning. And as for being an actor, we are all actors...
You must have patience.
No you musn't. We all need to be doing something. It might be sleeping, it might be meditating, it might be going for a walk. Just needs a decision - choices then a decision. Patience? Perseverance more like it.
Don't remember. That's sufficient.
Language is changing. Language must and does change, and our reality changes with it.
More excerpts from Yenom
She always felt a special glow of pride when she read the plaque on the door, Star Ship Revision Center. The name, Star Ship, was obvious - Leading the way. And the Revision was what it was about - revising language. She loved working with words.
Inside walls were seductive pastels, the furniture sharp and smart, gold and black. Chairs and desk seeming to hover above the floor with their elegant legs...
...There was a person coming into view on his right, approaching the water feature, longish dark hair, wearing a faded blue, denim jacket. He was a stranger, but Seth knew this man. Nothing in particular he could put his finger on, it was a manner of being more than anything.
The man sat on a twin bench four to five meters away. He draped his arm over the back of the bench, nodded to a passer-by. He let his head back so that he was looking up at the sky. He stretched, then placed his hands in his lap and shuffled his feet in a patch of dusty ground.
Seth was beside himself. There was an affinity with the young man, a stranger yet so familiar...
...Seth turned to Pete.
"Am I imagining things or is this place run by women?"
"Now you're asking some sensible questions."
The number of women about is staggering, Seth thought. Women to the fore, putting things right. They are showing us how things are done, mm, how to cooperate rather than compete, make love not war. If anyone can do it, it will be the women. Always thought that.
"Look out!" Pete grabbed him by the sleeve...