I think about a lot, man.
I’m always thinking. I can have someone talking to me and I can carry on our conversation and continue with my thoughts. But sometimes in a conversation, I do say “Do what?” or “Huh?”
I love sitting on the dock at Tula at night when the crickets, bugs and bullfrogs are all in sync. I don’t even need a radio. I don’t need any light either. I’ve got an empty chair beside me, a puff from a cigarette blowing out my breath, a Bud Light and the wind is cool and soft, the pond’s water calm and still with the moon’s reflection beaming in my eyes.
And of course, I have my thoughts.
I always have an idea of a story in my mind. I jot them down in my notes on my phone so I won’t forget them. They are usually from a song I heard on a radio or a story I heard from a friend, but mostly they come from pictures I see. I don’t like making stuff up in my mind.
If I make stuff up then I don’t know how real it will be to the reader who has clicked on a website page or has been told by a friend to read my stories. My mind doesn’t go into the make believe worlds that some authors can create. It amazes me though when one writer can do that. I’m not there right now.
Paula sent me an Ernest Hemingway quote the other day and it hit me hard because I haven’t been writing much lately. I’ve been in a rut with writing and haven’t tried to find the time to sit down and take care of myself with thoughts and things that I go through. She’s not the only one that encourages me. Hemingway told me to write hard and clear about what hurts.
But tonight, as I’m sitting here on my brother’s front porch, nothing hurts.
I’m looking out across his front pasture and across the highway into a field that has dark green soybeans covered by a white thick haze of fog. Crickets are singing to me as well as Cody Jinks on the radio. Life is good at the moment. Work is hard with this new life of being a farmer, but I love it. Writing is hard sometimes too and often put to the side. My work on the farm is demanding. But so are my thoughts with this writing.
I hope I mix both well and treat each the same as its own. The farm has to be taken care of. Paula and Billy Ray depend on me to do my share and they know I will. But I gotta do my share of thoughts and stories too. It’s just another thing I think about…
Cows will be ready to milk soon in the morning. The fog will still be here at six when I get up to run milk over to be pasteurized. The dogs are still gonna be here on the porch sleeping. The crickets will be gone but the birds will replace their sounds. I’ll have my phone on me but I won’t be doing this… I’ll be working.
Shane Brown is a HottyToddy.com contributor and the son of noted author Larry Brown. Shane is an Oxford native with Yocona and Tula roots. Shane is a graduate of Mississippi State University. He has two children — Maddux, age 9, and Rilee, age 7 — and makes his home at “A Place Called Tula.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright Shane Brown, 2016.