Gone Away ~ The journal of Clive Allen in America

Fool That I Am

I know what I am.

I know that I have a certain facility for writing, that the words on the page seem easily, casually put down. Even, I am aware that this is a gift, a present from God, that I have not earned or deserved. From the age of sixteen I have been conscious of it, fully aware that the written words that flowed from my pen would bring undeserved praise from the examiners and inspectors. And I know that any protests that this is the result of hard labor and unceasing toil are hollow. Certainly, I work at it, rarely setting anything down until it has been kneaded and molded in the mind, reading and re-reading to ensure polish. But I am not fooled; this is nothing in comparison with the sweat and long sufferings of other writers. And my exhaustion at the end of a passage is as nothing when compared with the agonies of others. It's a gift, that's all.

I know what I am.

I reach into the depths for some excuse, some peace offering that I might give in exchange. The other talent, briefly nurtured then thrown away in favor of this writing, suggests itself. Yet that was my choice, my decision. Should I mention the years spent acquiring experience, the daily grind that moves one, eventually and in old age, to have something worth saying? Yet this is no more than any of us do, most without the comfort of knowing that there is a purpose, that something deep within stirs and matures towards wisdom. Perhaps I might point at the rejection of earlier offerings, the dashing of hopes long fostered? But this is par for the course, the inevitable companion to that first decision to try, at least to try.

You see, I know what I am.

At the last gasp, I find something that might, just might, serve as some sort of vague counterbalance for what I have been given. I remember, just in time, that I am a fool. And I can't help it; time and time again, with my eyes wide open, I am a fool.

You see, I love talent in others. When I see it, I cannot fight it; the urge to encourage and cajole, to nurture and guide, overpowers me. Their joy becomes my joy, their discoveries, mine. Even when they achieve that which has never been mine, recognition and success, still I root for them as I fade into the forgotten pages of their history. Oh, fool that I am.

Yes, it's true that I derive a form of satisfaction from their achievements. Yes, it is good to say that this was, in some small measure at least, a creation of mine. Yet who but a fool would face the army that has defeated him so often before and say, "That's not enough. Add a few more"? It is ever before me that I might one day uncover a talent so great that I would be reduced to silence in its power (indeed, might already have done so). Yet I am not deterred, fool that I am.

So I offer this as a somewhat flawed and unlikely excuse. Do not assume that what you take for smugness is anything more than a desperate hunger for recognition of a gift that was granted so long ago. If I am rendered silent, be sure that it is not that I do not understand; rather, it is that I understand too much.

I know what I am. Fool that I am.


Waiting for the next addition...fool that I am! *Wink*
Date Added: 30/11/2004

I'm working on it, Georgia, honest!
Date Added: 30/11/2004

"Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise." 1 Cor. 1:27.
Date Added: 31/01/2005

Gone Away
Oh, you led me a merry dance this time, Remainderman. But I tracked you down in the end. You see, Mad put a clever little thing in these pages, a thing that emails me when a comment is deposited in one of these pages. But that is all it tells me; it does not tell me which page I should go to.

Of course, most times I can count on the new comment being placed on one of the very latest pages. But, every now and then, someone will leave a present, nay, a gift in an earlier page and I must hunt, like a child searching for Easter eggs, that I might express my thanks.

And you, in true recognition of the game we play, Remainderman, have set me a pretty puzzle on account of all this. I salute you, sir, for the agility with which you have played the game. But I have won. For the sake of a single clue, I have won. The word "foolish" was the clue and it led me unerring to this place. So I must thank you for both this gift and the game; both have been worth the playing.

How good would it be to know that this, my foolishness, were indeed the gift of God. He is my greatest of gifts and in Him I am replete.
Date Added: 31/01/2005

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