Some people out there just have no idea how things are supposed to be done. My OCD is practically on fire from some of these!
Primitive instincts have driven mankind forward through the ages. The need to eat has caused vast movements in population, migrating to all points of the compass. Technology has advanced exponentially throughout the ages as more and more mouths cry out for sustenance, requiring advanced machinery and cultivation techniques.
The need for shelter has coerced our species to craft soaring structures which caress the heavens, their roots driven deep to protect from the tremors of an uncertain earth, their walls strengthened with hardy amalgamations of metals designed through ingenuity, but driven by fear. Enormous dams have been constructed not only to provide unending water, but also to provide power for machines and homes alike. Despite all our advancements, we are still driven forward by primitive needs.
Yet what does aggression achieve?
It might be argued that without aggression boundaries could not be conquered in order to expand colonization, but this would be a lie. Without aggression on either side, compromises could be easily found and opportunities shared; there would be no need for bloodshed. Yet mankind still strives to argue, finds ways to kill and be killed. Are we so mortal that we need to prove it in ever-inventive ways merely to feel we’ve accomplished something? A man who backs down from confrontation is often called a coward, yet those who seek out domination are often considered heroes? In a world that calls itself civilized, does any of this even begin to marginally make sense?
At the time of writing this, I can count at least seven major wars occurring in the world. Piling on top of these interminable mountains of death are the everyday murders and killings that decimate more and more life for no real reason. If Charles Darwin was truly correct, shouldn’t we have evolved beyond this? There is no need for me to run with the carnivores, to tackle an antelope and tear its throat out with my teeth. I am civilized, living in a civilized society, and while I am not so ignorant to believe that much of the singular killings might be based upon primitive hunger and a need to survive, too much is based upon greed, laziness, and lack of foresight.
Through my work in security, I see violence almost every day. Horrific actions are wrought by ordinary people – both males and females alike – upon their fellows. These aren’t bikers, not drug dealers or gangster Mafioso. They’re people like you, just regular Joes and Joe-ettes, all trying to bash each others’ brains out over… what exactly? Ask them and they don’t even know. There is no real outcome to these encounters except a potential bolstering of ego at having defeated their opponent.
Yay for you.
And so it was during one of these moments on the weekend just past that I found myself wondering about this most primitive of emotions. A young man lay broken and bloody at my feet, not my victim but the aggressor in a recent conflict at a club where I am paid to keep the peace. He began an argument and punched another man – the wrong man, apparently. And so two swollen-closed eyes and a broken nose later, this attacker reclined in the recovery position, vomiting up blood on the footpath while I waited for an ambulance and wondered if he thought the price had been worth the cost.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some shining beacon of peace and tranquility, far from it. The halls of my life are saturated with the tarnish of a violent past, and as such I speak somewhat from experience. Indeed, I may actually be a worse perpetrator than most as I depict death and violence of colossal stature in my novels. But I hope my readers walk away from my tales thinking about the good in life and not the bad.
Maybe I’m naïve.
Life erupts in a grand act of brutality as we tear each loose from mothers’ wombs and scream our war cries to an unsuspecting world. Is violence so entrenched in our existence that we will never escape its darkened clutches? Capable of such glorious things, we still retreat to our most primordial natures when threatened and tear and maim, hurting that which threatens us and gloating as we slip further and further away from perfection. One day we might all as a race discover how wretched we truly are, and in realizing it we might turn away from the path we inexorably tread through the ages, and head toward a future brimming with wonders beyond imagining.
I hope so.
Why would anyone want to write?
It devours your soul, growing from a tiny gnat into the most fearsome of beasts, spouting fire upon daily life and snatching the flesh from your relationships. A writer neither eats nor breathes anything other than words. A piece of toast becomes the “charred aftermath of an apathetic cuisinier”. A simple breath becomes a “raspy inhalation of one immersed in existence”.
No, only an idiot would ever take up the task of wielding words. And I am one such as he.
From the moment I wake up to the moment I sleep, I battle with that dragon, fighting the drudgery of reality until the times when I might cast my spells of imagery. Everything in my life revolves around it, my heart yearns for it with every beat, my brain wanders into realms of fantasy every chance it gets – dangerous stuff when crossing the road. All I can think of is the next tale, the next exploration of what might be.
I read others’ words and learn from them whenever possible – for I know I’m far from omnipotent, only an idiot thinks he is. I weather the storms of bad reviews and revel in the glory of the golden ones. All in pursuit of that dream, that illusory faultless tome. Will I ever find it? I have my doubts, but every writer does.
You can’t please everyone. Stephen King, a master of the craft, still gets bad reviews. How is this even possible? I’ve read his work, his words, his imaginary imaginings, and he holds greatness within his grasp. So how is it that such a brilliant wordsmith is unable to compose perfection?
J.K. Rowling wrote a series which buffeted the literary world, drawing readers into a grand tapestry of adventure through the eyes of a junior wizard. More and more people loved her work every day – and yet there were still those who remained unhappy, who complained and whined about her words with increasing fervor with each released novel. Now every book she releases is compared to her past, a yardstick nobody could maintain.
William Shakespeare, arguably the greatest playwright the world has ever seen, is despised by child and adult alike for his use of language long untouched in regular society. His soul screamed with emotion yearning for release through words, yet now it is scorned and scribbled upon, stretched into scripts filled with Hollywood pretension, the true majesty of his acts a mere shadow of the stage plays they once were.
So perfection in writing seems an unattainable goal. Does that mean I should give up? You might as well ask if I should give up breathing simply because there is a possibility I might inhale a bee and die horribly as my throat strangled me from within. Or perhaps I should stop eating for fear of swallowing improperly prepared meat, which might develop into a mutinous stomach tsunami, tearing apart my innards like a raging bull.
No, I am a writer. This is my fate, my road through life. I will create worlds and people who wander through them, all in an effort of discovering that sacred enigma that none before me have unlocked. But even if I don’t, I intend to produce a lot of drama along the way. For I am a soldier of fiction, a traveler of fantasy, an entrapper of imagination.
But above it all, I am a fool who believes I can.
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Haunted by the toxic memories of a torturous foster-father, Jacob Hope yearns to make a difference in a world gone awry, trying to accomplish some small scrap of good in an ocean of wrong. Tumbling through life with no true direction, Jake unwittingly reveals a nightmare.
The gates of Hell have been unlocked, and something long imprisoned has broken loose from its shackles to roam free upon the Earth. It cannot be bargained with, it cannot be defeated, and it exists with only desolation in its heart….
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