Tuesday, October 27, 2015
After I retired from the newspaper in 2009, I thought I might pick up a few bucks doing free-lance editing. I had a book-publishing and newspaper-writing set of credentials to offer, so I concocted an entity called "Write it Right" and threw it out on the pond of the Internet. No one bit, so after a while I just let the whole idea lapse into obscurity.
But yesterday, I got a call from a 70-year-old fellow who was excited about a book he had written and, after rummaging around on the Internet, landed on my long-forgotten name. Richard wanted to shape is opus for publication. And what was it about? It seemed to be a book about the confluence of religion and science. It was going to really shock the world ... perhaps even blow religion out of the water. His conclusions were earth-shattering in his mind. Ponce de Leon had nothing on him!
I did my best not to get involved in the details. Richard's excitement was as palpable as any lonely-traveler's when at last he finds a directional marker. I knew the loneliness and didn't want to discourage the enthusiasm, but the topic (the Apocalypse was in there somewhere and his view of religion seemed to stop at Christianity's shores) sounded about as nourishing and fulfilling as a bowl of Rice Krispies.
We chatted. I enjoyed the surprise. He, I think, enjoyed some long-sought company. I was not about to tell him that whatever his idea was, it was hardly new, hardly shocking, hardly revolutionary. I was not about to tell him how much disinterest it aroused in me.
I loved his enthusiasm.
I loved the surprise.
It was a nice little encounter and I think we separated on friendly terms after I told him to get someone to transfer the hand-written manuscript to a disc.
Imagine being so enthusiastic. "Eureka" is hardly a word that gains impact as age advances.