Happy Saturday, friends! I’m checking in as usual with a bit of an update on exactly how things are progressing here at Robert Frost’s Banjo Central, & I must say I’m hopeful that some good news is near at hand.
I got a call yesterday afternoon from the management of one of the subsidized housing complexes to which I’ve applied telling me that my name has come up on the waiting list & there is a vacancy. Now, I have to admit a few things to you folks: first, I was entirely flabbergasted, as I didn’t expect such a call until at least some time well into next year; second, I had that heady mix of elation filled with a gnawing dread that somehow, something will go wrong, this will all come crashing down—in fact, I wasn’t going to post this good news feeling that to do so might somehow “jinx” me. Of course, as friends who already have heard the news have pointed out, I am who I purport to be in all senses of the word, & as such am qualified for the housing. & while my past may be undistinguished as far as the public record goes, that also means I have no significant “skeletons in the closet” that should affect this. So I’m taking the advice of a good friend on Facebook & trying to “entertain success.” I meet with the manager on Monday afternoon, & hope to know something certain by the end of next week—I must admit to a good deal of excitement about this prospect!
In other news: I decided a little while back to re-read The Hobbit & the Ring trilogy this winter, & just this past week I began this venture. It really takes me back. I’ve read the entire cycle at least twice before—once when about eleven & then again in my late teens or very early 20s. The fact is, had it not been for the Tolkein books, my life might have taken a much different path, because I was so enthralled with them that I decided at age eleven (not ten as previously reported to a friend) to become a writer & composed an entire novel called The Township Travelers that was based rather closely on the events in Tolkein’s Hobbit—in fact this manuscript still exists, but it will not be posted to a blog near you!
Of course, subsequent reading of the Trilogy made me expand my vision, & throughout my teens—even in the early years of my drug & drinking dissolution which lasted from around 16 to 23—I thought of myself as a fantasy author. I read everything Ballantine Books published along those lines & more besides: from Lord Dunsany to Ursula K. LeGuin, & feverishly composed all sorts of fantastical scenarios. Later I turned my hand to more conventional short stories, & around the time I sobered up, I began writing poetry almost exclusively. Now you really know “the r4est of the story!”
So in addition to being the sub-title to The Hobbit, this excursion really is “There & Back Again” for me. As I re-read the story, sometimes I wonder if I could see myself as a fantasy writer in my golden years. What do you think?
How “there & back again” fits with this news about possibly having a place of my own in the not-too-distant future may be more difficult to express, but there is a feeling of “return” to this—return to a life I’d led earlier as a single person in San Francisco. Of course, I’m significantly older now & much of my life circumstances have changed. At any rate, it promises to be a true adventure.
Please wish me luck, friends!