Rodney J. Parrott
The aesthetic mood. It lives just at the edge of our daily state of thinking and planning. And it is one of the few true joys, shared with perhaps loving Valerie and times of quiet mindedness. Writing teases out this mood in me and, if things come about just right, this mood will arise in readers as well. How do you know if you are in this aesthetic mood? Merely look up from your computer screen at the spring half-moon before sunset, at a crag of dirty melting snow, now back at your screen. If you feel beauty in your chest and see color as the main dynamic of sight, then the mood is upon you.
I have written in many forms: academic articles and a book, a novel, poetry, eight chap books, and short stories — some published, not published or self-published.When I was writing in academia, I would work and bend and stretch the form of an argument in order to make a small joke seem appropriate in the context. The smile on the face of my imagined colleague was more important to me than close argumentation or winning a philosophical point. This urge in me to relate to readers’ emotion, humor, and ironic vision doomed my academic career. However, it told me who I am as a writer. I am a story teller. A poignant moment in a character’s narrative life is what I enjoy thrilling myself with and what I enjoy sharing with readers.
My Ph.D. has been a three-letter key to open many doors. I have been a counselor for Puerto Rican kids on the Lower East Side of New York City. I have led university teachers in group work on diversity issues in education. I have lived in India, lonely and taller than everybody in the village. I have raised funds for a Japanese traditional arts non-profit. I was even allowed to walk through a door that allowed me to nurse a Tibetan boy back to health after having his spine rebuilt by Colorado surgeons. Yet, the widest and most beautiful door that has been opened to me is this one that allows me to write stories about rescuing art from dusty places. I am very thankful for this opportunity. Please join me in this joyful aesthetic endeavor of writing. Please read my stories. If the aesthetic mood comes to you, write it down.