July 2nd, 2019.
The earth has carried me in its orbit around the sun twenty-five times.
My gratitude to the earth and the sun.
On this tiny blue world which has had countless civilizations rise and fall and ninety-nine percent of its species die out, I happen to be here, sucking in air for the moment.
Isn’t that cool?
It’s a moment I call life. Life is a fractal phenomenon of countless other moments, a collection of them. Within the bounds of my moment, I’ve witnessed the civilizations which have rose and fell within me. Sometimes they’re realized and I say, “Ah! Today, I am born again.” Sometimes they go unrealized and I groan, thinking, “Not this again!?”
To wake upon a planet teeming with life and with loved ones nearby, ready to help you up when you fall down. What more can a person ask for?
I am blessed — not in a superstitious sense, but by the holy Brownian motion of reality. Like a shook-up snow globe, the flakes have landed just so. I am happy with the snow globe.
Today, I sit here in the chair, typing away, reflecting on where I am and where I’m going. I proposed to the love of my life, Tessandra Voje, a week back or so. She has agreed to share her moment with me. We plan on getting married next year, sometime in the fall. Her daughter, Rosemary Voje, bright and funny young lady I am glad to know, sometimes calls me ‘Dad’. She’s been calling me Dad more and more lately and dang, that feels really good.
I’ve just written a novel, my first one, and am in the process of shaping it into something readable for the public. It will be a finished product within the month. I’ll be sending it out to publishers. I’ve been writing “seriously” for the past two years and have collected a wonderful amount of rejection slips. Dozens and dozens…
Two ‘maybe’ letters from editors have popped up in my email inbox though, and I figure ‘maybe’ letters are a good sign that things may be slowly turning around.
My dream is to write, become published, and get paid for it.
I may not have the last two things down yet, but I sure have the first one. Writing is a light in the pitch dark. The pen is a third eye, the one which allows me to perceive reality in a clearer and happier way. If I didn’t write, I’d probably have to pay a lot of money talking to a shrink! A lot of writers say that. I don’t imagine they’re lying.
I write every day and have an aim to be prolific, to write not just one book, but dozens within my lifetime. Any agent or publisher out there looking to write a contract with a strange fiction writer, consider yours truly!
I think about things that’ve happened within these past twenty-five. I am curious about the young, expressive boy that walked in the sun and was in love with horror movies and wearing masks and costumes. I know that boy still exists somewhere. To this day, I love horror movies, and I love wearing masks – a mask is an identity. Today I am playing the identity of a writer. I’m getting pretty good at playing the part. Tomorrow, who knows what I’ll be?
I read this great line from the Tao Te Ching:
“He who defines herself, cannot know who she really is.”
Isn’t that great? I try not to define myself. I put on masks with a curious joy and say, “Ah, there’s something mysterious beneath this mask! What could it be? Is it really even there? Hmm.”
I think of turning 21, when I lived on Knowles Ave, in and out of the bars, trying to fall in love with people. During those years, the moon was brightest. I stood under the moon, on the warm street, smoking cheap cigarettes, looking like a pale skeleton, and knowing that I was young but not knowing quite what youth was. There was no room for intellectualizing youth — I was youth.
And I am youth.
I wish youth the best. When it leaves me, I promise not to cling. In another forty years, when I’m an old man, with hair falling out, hunch-backed with a cane, I’ll say, “At last! I’m in my prime.”
And I am prime.
I remember picking up the guitar, old dusty friend, and deciding on a whim I should do something with my life. So I taught myself to play guitar, harmonica and sing and I became a performing singer-songwriter. I wrote an album or two worth of songs, one of those albums recorded in a friend’s house studio (let me know if you’d like to listen to it, I’ll send you a copy).
Tessandra was there recording that album with me, several of those songs written for her. Sometimes it’s as if she always has been here, just hiding behind the curtain of space and time, waiting until I was the right age to know her. Life is full of fun illusions like that.
Sometimes, too, I think of my Grandfather. He was a writer and a lover of literature and I’m sure he’d be proud of me. If I ever write a western novel, I’ll dedicate it to him. I still have his letters, the ones where he tells me I’m his “favorite young author”. I have his rejection slip from Bantam Books in a black suitcase. Seeing it fuels me to want to one-up him.
I return my thoughts to the planet flying around the sun at 67,000 MPH. I am on that planet, in some strange dimension where there are masks and people and horror movies and literature and love and music.
I can’t get over it. There are people around who love me – we are rare things.
To be a conscious creature with a brain and a spinal column, upright, breathing, as the sun and rain replenishes.
It’s the awesomeness, the mystery, the wonder, I keep coming back to. It’s my religion.
On my 25th birthday, I am a holy man in his pajamas.
Greater things to come.
Tylor J. Mintz