A few weeks ago, I wrote about one of my habits, a habit that, in part, compels me to write: I wonder. I grant my mind liberty and let it travel where it might. But why do I wonder?
As a child, I often visited places I was unable to travel to physically; however, I did travel to these places both mentally and emotionally. Simply stated, I employed my imagination. As all children do, I embarked on incredible adventures. I explored the reaches of space. I grappled with undersea tyrants. I flew. I spoke to animals. I became animals. I piloted starships. I…well, I did it all. But all kids do. Right? But I’m not a kid anymore. A few days ago, I turned 44. Guess what. I’m still piloting starships.
Psychological studies suggest that people wonder, or day dream, because it helps them relax, manage conflicts, boost creativity, and relieve boredom. I’ve no doubt that all of this is true, but I believe that, for me, it’s more. When my mind zooms me to new and other places, it’s asking me to knit reality to the dream. It wants me to blend each into one. When I write, that’s exactly what happens.
For the last few years, I’ve been writing about the American Civil War. My efforts resulted in my first book, Private Hercules McGraw: Poems of the Civil War. Currently I’m writing a second volume of Civil War poetry, The Journals of Lt. Kendal Everly. Respectively, each book tells the story of its title character; however, it also tells my story. As I carved each story, I lived each story. I smelt the cannon smoke. I trod upon earth muddy with blood. For me, my poems are much more than poems; they’re memories.
So, I’m a writer. I write because I wonder and I wonder to weave reality with fantasy – but why do that?
- Lt. Kendal Everly Finds His Lungs (thelintinmypocket.wordpress.com)