In my life I am often misunderstood, and my writing, especially during the days of my youth was often difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious, fleeting, and wild.  In a word, enigmatic.

My early writing was scatter-brained, completely unfocused, and difficult to understand.  I wrote down thoughts, ideas, observations, pretty much anything that floated through my mind, which left me with several filled $1 notebooks from the dollar store which contained useless information.  In that regard, I am happy that I decided to burn my old notebooks to ashes, and although they were a testament to my humble beginnings, they were also, an embarrassment.

It is one thing to archive your greatest work and to improve upon it over the course of a lifetime, taking pride in your continued achievements, but yet another to hold onto nonsense.  My early writing consisted of picture-perfect maps of how my life and love would be; plans for things that I should have known would never come to pass.  When we are young, we allow ourselves to dream, and we  honestly believe that all of our dreams will come true one day, but the older we get, the more that reality teaches us otherwise.  How my life might have been, for better or for worse, had those childhood dreams actually become reality, is something that I often think about.

I started reading Dead Mans Diaries and realized that right now is the best time of my life to write, and to photograph, and to document my life experiences because it is now that I am completely focused, and driven enough so that whatever I write will actually make sense.  The world has yet again become a scary place; natural disasters, terrorism, and civil unrest make one often wonder about ones own seemingly uncertain future.  And yet again it feels as if I’m running out of time and I fear being forgotten by those whom I held in such high regard.  I often fear dying, and fear that all that will be left behind to serve as my legacy are my personal effects.  My photographs and filled handwritten notebooks, of which pale in comparison to the life I have lived, and the memories and adventures that made me the person that I am today.

My father left behind photographs and letters, but very little about his life.  In many ways, I wish he had written more about his life, or at least told me about his life, specifically how much the world has changed over the years.  My father was a brilliant man, yet he completely overestimated the amount of time he had at his disposal for such much needed conversations.  Instead of writing about his life, and leaving me with something I could turn to for advice and sage wisdom, my father spent the last few years of his life writing a novel, of which was never published in print.

I’m constantly reminded that 2016 is an election year here in The United States, and this only adds an extra, added layer of worry and anxiety about the world I live in.  I fear that regardless of who is elected president, there is likely to be civil unrest in the streets, and it scares me.  There are just too many things still left unsaid, and perhaps more importantly, undocumented.  Sadly, my father passed away before he could document what really mattered, and what really mattered was his life, his thoughts, and his life experience.

Thomas Slatin & Harvey Slatin 8-17-2009

The header image was created using Canva.

I Used To Write In Riddles And I Used To Write In Rhymes | I Almost Dedicated My Life To Writing | When Is It Time To Let Go | I Haven’t Gotten It All Figured Out Just Yet | I may be overanalyzing EVERYTHING | She Loved Mysteries So Much That She Became One | Dead Mans Diaries


  • Meldred Judith

    Being a writer is a tough job and it needs to have a genuine passion. There are times that it’s very hard to say the words that you’d like to say but you end up writing them instead.

  • Alex

    I am a fellow writer myself and it is more on heart rather than the green I should say. Enigma? well life is full of it and that is a fact. Interpretations differ from person to person but we do not know everything. There are things beyond our own understanding.

  • jolly555

    Well, sometimes we might penciled our thoughts but in a confusing way but the good thing that we have unburden our minds and it is on pen and paper,

  • Wilson Jake

    It’s always tough to pen down ones feeling and though especially when one just started. But later those scattered notes and pieces start coming together, making more sense.

  • Prince

    But seriously speaking, you are also a great writer. Help him put final touches to that novel your dad didn’t finish and publish it. Make it his gift to the world

  • Oyeyipo Oladele

    Coming up with ideals, later writing them out and later compiling is not an easy tasks. One just need not to relent efforts.

  • saviourv

    Perhaps I’m bound by the chains of Yesterday, and burdened by the sins of Memory, but I wouldn’t be as bold as you are in burning my past efforts.

    The only condolence is that most of my previous writing efforts in my youth have gotten scattered, given that I’ve moved around a fair bit over time. My digital records have mostly been retained, but my physically written ones might have either gotten lost or accidentally discarded during each migration.

    It does take courage to reinvent oneself and figure out that one’s initial path may change in various ways. That’s probably how a person grows, I suppose.

    And even I believe that I’m still searching for my optimal path, and I trust that you are too, Tom. I do wish you the best of luck in it, and that you may never falter in your search, for the day when you grow weary of improvement is probably the time to wait for eternal sleep to claim you.

    May you continue to find your Truth, Tom.

  • brainedet

    Writing is an art or a skill we all need to perfect in. It never easy to put the pieces together but when we do it becomes a masterpiece. So keep keeping on.

  • Janine Bocateja

    I was considered as the blacksheep of the family because of having much tattoos on my body and the way I live my life. Why fit in when you’re born to stand out.

  • Clarissa

    You don’t have to impress everybody. Some will understand you but some will not and that’s the nature of life. We are learning because of those who misunderstood us, thanks to them.

  • Ness

    Putting my thoughts into writing has never been an easy task for me. I feel like I’m more confident to say my thoughts rather than to put it into writing. I admire you and hope that I could also be a good writer someday.

  • Danielle M

    I think most of people is like that at the beginig their first step to become writters or artists is probably not the best and may look embarrasing, I think that’s a normal part of the process in order to reach greatness.

  • Mark Janeo

    Being an author is an intense activity and it needs to have authentic energy. There are times that it’s exceptionally difficult to state the words that you’d prefer to state however you wind up keeping in touch with them.

  • Sophia

    If someone was to judge you by your early writings, they would not have imagined you would be where you are today. Experience is a great teacher.

  • esgyll

    I used to write things in blank notebooks for as long as I could remember writing – filling it with stories that never really amounted to any kind of ending in sight. But I still love them, and read them when I get the chance. There were only a few occasions I could remember wherein some of the writing I did actually made me cringe. Maybe it’s because I love all what I did equally, or the fact that I really didn’t care because I got to write down what I wanted without fear of people saying it’s not the kind of good stuff that they wanted to read. In any case all of them were fond memories which I still take to what I write nowadays.

  • vikram parmar

    I am of the opinion that several people want to become artists. This is a usual aspect to be great.

  • Meg W

    A lot of people hold on to their early work as a kind of souvenir. It’s amazing that you did the complete opposite.

  • Oliver

    Your story of growth is such an inspiration. As an aspiring writer myself I hoppe to get to your level some day.

  • Daphne

    It’s sad that your father never wrote much about his life. At least his legacy lives on through you.

  • Glad

    In life we have to start from some where, I think that’s what matters. The fact that you were able to realise it was time to make a change is success itself. So sorry you were unable to know much about your dad’s life style, but look at it as a lesson and determine to spend time with your kids and let them know more of you.

  • Anderson

    Sometimes in order to grow, we need to live the past in the past. It’s a powerful message indeed Tom.

  • Storm

    How thoughtful of you to finally write about your life experiences. You learnt so much from your dad.

  • Sylvia

    Your story resonates with me a great deal. I guess every writer goes through the same experiences more or less.

Please Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.