I’m a predictable creature. Everything comes back to writing and reading with me. Always.
Such was the feeling after the shock from winning a Jim Murray Memorial Foundation scholarship wore off.
Jim Murray was a legendary sports columnist for the LA Times before his death in 1998. His wife, Linda McCoy-Murray, established the scholarship foundation that bears his name; she was also the bearer of good tidings for me today.
I was as surprised as I am overjoyed now. I found the application on a bulletin board in the Daily Bruin office, applied on a lark (a week or so before a deadline) and went through a couple rounds of edits with the scholarship counselors (who are wonderful human beings) and completely forgot about the application.
I mean, I was going through some things – all of which boiled down to not knowing what do with my life and leaning towards hipsterdom. And it’s ironic that I was awarded a scholarship tailored to aspiring journalists a month after I resigned from a newspaper I spent three years either idolizing, working for, or both.
Let’s get one thing straight, though. I am still a journalist and writer (as if that wasn’t obvious to my dear friends!) albeit one who’s taking a (much-anticipated) sojourn through student political life. Consider Carey McWilliams or Taylor Branch and you’ll see what I’m shooting for.
But that’s the point, really – whatever I do or have done, luck or fate or God or my subconscious or whatever keeps pulling me back to storytelling and truthtelling.
I am, beneath my politicking and my organizing and my activisting and my student advocating, a craftsman telling truths and spinning stories from sentences. The Adventist preacher in me, the historian, the theologian, the organizer, the chant leader even the saxophonist and singer – every other rushing current of my personality flows into the ocean of ink at the center of my being.
I am a writer, of a specific type. And I continuously return to that, no matter where I go – hence the title of this blog.
Religious scholar Mircea Eliade posited that archaic human religion consisted of returning to the origin of things, as the virtue or power of things lies in their origin. Huston Smith emphasizes this in The World’s Religions, pointing to how animistic traditions’ rituals have people performing “reenactments” – every hunter is a re-enactment of the original Hunter, ever killed beast is the same the the prototypical hunter killed.
If that’s true at all, then I am, at bedrock, a writer. I return again – to observation, to wordsmithery, to this blog. I circle, hopefully spiraling upward. Care to join me?