Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without A Country (can’t remember where I found this)
I’ve always loved stories. Growing up out in the country of kentucky, with fields and woods all around, I used to explore everywhere making up stories in my head about the places and things we’d find. I’d build. Mostly bridges over stinky creek. There was the overgrown graveyard set deep in the woods with roots twisting the headstones as if bodies were pushing their way out. There was the creek in winter, frozen enough to walk and skate on, the swish of our shoes on ice and clothes against clothes competing with our breaths for noise in the muffled white world. Animals died. I had to explain the sinkhole to myself.
I grew up in a prefabricated house, a house my parents bought from a kit or a magazine, that was long, wide and rectangular. Like a mobile home, only bigger and rooted firmly to the ground, with a chimney my dad built. He also built our barn, and knowing that as a 4 year old, looking up at that huge edifice, i realised that my dad had built a cathedral, just him. And i looked at that barn like it was a cathedral. I even have had a life long reccuring dream about a secret room in that barn, where sometimes great things happen and that sometimes terrifying things can happen too. He also built a wall of a bookcase, so big that it holds approximately 500 books. So, guess who loves books?
Stories outside, stories inside, stories in me. I studied journalism and Spanish in college because I wanted to be a foreign correspondent. I was taught sensationalism instead and dropped out. It was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. Eventually, I began to write poetry. Lots of poetry. Bad poetry. Slightly better poetry. And eventually after that again, slightly better better poetry. I’ve been published a few times, I’ve a chapbook, I’ve been invited to poetry festivals (never been able to afford to go though since i’m dirt poor) and I’ve done a lot of poetry readings.
i’ve also been unemployed a very long time. I lost my job a few years ago when shit turned bad and it turned bad here in Kerry, Ireland. People eventually began to not even respond or acknowledge my attempts to get a job. Life became incredibly stressful, but, it was also during this time that I came to realise that I was old enough to know and understand the difference between living and existing and that I didn’t want to exist anymore. I vowed never to go back the the line of work I’d been doing for the previous 8-9 years. I began to appreciate the time I had with my wife and our dog, to appreciate living in the unbelievably beautiful place that we live in, and for both of us to find something meaningful and fulfilling to do.
I love stories. Why can’t i do that for a living?
I found radio, not music programming, but documentaries, features and specialist programming. I’ve been studying Radio Broadcasting for the last two years now, and it’s been a revelation. It’s made me think again on that “biggest mistake of my life” and has made me wonder….was it though? It’s made me question whether or not this is what I was meant for. I want to explore how the depth and complexity of our human voice lends to radio’s unique power as a storytelling medium.There are stories that I want to tell; about the world in it’s most infinitesimal, in it’s most grand, in it’s most ordinary and in it’s most out of the ordinary. About people, places and things. There are stories everywhere. I’m looking for them. I’m making some up. I want to tell stories, real and unreal for big people and little people. I’m trying to figure out how to do that. I hope i can do that but i can’t be lazy…and dammit…i’m soo lazy.