The ode to John Grady Cole
I used to think that every word out of my mouth was funny, wise, or whimsically beautiful. I used to feel impervious to criticism. Participating in writer’s groups and workshops will steel you for some pretty mean shit. But the idea that you have something worthwhile to say that other people would be interested in reading would necessitate a certain amount of arrogance. But I never looked for validation for what I was doing.
Now I do look for validation from time to time. Ironically as I’ve gotten older it’s been more about the poetics of motion than verbal and written. I used to occasionally seek guidance from peers and professors for my writing.
In general as I look back at the last 5-6 years, I’ve taken myself a bit too seriously, almost to the point where If something isn’t hard to do, or learn, I don’t even care about it. I’m always attempting to break away from the pack, in my own mediocre way. Is it all an attempt to be noticed by Laura? She never cares how many new rolls I can do, or how fast my last race was, or at least she lets me think that to keep me humble.
I love the line in All the Pretty horses, (if you know anything about me, yes I mean the book, and not the movie), where John Grady Cole breaks his wild horse in the pen, and he starts to ride it, almost strutting in front of the stable fence. “Because John Grady loved to ride the horse. In truth he loved to be seen riding the horse. In truth he loved for her to see him riding the horse”.