I’ll start by talking about some of my heroes, and people whose lives have made an impression on me: Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Jesus Christ, Gautama Buddha, Thich Naht Hahn, Willie Nelson, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Keith Jarett, James Brown, Eddie Torres, ….apparently mostly musicians, dancers and spiritual leaders, but I see that this only partly reflects what I value…I love visual artists as well, and poets, but in those cases I connect more with their work than the individual. I love the sculpture of Michelangelo, Rodin, Henry Moore — but would I love them as individuals? I have no idea what they were really like. Then Picasso, Monet, Goya, Matisse, Van Gogh….at least two of these had a definite reputation and probably not a person I would want to hang out with or think of as a hero/role model, but I love their work. Similar feeling about poets, novelists, film directors. The most difficult category is probably politics, a losing game. The brightest political minds seem to have the least influence.
But with Woody Guthrie, its about who that person is. His courage, integrity, the music that was in him, his love of humanity. I want to be like that. He was a great poet and writer as well: “Bound for Glory” is some of the best storytelling I’ve ever heard, seems so fresh and genuine, the tales of his boyhood as if they happened just yesterday and got exactly what everyone said verbatim. Of course doesn’t the narrative skill of a Melville, Dreiser, Twain, etc…but he writes some of the best first-person narrative I’ve ever read.
So maybe that’s what I’m doing here, putting myself out to the world so that I am forced to define myself, my writing style and get clear about who I am and what I want to say, and at the same time improve my ability to say it.
Wow! Just learned something about this format….name a famous person or topic, and you get a link! OK, will just roll with it this time, I’ll be interested to follow these links myself…
- Woodie Guthrie: “anybody caught singin it without our permission…” (sharingisliberty.wordpress.com)