Friday, November 20, 2009

One Year Later

I thought today was the day but it's really Sunday. I could save this post until then, but it's like going out for some late night pie and coffee. Your taste buds are prepared for apple only to discover all the restaurant has left is cherry. If you're feeling really assertive, you go somewhere else instead of making do. I've been thinking about this post off and on for the past week, my fingers have their heart set on writing it, and I'm feeling assertive, so here we go.

It was November 22, 2008 when I sat down and composed the first entry in The Beggar's Blog. At the time, I wasn't sure anyone would want to read it, but one year later, the number of times someone has done so leaves me speechless. I can't hardly believe it.

At first, it was very much like Field of Dreams. Ray Kinsella builds a

{{en}}Here is a photo of the bleachers and the...

baseball field in response to the urging of an unnamed and previously unheard Voice, then waits all winter long waiting for something to happen. The phrase, "If you build it, he will come," has become part of our national vocabulary. But that's precisely what I was doing, writing occasionally, then daily, in the hope that someone was out there and might be interested.

For a couple of months, only close friends visited and I'll be eternally grateful for their confidence; they kept me going. Eventually, more and more began to appear out of the cornfield and instead of "Shoeless Joe" and I playing catch, we had a team. I don't know if they're drawn by a title, first line, or they're merely prowling the web and looking for something to read. Whatever the reason, I'm always glad they come here.

The idea that one writes because of an inner compulsion is quite true, yet writers need readers. You want to communicate and without someone on the other side of the page, you may as well be talking to yourself. As a child I thought about writing, along with a few hundred other things, as children should. Dreaming is the stuff of childhood and God help us if we lose that capacity. As adults we need it as much if not more. It's what brought me to medical school and the joy of my life. But as a child it was hard to imagine translating dreams into words. Now it happens every day, usually first thing in the morning though not always, in large measure thanks to you, whoever and wherever you are.

(Image of Field of Dreams filming site via Wikipedia)
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