A Little About “Me”

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Richard Rohr suggests that “coming out of the closet” in our culture refers to finding the freedom to express and live the person you really are, not the one you were/are “supposed to” be. This expression usually refers to those who are “coming out” re sexual preference in their life. But for me, my “coming out of the closet” has merely meant coming to see that I am, at heart, a writer and always have been. I have recently become a little child again and have such tremendous insights into what went on in my early youth, a discovery that was greatly facilitated by spending last year as a substitute teacher with early elementary children. My childhood began to return to me, my “inner child” if you please, and I recalled the intense vulnerability and self-consciousness from realizing that I did not belong to the world in which I found myself. This was because the world I saw, and felt, was a world full of nuance, complexity, and ambiguity and was not rigidly defined as was the world that I found myself in and felt intense pressure to join. My world at that point was a “literary” world, a world that could have produced a writer or artist of some sort. But, I demonstrated that “faint-hearted” quality that I’ve always wrestled with and and took the “30 pieces of silver” the rigidly conservative world offered me and became “literal lew.”

But, in my mid-thirties “literal lew” began to crumble under the weight of reality…or as I prefer to think of it, with the gracious intervention of the Spirit of God…and “literarylew” began to stir, though he would not surface in the blog-o-sphere until about three years ago. Here I continue to find increased courage to speak from my heart, not from merely my head, and feel empowered by the experience. This literary enterprise is helping me to find what Paul Tillich called, “The Courage to Be,” which carries a costly price-tag summed up by the words of T. S. Eliot, “A condition of complete simplicity, costing not less than everything.” And here in this venue it has been powerfully rewarding to meet kindred spirits from around the world who feel the same Spirit of Life burgeoning forth in their heart and feel the deep connection that words can offer; as beneath the surface of “words” I feel there is the “Word.” And from time to time I quote Archibald MacLeish on this point, telling each of you, “Winds of thought blow magniloquent meanings betwixt me and thee.”

THE BARE FACTS — I am a retired mental health counselor from Arkansas who relocated to El Prado, New Mexico (just outside of Taos) in February, 2015 where I am enjoying establishing new roots and connections in the company of my lovely wife Claire and two beloved dachshunds, Elsa and Ludwig. I have an undergraduate degree in history/psychology from Henderson State University in Arkansas and a Master’s degree in counseling from the University of Arkansas. But my real education has been obtained in my exploration of literature, especially poetry, and in the graduate school that Shakespeare described as “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.”

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