Speaking of encouragement, as I was leaving church last Sunday, a man asked me if was “writing or working on anything major.” I hardly knew how to answer because it’s been some time since I’ve written anything major. Perhaps he was thinking of my biography Art Smith, Pioneer Aviator or one of my plays. I try to write a blog (essay) once a month and post it on the internet. I write up news articles and/or meetings which get posted in the local newspaper, thankfully with no byline, and from time to time I submit some creative items to some competitions. The last one was a ten-minute monologue contest. My entry out of 400 made it to semi-final rounds. What I write these days mostly seems to be birthday, get-well, and sympathy cards. What I like to do, however, is to write. I like doing that more than gardening, an activity that gives me a sense of satisfaction. Alas, this past summer and fall, my flower beds have gone to weeds. Blame the weather and the deer that wander through the yard and a busy schedule.
Yes, I do like to write. It’s in my DNA. I am glad that I have friends who are like me. Words mean so much, and once they are placed on paper or submitted, they exist. But back to the man’s question. Since I haven’t written anything MAJOR or even marketed what I have done in the past, his pleasant query made me happy. I felt affirmed. I was encouraged to tackle a new project. I have ideas I cannot wait to explore. The importance of someone who asks that sort of question is incredible.
Most artists, musicians, and authors credit some teacher they had in middle school or high school that saw their potential. If it were not for Mr. John Fowler, my high school English teacher, I would not have pursued writing. Before he died many years ago, I did write him a thank you letter. Later a college teacher, Mrs. Gilpatrick, inspired me. I minored in political science and majored in English so it’s not surprising I’m a political junkie. I read newspapers and listen to the news.
Today’s world is chaotic and crazy, and there is a need for sanity, common sense, the quiet rituals of the pews, and encouragement. I am fortunate I live in place that gives me those opportunities. I am glad Stan Wilson asked me that question. I feel encouraged. Affirmed. For Christmas this year and next year as well, consider giving someone the gift of encouragement either in person or in a note card.
I now must stop writing and put out some food for Sheba.