Writing From The Dark Side

In a past life, my wife would need to implore me to come back from my dalliance with “the dark side”. When I worked for a company I liked to call “The Evil Empire”, that was a place I visited on too frequent a basis. I was not the easiest person to live with.

However, that job is gone, and Happy Joe has been present and accounted for 99% of the time. But, I seem to be on a little of a dark side streak. Negative events in the media have prompted publication of the two most recent posts here, my related opinions of the Aurora mass murder and the cover up and subsequent betrayal by Joe Paterno.

The original intent of this site was to pay tribute to those closest to me: grandparents, godmother, members of my family and friends, sharing the life lessons they passed along to me. Which I consider a gift.

Chris Brogan had put it best: “Turn your lens on your family. Tell family stories for future generations.”

Although my last two posts approach what is quality content, I’m unsure if the stories fit here. I want a certain feel to each post or series of posts. I didn’t get that feeling.

Lens On The Family

I left a comment at Jack’s place after he published an excellent post about how certain smells trigger memory. As I read it, one memory of the smell of meatballs cooking in my kitchen as I’m frying them immediately brings me back to my grandmother’s house, the scenario always being the same: Early on a Saturday morning, running down the stairs in my pajamas, woken up by the scent of meatballs wafting through the halls.

And the ritual of being the first to get a meatball sample at the start of another weekend. Perfect blog fodder for whenever I decide to dispatch procrastination and just write it.

I’m not exactly sure why I would write about anything else, especially the topics of mass murder and pedophile supporters. There are more than enough people to comment and write about all the crazy in the world. I did it, and it felt like a chore. When I left that brief comment about smells and memory, it flowed. I know if I turn it into a full length post, that would flow as well.

This summer has not been all peaches and cream. I lost my best friend after his long struggle with Parkinson’s, and another very good friend of mine passed away suddenly at the age of 59, just two weeks later.

It’s said that once you hit a certain age that you start to attend more funerals than weddings, and it looks like I may be in that place. That’s one part of life where you wish you could roll back the clock.

Clocks notwithstanding, life’s frequent patches of darkness are more than enough to shed light on without going to the current events pages to handle that as well. Lessons to be learned.

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7 thoughts on “Writing From The Dark Side

  1. Just write is my motto. If you tear apart my archives you’ll find plenty of time spent on darker topics as well as the light. It is all part of a big exploration of my thoughts, ideas and feelings about life.

    Some of the best moments came from comments people made about the darker side. There really was some remarkable wisdom that was shared and I am grateful for it.

    1. “Just write” is a motto that has served you well, my friend. When I go back, my archives aren’t all sunshine and rainbows, either. I guess I’ve been dabbling in the dark side for some time. It does provoke thoughtful feedback from the readers. In fact, I think I need to comment on the Jack B right now!

  2. Hi Joe, thanks for your thoughtful post. The same thing happened to me. I was fully enjoying exploring my creative side, posting humorous stories, then felt the need to comment on the Trayvon Martin case. While I wrote it I felt jittery and uncomfortable and I got into territory I hadn’t planned on. The post invited comments I wasn’t prepared for and a fellow blogging friend recommended I pull it, with the rationale that other people would read the post and not look further at the material I had actually intended. I say, go with your gut and your heart and what makes you feel good. When you are in the flow, you know-you lose track of time and you feel energized, not depleted! I’m sorry for the losses you have had and I hope writing continues to bring you joy and peace.

    1. Dana, the Martin case was very polarizing. I think you would get negative feedback no matter the side you approached it from. I know when I feel nervous about writing something, that the “publish” button is the correct route. Gut instinct plays a role, and when you look back, you should be satisfied you took the chance. I’m happy with what I wrote, but the subject matter just sickens me. This world needs to become a better place.

  3. I started my blog to try to uplift myself and anyone who stopped by to read it, but I think it’s okay to say what is on your heart, too. I make (and keep) a list of blog ideas when I have trouble deciding what to write about. After jotting down bullet points under each idea, I pick the one that seems easiest to write about that week. Good luck to you in this endeavor.

    1. Christina, thanks for reading. The list of post ideas is so important. I keep a little notebook with me at all times just in case…

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