When you buy one package of cow’s milk you don’t get to drink the milk of one cow only. It’s not as if you went through the factory hall and noticed, „Oh, this cow has beautiful eye-lashes, I want to drink her milk!” or „Hey, I found one without udder infection, can I have milk from this one?” That’s not how it works. You always get to drink a mix from dozens, if not hundreds of cows.
That was an odd start for this blog post. I wonder if the following story would have made a better choice:
When I was in my single digit years my father’s career looked pretty good. We moved to a better neighbourhood. The type of housing development where every family has their own two-story house with a big garden, next to hills with forests, yet close enough to the city.
All of the neighbours were doing well. One row above us lived the guy who wrote our Austrian president’s presidential speeches, and he did the same for some of our ministers. My mom said that’s his job. For two decades I didn’t know what that meant, but this man was for sure dressed very well, better than everyone else. Later, when I first heard Obama on Youtube, I was like, „Wow, Obama can speak pretty well”. I thought Obama’s speech writer Jon Favreau did a splendid job matching his writing to Obama’s natural style of speaking. And when I read some of Trump’s tweets on Twitter, I imagined his Twitter account manager and tweet-writer must have been a character like F. Tony Scarapiducci from Netflix’s Space Force.
„A congressman randomly hugs General Naird before a budget meeting and F. Tony urges him to just go with it. General Naird goes on to awkwardly hug a congresswoman he had never met before and she’s not comfortable with it at all. General Naird and Dr. Mallory get mad at F. Tony for his suggestion and F. Tony mumbles to himself: Why Am I In Trouble Because Boomers Are Weird Around Women?”– from Space Force Fandom Wiki
Wow, that was even worse.
I shouldn’t touch on politics. A friend once advised me, strongly: „Never write about religion or politics, especially with your limited knowledge about these topics.” Maybe the following paragraph would have been a better choice? Whom can I ask, who will choose for me? Ok, I chose. Here it is:
We don’t know which words in Raymond Carver’s essays have actually been written by Raymond Carver, the famous American short-story writer and poet.
Sometimes „Gordon Lish’s edits improve minimally, give shape to what’s there, or alter a phrase. But at other times the feeling is very different – the characters can be more brutal, for instance, and less is made of the women. Many stories are cut by 50% to 70%.” writes The Guardian, and goes on by reporting, „Tess Gallagher has written by hand her suggestion for the last paragraph [of the essay „Errand”]. If you compare this page to the story as it was eventually published, you’ll find that the very last words of Carver’s very last story were Gallagher’s.”
The Guardian’s continues (I quote loosely): „More than 20 years after Raymond Carver’s death, Tess Gallagher, with the help of the Carver scholars William L Stull and Maureen P Carroll, is bringing out the manuscript of Beginners. She describes the process as a restoration, and says it has taken 12 years for Carver’s words to be exhumed from under Lish’s hand, so extensive were his marks. In this sense she is offering up Beginners as an item of interest rather than a finished piece of work – a bootleg if you will.”
My Feldenkrais Book also underwent the taming – as well as inspiring – choices and suggestions of a human editor (the talented Heidi Woehrle). However, in this blog all posts are original, single sourced, „bootlegged” if you will. You can witness me changing, from blog post to blog post. My learning process becomes more obvious than with edited, published writing. More „authentic”, in the sense of „unaltered”, „unedited”, „not shaped to match a certain personality, spirit, or character”. And maybe, nowadays, this is something people are interesting in seeing.
It’s also one of my favourite things in my movement classes. I can see the process of learning and exploration and development in students. Their authentic selves become visible. And it’s ok. I love that.