THE UNSPEAKABLE JOURNEY
“Some things are what they are. It doesn’t matter if we choose to see the best in people, if there is an inherent darkness inside they’ll be no exorcising of this without therapy or a life altering event of some kind.”
Good morning and happy Sunday to you.
So, how’s it been? Have you missed me? Go on, confess, you know you have. Sundays simply aren’t the same anymore, are they?
Firstly, a quick thank you to all of those who have taken the time to write and wish me a) luck with the manuscript and b) ask why I can’t write a novel and the blog at the same time. I guess that’s a fair question but I did think I’d explained it in my previous post; a Different Angle articles, subject to topic, do take a lot of research and preparation, and this is time I should be spending on finishing my book, Unspeakable.
Speaking of which (if you excuse the pun), I’m delighted to report that, out of a focus group of 9 people, the average score on the current version of the manuscript was 8.4 out of 10! I’m absolutely thrilled to get this for the first draft. Imagine how much better it can be if I apply myself.
I guess now would be as good a time as any to apologise if this particular post appears to be more of a book promotion/ press release than a contemporary blog post. I guess the reason for this is the fact that all of these works happen to be the things that are having a major impact in my life right now and it would be fair to say that I’m deliberately trying to filter out everything else so that I may focus on the project in hand.
That said, today sees the beginning of my writing sabbatical. I don’t know exactly where me and my trusty laptop will end up but it’s bound to be some public place… hey, maybe I can run some kind of competition; dress in a pink jump suit or something and then have a ‘spot Tony’ competition; whoever spots me gets a copy of the book when it’s published…. um, maybe not.
If you would like to follow ‘Unspeakable’s Journey’; from mind to paperback, you can like the newly created Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableNovel. It’s early days and we’re still working on the manuscript’s landing page that will eventually be viewable from my website or its dedicated page here www.tonymarturano.com/unspeakable
We’ve also just finished a revamp on Nimbus’ landing page (which is available now ) www.tonymarturano.com/nimbus. Take a look if you dare.
So, book plugs and information broadcast over… what else has been happening in the world?
Well, this week we saw the sentencing of Ariel Castro. Don’t know who he is? Well, he was the delightful creature, who described himself as a man who was ‘happy inside’. It also happened to be a ‘predator’ who lured no less than 3 women into his home and kept them captive for over 10 years. He even fathered a child with one of them (try not to be media desensitised when you hear this story because you’ve heard it before) . This despicable excuse of human being would even pay the women after he raped them only to then ask for the money back should then need anything from the shops. This psychopath (not an official diagnosis) would often ‘secure’ the women in manacles whilst he attended church only to return home to torture them some more.
Luckily, the presiding judge saw through his veiled apologies and ludicrous excuses and handed down a combined sentence of 1000 years. The only sad thing is that that he cannot physically serve each and every one of them.
When I wrote my post WORLD OF EVIL, I remember my friend, who always strives to see the good in people, trying to encourage me to follow the same path. I have to confess that whilst I may try to adopt this practice I’m often exposed to individuals that have me struggling with it although I guess this is right up there with the whole half empty/half full glass. Or maybe not. Some things are what they are. It doesn’t matter if we choose to see the best in people, if there is an inherent darkness inside them they’ll be no exorcising of this without therapy or a life altering event of some kind. (It’s this very darkness that the rain exploits in Nimbus and some of the characters display in Unspeakable)
Last night I was lucky enough to be able to fulfil a long term goal to see the showman, Derren Brown, live on stage. And it was a fantastic evening. One theme that rang true throughout the show was that, in life, we choose to see what we want to see; the good, the bad, the ugly in people is often on display, we just need to want to see it. I write about this in WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? Some of Derren Brown’s most astounding acts are the results of a lifetime of honing the ability to ‘read’ others; their body language, their voice, how they dress and comport themselves, as well as miniscule nuances they display as he questions them.
During my work on Coming up For Air, I had no less than 3 members of the American military in tears during one of the many interviews (or sessions) I conducted (and no, men, I’m not just talking females). And you’d be forgiven for wondering how this was possible since these people didn’t even know me, you would have thought they’d have their guard up, truth is, they did. I often found myself in sessions where the plain answer would be “Yes Sir” and “No Sir”.
The main reason why I was able to get many interviewees to open up and tell me their story was due to a bit of showmanship of my own. I didn’t just ask people to come into the room and tell all, I asked them to tell me about themselves. As they did, I’d gather as much information as I could about them via a series of questions and then, when I found what I was looking for, I’d pursue that line of questioning. What I was looking for were their ‘pain points’. Those significant life events and character traits that sculpted them into the people they are today. The same things that I believe are responsible for the subsequent relationships they went on to forge (personal or professional). By understanding these, I established a bond that inspired trust and ultimately them to share some of the most intimate aspects of their relationships. Don’t get me wrong, this was very much a mutually beneficial experience; I’d get the research I needed for the book, and they a mini counselling session!
I guess one of the reasons why I find myself writing about this is because this week I met with an old friend who takes that whole ‘life is what you make it’ theory to a new level. Sadly, because of this person’s right to privacy and the fact that I know they would never speak to me again, I cannot share details of one of the most incredible and heart wrenching human emotional struggles I have encountered during all of my research. (I wish I could because I think it would give many, as it did me, much needed perspective). We’re talking years of incredibly negative and soul destroying misfortune. From relationship trauma, to family strife to health scares, yet you’ll seldom see this person without a smile on their face and often porting the tagline “oh well, there’s no point crying about it, you’ve just got to move on, haven’t you?” “Doesn’t take much to smile, does it?” (or words to that effect).
I did share that whilst I found their bravery inspiring, I was also concerned. There’s a very high number of human beings who go through life ‘protecting’ themselves from the things that cause them harm (emotional harm that is) by choosing to ignore and refusing to ‘absorb’ life’s pains, I don’t believe this practice is healthy. Whilst you think you haven’t absorbed something, it’s most likely that you have, you just don’t know about it and (depending on what it is) It may allow you to function today and maybe even tomorrow, the day after, and maybe even years after yet, when you least expect it, everything you are suppressing now may well manifest itself in other ways. I believe this to be true of all our ‘psychological exposure’, be that personal, professional relationships or anything else.
Like a tooth cavity; psychological pains often stay with us a lifetime (even if we believe we buried it well), we’re merely masking the symptoms, we haven’t deployed a cure. The cure, in this analogy, would be to clean and fill the cavity or to extract the offending tooth.
Of course, this doesn’t make the bravery of this particular friend any less impressive. Indeed, the most impressive thing about this very story was the point that I was trying to make; life constantly challenges all of us, yes, some more than others, we call this living, but the key is not in how lucky or unlucky we may be but in how we deal with the things that shape us, our world, and in how we allow these things to affect who we are and how we treat those around us.
Have a great Sunday.
“When life gives you a thousand reasons to cry, show it you have a thousand reasons to smile”