2010 – the year of action is the title of the Epilogue of “To Drink the Wild Air” tackling the inevitable question when reading this – what ACTION ?? There are different facets of action items within my project but the most important one is – to spread the word.
In the beginning there was only a vision, a vague vision I might add. It was my first summer back in California in 2004. I just had moved to San Francisco coming from Miami. Traumatized by the events preceding this cross country move I was sitting at the beach and decided to start writing my memoirs.
I bought it in 2002 and had to sell it in 2004 before moving back to California.
I am not a writer. I had no idea how to go about a project like this – I had no idea what such venture would entail – I had no idea how much time it will take – I had no idea about anything. I just got up one morning and started with the research.
Six years later in February 2010 the last key stroke of around 198.000 words was locked in. I couldn’t do all of it by myself. I hired a freelance writer in order to consult on structure, style and grammar. The actual writing process lasted for almost 3 years mostly on weekends or evenings. I took frequent “writer vacations” and put myself someplace up in the mountains in total seclusion to get work done, and sometimes nothing at all happened for lengthy periods of time due to other commitments in life.
I scanned several hundreds of old photos to digitalize my archives. I spoke to family and old friends by phone to ask questions, I traveled to Europe and tracked down people I haven’t seen for more than 20 years to talk about old times.
What did this process teach me? It was a great journey. It gave me utter mental satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment the moment the manuscript was finished.
Everything poured out of me. The stories of adventure, freedom and motorcycles, the horizon filled with opportunities and the big colorful wings carrying me sure- footedly along my path paved with the consequences of my own actions and influencing choices. By the end I finished the manuscript with the fulfillment of having vicariously re-lived my life again. The taste of every nuance of emotions ranging from fearless to reckless, carefree to happy, sad to depressed, indifferent to attentive and devoted to disappointed. It all came back to me.
There is no doubt – no regret – no drama – no catastrophe –no cliché in my story! What you see is what you get. A happy narrative of a life well lived so far, yet only having scratched the surface of experience, with the end result that I am inspired by my own life again!
The mission is to transmit and project this exact sentiment on to other people. People I don’t know. Strangers. My current actions reflect that very mission, although most of the time I am not able to see the next turn in front of me in the jungle of all uncertainties, but action and effort is penetrating and ongoing.
I had a chance to read in public again on April 23 and I was invited to submit some chapter text to a magazine. More of that next time.
One major mile stone will be when “To Drink the Wild Air” is available at the cyber shelves of Amazon.com. The earth will tremble…..