Monday, December 31, 2018

Keats, Boxing Gloves and Melvin Udall.

It was the great poet John Keats who spoke: "writing is hard, kinda like trying to remove a splinter from a rabid wolverine while wearing boxing gloves".

John Keats never said that- but writing is definitely hard. For this reason, along with about half a dozen other reasons, is why I haven't written a syllable on this blog all year.

Pretty much everything that is worth a damn is hard. Getting tanked on New Years Eve?-not hard. Writing a goofy blog post on New Years Eve?- a little harder. Writing something thoughtful, intelligent and maybe a little witty?- harder still. Disassembling, piece by piece, your smartphone and intricately attempting to put it back together while liquored up on New Years Eve? Hard, yes, but astonishing stupid a far better descriptor.  (Today is New Years Eve, hence this ridiculous exercise).

Caught most of the now 20 year old film As Good as it Gets on a plane the other day. When I first saw it all those years ago, I thought whoever the writer was who penned that exceptionally poignant line of dialogue did the world a great service. The cantankerous, obsessive-compulsive Jack Nicholson character said to the tough-but-kind Helen Hunt: "You make me want to be a better man". I never forget it and 20 years have passed since I saw the film (and the line) again.

I've gotten real cynical as I've aged though I feel no need to apologize for it. The world is always changing and the current iteration, when it comes to civility, creativity and unforced humility, is not of my liking. The annual ritual of making New Years Resolutions I find trite. But that line from that movie hit me right between the eyes. And, yes, a new year is essentially here.

There are at least half a dozen people in my life who need me to be a better man. 

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