“Youth ends when egotism does; maturity begins when one lives for others.” Hesse

For whom do I really write: me or you?

As the story continues to unfold, I’ve been told for years you should write a book… a blog… a journal and so forth. However, until yesterday when a friend wrote, “you need to write”, did it occur to me that perhaps, I do need to write.

I’ve come half a century, half a world. With all the experiences and baggage I’ve lived ten lives, maybe more. Perhaps it would do me better to write than do a mental thorzen shuffle in my mind or oratate on and on, irritating my poor wife.

I have been writing privately to my children, each in individual books. A memoir to them about them, about us. Provide insight to my motivations and my observations of them as we grow old through their lives’ milestones and experiences. Something to leave them, if they care one day.

But then again, perhaps my friend said I need to write because I am purely, poorly, pathetically bad at it. In need of practice. Of content and prose. In process. In all practical organization of thought and execution.

Oh! There I go again. Doubt. We all suffer from it. However when you are given away at birth, as I was, doubt follows you like the ugly mongrel dog that no one wanted but couldn’t kill; that, which you can’t shake no matter how you try to escape or confront it (but wait, my friend wrote, “you’re good, Max”… but wasn’t he fired – maybe he was just laid off?).

Though my youth and those antecedents have long since passed to ease the trauma of it all, perhaps this lingering doubt translates simply to – do I have the chops? Specifically, do I have the chops for others that they routinely wish to enter my mind, see the world from a different persepctive, ease their angst, anger and frustration in their live’s projectory? their struggle with modern life – isolated as they live socially.

Through life’s contradiction, it’s all an exercise in maturity in the end then… but for whom, me or you? Can it be mutually carthartic? An exercise from the futility, an expression, outreach, life lessons, or simply a mutual love. A love for words, if not able to have the audasity to say, a love for craft.

Then I realize it has all come full circle. My epitath of ego. My youthful fantasy of one last clever, everlasting gift that I dreamt etched on my ficitious grave stone – “was it good for you?”

Somehow I’ve roundly supported Hesse’s thesis, even, perhaps, solved my shyful, literary confusion. It is for you… even though we live in a world of it being all about me.

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