too busy to wonder why

The "Faulkner portable": American no...
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“An artist is a creäture driven by demons – he usually doesn’t know why they chose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why.” ~William Faulkner

I chose to go old school one day and visit the library. I opened a World Book Encyclopedia and found out that Friday, September 25, is William Faulkner’s birthday.

My favorite story about him I heard from a podcast by the University of New Orleans. He said he drank because he was in pain from a metal plate in his head from an injury in World War 1. He drank, yes, but there was no metal plate. He also sewed pockets into his coat to carry liquor bottles around town.

Hearing facts like these makes me wish I was in college again to soak up all this knowledge. No wonder I have so many dreams of sitting in chairs with halves of desk tops. Lately those dreams came to fruition when I started volunteering in my daughters’ class rooms. Like John Fogerty once sang, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

One day back at UW-Parkside my professor talked about Faulkner and how much he wrote about the south. I said, “That’s because there’s nothing else to do down there.” I was a smart Aleck back then but no more.

I visited parts of the south last year and what I saw mostly were teenage kids hanging out in Wal-Mart parking lots smoking. And I always heard stories of people sitting out on their front porch on Sunday afternoons. A drive down a rural route in Kentucky and Tennessee proved this true. They really do sit out on their front porch and drink iced tea and talk to each other. Mind blowing!

So if Faulkner were around today maybe he’d write about those smoking Wal-Mart kids or sun tea on the porch. Maybe he brought around demons with the liquor bottles stored in his coat pockets as he sat in the French Quarter. Whatever the case, I’m sure he was too busy to wonder about it all. Hotty Toddy.


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