I tend to look at the holiday season more as a time of thrilling surprises for others than for myself. As a result, I was stunned when an AuthorsDen administrator (thanks Matt) informed me that some brave and generous soul had opted to sponsor my membership on the site.
In fact, I was doubly-stunned because this marked the second consecutive year that an anonymous sponsor––also known as a Secret Santa––had chosen to bless the fruit of my pen in such a manner. All serious writers––whether professionals or hobbyists––enjoy feeling they are communicating something of value to someone somewhere in the world. Therefore, I was grateful for this affirmation of my own work as represented by an unknown sponsor’s––also known as an Angel––magnanimous gesture. I could not help feeling curious about this mysterious individual; and, oddly, I could not help feeling proud of him or her as well.
I am curious because this person most likely is aware of the negative criticisms that my work sometimes draws but chose to make their own positive evaluation of it. That struck me as admirable not on account of how it benefited me but because it revealed there are still people in the world who dare to stand apart from a given herd and exercise their own informed sense of aesthetic and cultural value. In an era when celebrities make headlines for not wearing panties and athletes draw million-dollar checks for brawling in public, receiving the gift of sponsorship for one’s shared works becomes a bit like winning a junior National Book Award.
The individual prompted to present such a prize, I imagine, would have to be someone who takes the time to sort though the brutal cacophonies and chilling furies of the world as well as their own soul to extract from them a balanced understanding of both. They would likely have some quiet regard for the lives of those whose poems, essays, short stories, plays, novels, pamphlets, and biographies joined energies to give birth to what we call the literary tradition.
For such a person to simply take note of one’s efforts is a gift in itself. For him or her to lend concrete support to the presentation of that work––in this case The Black Skylark Z-Ped Music Player ––is an act of both camaraderie and beneficence for which I am glad to say Thank You. Hopefully, whoever you are, you will enjoy my new poem, “Angel of Hope’s Persistent Flight,” when I post it this weekend and whatever works, in different genres, follow thereafter.
This is also a good time to say thank you to all of those who have shared blessings of literary and musical fellowship with me throughout the year. If you have not yet taken advantage of the free download for Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black, I hope you will: to do so please click here . In addition, the CD download for The Goddess and the Skylark, Dancing Through the Word Labyrinth makes a great last-minute gift for a friend or yourself.
Happy Holidays from Aberjhani