Embracing the world with positive creativity since Sept 2007.
Cover of Illuminated Corners, Collected Essays and Articles Volume 1, by Aberjhani.
“The duality of inwardness and the outside world: that is the one essential existential condition of the writer as witness.”
––Nadine Gordimer, Witness: The Inward Testimony
This book was almost titled The Complete Collected Essays and Articles. That plan changed when it became apparent that a complete collection of such works would have to include articles written while serving in the U.S. Air Force as a military journalist, most of which were only of temporary interest for the information they delivered to a specific community at the time. Some, however, provided profiles of individuals and organizations with a quality of human interest that extends beyond their historical and regional significance. For that reason, a number them may yet find their way into a future volume of collected works. The volume at hand is of a different literary species altogether.
As it is, this specific volume has not yet been placed in the hands of a potential publisher because the task of culling and editing work from a quarter of century of writings is still underway. Readers, however, may enjoy some of the work in chapters as they are posted in full or in part while the book develops toward completion. Most at present (June 2012) are posted at various venues on the Internet will likely remain so until the final stages of actual publication. You can get some sense of what is to come from the working table of contents. My hope is these collected writings have added something of value to dialogs on the subjects addressed. What you will not find here are the essays and creative nonfiction published in The American Poet Who Went Home Again are those already slated for two forthcoming works of important nonfiction.
Central for me to the impulse to write has always been a metaphysical intoxication with the passion-inducing elixir of creativity itself. Therefore it will come as no surprise that many of the essays, articles, and conversations in this volume deal with other creative souls: digging behind the headlines to extract a deeper sense of the life and death of Michael Jackson; stepping away for a moment from Toni Morrison’s incandescent novels to consider her equally intense nonfiction; considering the spiritual implications of Barack Obama’s presidency; capturing and deciphering echoes of slavery in Savannah, Georgia; reading with feeling the poetry of Elizabeth Alexander; and looking on with admiration as artists in the southeast simultaneously claim and extend their cultural legacies. All, much like me, have been wholly captivated by the struggles of a life spent wrestling with angels of the imagination in attempts to win and share with the world blessings of finely-crafted visions.
Although one of the sanest and most useful tenets of authorship is to “stick to writing about what you know,” some of us tend mostly to write about what we love and then absorb measures of “knowing” in the process. We probably achieve our best work with a combination of the two. The current table of contents for this volume makes it clear enough that my interests are as varied as they are consistent––which may sound like a contradiction but is not–– and they are that simply because there is nothing singular about the nature of humanity. Just as an individual personality in the light of different circumstances reveals diverse qualities that extend the definition of who she or he truly is, so has our collective story continued to evolve assumptions, prejudices, fears, bigotries, and unquestionable “certainties” in regard to what it means to be human.
I am from the tradition of those writers anchored by the world within for the purpose of observing, surviving, celebrating, and reporting on the world without. As humanity’s urgencies and priorities continue to change, I note the lesson of the dinosaurs. And I balance my pen by adapting to the flow of often unsettling signals crowding the biosphere even as I safeguard this anchor of self that has allowed me to stand my creative ground long enough to produce this first volume of collected writings.