Don’t you think it’s time you lightened your jangling key chain?

I say this as a friend, not anyone wishing you harm or to diminish you in any way

Editor:

There’s comes a time in life when a man should take a couple of keys off that jangling ring-full that keeps tugging at the bottom of his trousers pocket and hand them in, don’t you think?

I say this as a friend, not anyone wishing you harm or to diminish you in any way, but as someone who knows you personally, and deeply, and feels it’s time for you to think about things outside the realm of weekly news editor.

Not that the weekly news could ever be boring at the Chronicle. Ladysmith, Chemainus, Crofton and environs present too many facets and faces ever to be considered that. You’ve often said how active the Cowichan Valley is, and Cedar, and Yellowpoint. I’ve often heard you thinking out loud about how strong and vibrant your new community is, and how there’s never a shortage of things to cover from an inveterate reporter’s point of view.

But – and at your age this isn’t surprising – I’ve seen you settle onto the sofa for a wink of shut-eye, only to wake up an hour or so later having sagged into a deep sleep… and then awakened, still not quite refreshed.

That’s a new phenomenon, isn’t it?

Of course, you could power through. Journalism is something that gets in the blood, and the thought of giving it up is like trying to train an old dog not to chase sticks. Can’t be done. You’ll always be a news hound… which is why it’s best to avoid that dog park, where the air is filled with whirling sticks, and whizzing balls, and florescent Frisbees and all manner of things to capture your attention.

If it was just a matter of not being as fast as you once were, you could soldier on. It’s not as if anyone is trying to push you out the door; what you lack in speed you can almost certainly make up for with experience. You needn’t think of my advice so much as being pushed out the door as being drawn into a new planetary alignment – one that has always exerted its influence, even if you haven’t, until now, been able to permit yourself to fall completely into it.

I’ve known you since we were children, and know you have always been a daydreamer and story-maker, which – by the time you reached your early teens – had morphed into an unavoidable urge to write wretched poetry.

As I recollect, your penchant for spinning verse up to and over the brink of adulthood, and even at parties, earned you the sobriquet of ‘puking poet,’ bestowed by one of your less sensitive (even if more honest) relations.

No matter how cruel the taunting,  or how sensible the advice, or how obvious the alternatives, nothing could cure you of the writer’s itch, and who knows where you might have landed if, in your second year of university (which turned out to be your last) a student counsellor hadn’t recommended journalism as just the career for you – instead of Marine Biology.

“Why,” you asked.

“Because as a journalist you never really have to make up your mind. In fact it’s best if you don’t make up your mind. Your job is to ask other people questions to get at the truth.”

Okay, maybe I’ve embellished a little, but that’s pretty close to what she was saying, isn’t it? And there was some truth in her analysis.

Of course, not being a journalist herself, she couldn’t know that questioning as a state of mind becomes its own version of the truth, and that’s what you can’t give up, can you? And what she didn’t realize was the big trigger in her fortuitous advice, was the fact that journalism is about writing, and writing, and writing some more.

That part of you is never going to change, is it? We both know that. What can change is what you’ll be writing about after you’ve left those couple of office keys on the editor’s desk and let yourself out of the newsroom for the last time.

Craig SpenceChemainus

 

Just Posted

LRCA Concerts in the Park series presents: The Glen Foster Group

Glen Foster Group returns to Transfer Beach for their third Concerts in the Park show, July 28

Ladysmith youth competes at BC Junior Development Track and Field Championship

Nolan Smith is the only Ladysmith member of his track and field club

Tribal Journeys welcomed by Stz’uminus at Shell Beach

Paddlers came from various nations, including the Heiltsuk, Namgis, Hesquiaht, and Alberta Cree

Brits on the Beach raises $2,251 for LRCA food bank

Brits on the Beach also brought in 75 pounds of non-perishable food items

Town adds public access lifering to improve water safety at Transfer Beach

The lifering is easy to use and includes instructions on the protective housing case for emergencies

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Islanders have new cancer screening option with $6.5 M diagnostic suite in Victoria

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

B.C. Ferries crew member’s medical emergency causes cancellations on Nanaimo route

One sailing from West Vancouver and one sailing from Nanaimo cancelled Monday

Most Read