Friday, November 14, 2008

Editor's Foreword

Goodbye Microsoft Word, for now at least, and hello once again to
The Yacht, Book Two, is about to go forward on the channel at hand. Early on we brought over chapter one, just for fun, and I carried on with the writing on Word, transferring to Adobe PDF for shipping to my five steady readers, up to and including chapter 12. Somehow in the midst of summer visits, gardening, and yard work, MT did not get 12 printed out. It was therefore not at hand an hour ago when my mind really began to clear over the next step - where to get going on chapter 13 - so when she had looked up 12 on My Documents, then printed it out, I got to read it afresh after a long time away and realized it was time to hammering at the gates of the musical infidels, that is, get The Yacht up on the Web where all the world can get a glimpse and make up its own mind without the interference of the Luddites in the invested industries that surround music printing and teaching. None of the faithful five, moreover, need miss a beat. They just have to tune into the Ranger, as some of them already do.
What about chapters two to twelve for Ranger fans only? At the moment, no clear answer. Perhaps an ordinary publisher will show up and bring out a book. Perhaps I'll go to the work of retyping the chapters into Blogtype. I was having so much fun reading 12, except for a couple of spelling mistakes, of course, that I could see myself working through the other chapters again quite happily. And then there's always the challenge of going on with the new in such a fashion as to also retell the old. And who can say where a story actually begins? Thus the technique of the flashback, thus good old Homer beginning at the gates of Troy ten years down the road after Agamemnon and his sailor/soldiers hit the beach. Possibly this is Homer's secret code by which he was telling the reader that it took him ten years to get the beginning right.
I know what that feels like from more than one project. At the moment I'm feeling, finally, strong enough to say on this medium, that I think I've got the beginning, at last, to the BIG POEM I've been draughting away at for something like 20 years. This is thanks in no small degree to a recent publication, an anthology of BC poets, "Rocksalt", released just days ago by Mother Tongue Press on Saltspring Island. The compendium is very lively, very eclectic, and also, for me, very encouraging, a kind of handbook of all the rules a poet needs to keep in mind in these days of trying to reconcile - for my generation - the poetry we read in school and the poetry that is published now. The point is, I learned to love grammar at age ten, and ever since then have been puzzled by writers who work as if they hated that particular branch of knowledge, but I also understand the power of an image, and its capacity to become a symbol. Sometimes the Lord speaks to me in sentences, sometimes He utters merely one word. It takes all kinds, and in my Father's house there are many mansions.
I probably could go to three slots on my blog, one for this journalism, one for Contemplatives, and a third for fiction and poetry, but for the moment I think I'll keep it simple, and stick to two channels only. This means there will be no ordinary Ranger until chapter 13 is up and away. So I would like to close with the proof that, yes, I really am a periodical. I have a very genuine 'letter to the editor', the kind that is only just to quote because it is very comment on something I have said, another way of looking at a question that may actually provide more insight, at least for some, than my own expression.
Marianne's cousin Jack, also a Tremblay, has been my most constant American reader. He lives in North Adams, Massachusetts. This is the town, actually, where MT's father was born, although he moved to Canada with his family only a few years later. After the last post, on the child's pose, Jack wrote:

The best position you can hope to obtain is that comfort position just prior to sleep. You will not fall into sleep if you have not obtained it. So I submit that whatever position you obtain just at the point of sleep is the ultimate YOGA relaxation position . . . . . but who can remember?

I liked the plain science, and I also liked the mystery in Jack's words. And I very much appreciated a note from him some weeks back in which, after manfully absorbing a number of my tales of unusual visits from the Almighty, he coughed up a lovely little bit of his own special history. Everyone has at least a bit of this in them, or so I've always believed, but not everyone knows how to admit it, or even discover the memory. One of the reasons I'm driven to write this thing is in the hope of getting that done.
I started up this post on Friday. This is Sunday, and over the weekend, as if to back up the decision to bring up the yacht novel, I've made another big breakthrough with keyboard fingering fundamentals, sufficient not only confirm the wisdom of starting up chapter 13, but also moving me to add unto my profile. The only thing I can't do at the moment, though, is find the words to do justice to the mighty onslaught of the Spirit was involved in all this.
Maybe these will come if I get on with the chapter.

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