Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Old Man and the See

As Red Green use to say on the Telly - and still says on re-runs - it's been a big week up at the Lodge.
On the 28th of this month, actually my middle brother's birthday, and two days after the date in May when my mother died five years ago, a story of mine was finally printed in a mainstream publication that was not a newspaper. I've never been ungrateful for the opportunity to be read in humble newsprint, of course, but anyone who aspires to fiction or essays that are at the same time genuinely literate appreciates even more the adventure and significance of landing in a journal with a far reaching and quantitative circulation.
I've mentioned Kootenay Mountain Culture before, at a time when it was beginning to look that I might wind up in it, and now that the deed is done, I can mention it again. I was positive then about our locally produced journal, with good reason for it on its own merits, and now I can simply be grateful that its merits just may include myself and my references, with gratitude, to Ernest Hemingway.
As I learned in theatre, from my first play onward, there is usually at least as much drama, if not more, in getting the play on the boards as there is in the play itself. And there are also omnipresent symbols in the process as well as the tale, not more indicative to me than the fact that this edition of KMC is the 15th.
Now as any good Dogan knows, 15 is a sacred number, the complete list of mysteries in the ordinary rosary, that form of prayer which is utterly concerned with the Virgin Mother of God, and that form of prayer which does more for mental health than all the psychiatrists in the world. And prayer is what I have had to be about even more than writing. I was reminded of this - my temperment is always having to be reminded of this - years ago, when in regard to my writing Mary said to me, and I quote, "What has been put into my hands, has been put into My Hands."
I had been pondering the disposition of my fiction. Obviously, so had she. And, being omniscient by participation in the attributes of the Infinite, she had the end of May, 2009, in mind. I didn't know that, then, of course, as KMC was not even in existence. It was just one more of those entities that would come to be as our neck of the woods exercised its acquired prerogatives, while I puttered along at my own duties to the prayer life and inspirations toward the arts, chiefly literature and music, and an eye on the film industry.
They did a lovely job of the presentation of the simple tale. They changed my title, for the better, once you see the whole of it all within the context of the magazine's reality, and found a magnificent photo of Ernie and a Cape Buffalo in the JFK archives. The other publisher, Peter Moynes, had told my wife on a visit to the museum that they had found a good picture of EH, but I had assumed only a mug shot. To open up the magazine yesterday morning and see the hunter with the hunted and the gun created a startling impact. I was reminded of the best experiences in theatre and the music scene in Nelson that started showing up in the later 60s, and perhaps even pleasantly astounded at the professionalism, the sense of magnificence, always a potential in this part of the world, but not always realized in earlier years, which was why I had to go to Rome in the early 80s.
Between KMC and a Capuchin bishop, it seems not too bad to be back.
Especially when there are more tales coming.


cabbage ears said...

And there is literature and there is the way you spoke about Wisdom, about living in accordance with a greater Deity. Which weighs heavier, which leaves a lasting mark? Words that were alive were never forgotten. Written word also leaves a significant mark on one's existence. I always wondered how Hemingway looked when he talked. Nothing captures a person as the very fact of their presence in front of you, I have read soooo many biographies and still the mark of the living person is missing in the end. You cannot have everything, but when you have a light in front of you... be very still and flow with them.

the kootenay ranger said...

Regarding Hemingway, I think the best portrait of him I have ever read is in Morley Callaghan's "That Summer in Paris".
Regarding the last sentence of your quite profound most recent comment, let me say that the summer I read the 50 short stories I most definitely had the light, really, but Hemingway was its occasion, not its source, because his writing was bringing me face to face with the possibilities of the art that was in the Faith.
And further regarding that last sentence, I wonder if you have been reading the second blog, "Contemplatives"?

cabbage ears said...

When I read the "Contemplatives" it ushers me into a world within a world that does not welcome this type of dialogue. Good on you. Irene