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Sometimes I ply my trade.

Sometimes I plod my trade.

The repetitive and redundant activities of daily living sometimes gang up on me and, even in the best of times, weigh me down and make me introspect my life, examine my routines, long for a refresher course in how to remain excited and engaged in what I do all the live long day.

Mary Pipher once said, “Most of the unhappiness in the world is caused by people who are 90 percent happy, going for the last 10 percent.”

Maybe that’s a quote I should place before me as I go about the rote treadmill.

If I’m so happy, why am I not happy? At times.

I’ll be keynoting an address to a gathering of Writers Anonymous scribes on Saturday morning, and this subject could resonate with attendees, since our very presence at the meeting will indicate that we’re still in the game, searching for the breadcrumbs leading out of the forever maze.

The primary questions I invite anyone—including yours mostly truly—to entertain are these:

What good am I? Am I contributing to the texture and richness so badly needed in the world? Am I using my art to advance goodness, mercy and kindness, or am I merely feeding my needy ego?

What good am I as a writer and bookdealer? What good am I as a husband and father and neighbor and kinsman and friend and helper? What will my writing mean to this and future generations? Am I just taking up space while eking out the days?

What still excites me about life, is learning how can I pass this excitement on to my readers, my customers, my daily fellow travellers.

Why write if no-one reads? Why write if my work does not enhance and make better the lives yearning to find hope and meaning?

What good am I?

What good is my work?

If I can cause you to react to my work, if I can engender laughter or concern or inspiration in you, does this count as evidence that I matter? That my work is useful to you?

This is a great burden to place upon you—the burden of making me feel that I matter.

But if I can take the time to notice you, to notice that you matter whether you know it or not, then maybe I can find some semblance of meaning in my plying and plodding.

Maybe I can tell myself that, well, maybe I do matter after all


(c) Jim Reed 2017 A.D.




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