March 16, 2021 Blog Update – My father turned 93 today and he still writes at the kitchen table. Not as often. He tells me, “Some days are better than others, and some days, well, it just doesn’t come to me.” But the legal pads remain piled high next to the cup of pens, all waiting to be put to good use.
The following is from a special contributor to my blog feed. My father, Walter L. Eschbach. An author, historian, editorial and creative writer, who composes all his work, in perfect script, with pen on yellow legal paper – at age 88 years young. I asked him, why? This is how he replied. And I think all writers, young and old, will relate.
Why do I write?
I suppose to meet different needs at different times in my life. The writing is never quite the same because the needs keep changing, however, there are certain themes that recur: freedom, intuition, chance, spontaneity, politics, honesty, identity, aloneness, relationships, privacy, and love. Sometimes I write to come to terms as best I can with sadness or a feeling of inadequacy.
Sometimes I write just for the sheer, uninhibited fun of it, to amuse myself, following words across the sea the way dolphins follow a boat, just having a jamboree with ideas; letting them spiral around in the air like fireworks.
Most of the time I write because there is an organic need deep inside me to put words on paper and when I focus my life down to this intricate interaction between my mind and letters on a page, I feel good inside.
Perhaps writing is for me the same kind of experience that painting was for the prehistoric artists in the caves of Lascaux, Altamira, and Cuevas de las Manos. Painting the deer or the bison gave the artists a sense of relationship and control over his universe.
And so with me. If I can write about it, I make it mine.
There is an exhilaration for me, known or imagined, when I come across a new idea that relates exactly to me or when I discover within myself just the right away to say something.
An hour of writing well can give this Senior Citizen a high joy for the rest of the day.
Walter L. Eschbach
Eschbach’s most recent book takes readers on a sentimental journey on St. Louis, Missouri’s most beloved streetcar line The Clayton 04: A Kaleidoscope of Streetcar Memories in paperback and available to buy on Amazon.com.
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