I am writing my autobiography, and I have been at it for about four months.
I work on it every day—sometimes all day—when I’m not corresponding with people
about printmaking and my Halfwood Press line. When I tell people about it, I’m
probably guilty of humble bragging. That’s when you brag about yourself behind
a mask of self-deprecation.
It’s something like this: “I have to realize that writing an autobiography
today—if you’re not somebody famous—is foolish on two counts: One, you’re not
famous so who cares? And, Two, no one reads books any more.
It could be that I am famous, but not famous to millions of people—only a
few hundred. The only big number I can claim is the number of people who have
watched my videos on Youtube. One of them got over 22,000 views the last time I
There is another reason for writing my novel, and it’s a secret—even to me.
I am what people call a visionary, or a creative person. I’m not happy about
that because there’s no demand for people like me. (Humble bragging again?).
Since there’s no demand, I’m lonely—an outsider to most peoples’ circles of friends
and professional associates.
In other words, I don’t know what I’m doing.
On the upside of this, however, is that I’m free of encumbrances, such as
non-business telephone calls and social obligations. Even my close family
members leave me alone to do what I think is important to me (and what I hope,
in the end, will be important to them, too).
Here’s the point of this essay—I have in my collection of memorabilia a red
onyx apple. It’s one of the things that will be discarded when I die because it’s
of no apparent value. They sell for about $20 from carved gemstone suppliers. Here
I paraphrase one supplier’s claims:
“Onyx apples remind people of the magic and mystery of fairy
tales, and the legend of good versus evil as in the Garden of Eden. Their
properties are ever-potent, a symbol of trust, growth, sustenance, and bearing
fruit. Apples have also historically been used for happiness and drawing love,
as well as divination rituals. Onyx is a stone of inner strength, persistence,
willpower, and concentration. It keeps you focused, to develop into a master of
self-realigning perceptions, emotions, actions, thoughts, and more. It purifies
your inner monologue, to help you think more positively. Because as we think,
so we believe and behave. This is a stone that can change your life.”
– Sage Goddess
Yet I wouldn’t throw away this apple as long as I live. It was a gift to me
in 1965 from my teacher in graduate school, Professor Geoffrey Bowman. It is a
souvenir from Mexico, and he brought it back because I took care of his house
and cats while he was gone.
Now, writing my bibliography, the onyx apple is mentioned in connection
with my description of the two years I was in graduate school. As I said above,
there are two reasons not to write an autobiography—being unknown and no
readers—and the onyx apple, as the Sage Goddess wrote, has the power to focus
on becoming a master of self-realigning perceptions, etc.
This I interpret to mean that the apple onyx may lead me to a reason to
write an autobiography, which is to realign the emotions, actions, thought and
more. The “more” is to create an autobiography that is a game more than a mere
tome. It might be simple: make the apple, including its image, part of the
autobiography and then use a wiki platform to provide the user (reader?) with
an interesting experience in pursuing the links associated with the onyx apple.
Online I find several types of wiki platforms, one of which gets high
ratings by writers. It is a called tiddlywiki. I'm going to download it and try it.