Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Every once in a while I will read some of my writing from a few years back. It's all from a few years back. I haven't done any creative writing in a couple of years at least. Not a play, not a story. Shit, I can barely keep this thing updated once a month. Before this whole law school nightmare started, even when I wasn't writing, I was still creating. I acted, I directed. I did what inspired me. Now, I do what I am told. I do what must be done to get the degree, and to get the most out of a crappy situation. I even enjoy it. I like the challenge. I have some good friends. But I don't create. I write briefs. I write memos. I write papers. But I don't write. And that really sucks. I have always felt the urge to create art. Art is what has moved me, and excited me; it is what's precious about life. I want to be a part of it and create it.

But I need to do the law school thing right now. I think it was the right thing to do, but it is harder than I could have imagined.

I know I couldn't do it without Mrs. Beckett.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Little Brothers

Two moments of sadness this past week. First, my little brother by blood, the one I grew up with, suffered the death of his grandmother. She was not my grandmother, and her passing did not move me much, but I feel for him. My grandmother died not too long ago, and I miss her still. The funeral took place in a viewing room at a funeral home. It was open-casket. The priest gave a fairly formulaic speech, did the rites, and then we walked out. The priest did a fairly good job; he didn't seem to know her or the family. That was my Wednesday morning. Thinking of you, little brother.

The other moment just occurred. As I have mentioned here before, I am a mentor with Catholic Charities. My Little is now 13. He is a bright, energetic, sensitive young kid. Everyone remarks on his smile. Anyway, he just called me, and told me in his always-quiet voice that he couldn't hang out tomorrow. We were going to finish putting together the Lego Ferrari I got him for his birthday. It was clear he had been crying and he wouldn't tell me what had happened. And he said he didn't know when he would be able to hang out. He then told me, with a little urgency, that he had to go. I heard his mother saying "Get off the phone," and he sort of whimpered a little. I think I said OK, or bye or something and she yelled at him to get off the phone again.

I wish I could go there and take him out of there, if just for a half hour. I was in his shoes, on the other end of the phone, many times as a kid. I was constantly getting into trouble for which my mother's preferred method of punishment was some sort of deprivation. I would be forbidden to see my friends, or go out, or watch a TV show, or have a snack. So I felt deep empathy for him. I know he is lonely, and that his mother is stretched to the limit. And I think he has been branded as a problem and a troublemaker. If making trouble is how he gets his mother's attention, I know from experience, their conflicts are unlikely to abate any time soon.

I also miss the chance to hang out with him. Playing and putting Legos together and eating pizza is a nice break from law work. And I know it means a lot to him to be treated as specially as we treat him here in the Beckett household. So, I'm thinking of you, too, little brother.