Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:March 17th, 2009 11:00 EST
Have You Ever Thought About Writing?

Have You Ever Thought About Writing?

By Djelloul (Del) Marbrook (Editor/Mentor)

I think a lot about how writers write. Some bounce on the trampoline. Some like the company of Jack Daniels or the St. Pauli Girl. Some write all night and sleep all day. Some stand, some drape themselves around. I stuff notepads in my pockets and walk around, stopping under awnings and lampposts. Then I go home and transcribe my notes into the computer. But only when they`re cold, because when they`re still hot I understand them, but when they`re cold they sometimes don`t resemble any known language. Worse yet, I sometimes can`t imagine what I was thinking.

But that`s all blather compared to what I really think I`m doing. I think I`m talking to this guy named Djelloul who`s a whole lot savvier than I am. He makes more sense than I do. He keeps me from getting caught up in my own lunacies. He`s not as paranoid as I am. In fact, he`s not paranoid at all. He talks more respectfully than I do, and better yet, he listens. I feel so grateful for his demeanor that I always ask him for permission to speak, the way I remember doing in the Navy. He`s a superior officer.

Now what I`ve just said is a bit of a problem if you`ve read much psychology. Looks like the makings of a psychotic break, right? A fragmenting persona "the first in a series of people renting the same head. And I`m not going to argue with that notion, because I figure I`m never a stone`s throw away from being a nutcase. In fact, I`m very likely a well disguised nutcase right now, masquerading as an average guy. You could say this nice stranger named Djelloul showed up when I was a kid to keep me company through the rough spots "there were some ugly ones.

But there`s another way of looking at it. Back in the Twelfth Century in Spain, when the Moors ruled most of it, there was a man named Muhammed Ali ibn Arabi. He was a Sufi, a mystic, and he had an idea about the creative imagination. The idea was that between you and God you could call something worthy into being by the power of the creative imagination. Ibn Arabi gave man a crucial role in the workings of the universe. Man, he said, is God`s co-operant. If this interests you at all, please don`t take my feeble explanation for the whole of it. Ibn Arabi is well worth your study. Once I`d read him I thought that any time I try to make sense of anything, any time I try to say something well, anytime I try to write a poem or a story, I`m God`s co-operant. And in that case why can`t this comforter named Djelloul be God`s emissary?

Now this too is dangerous ground, the psychologists will tell you, because it`s grandiose, and when we`re grandiose and pompous we`re cockeyed. It`s me giving myself airs. But I persist in thinking it`s not so grandiose if I think that when I write I`m praying, and when I`m praying I`m working. And when I`m not doing that I`m busy driving myself crazy.