I am going to begin this blog post with a short story:
A walk in the woods
The bus had had just now come to a stop in the large parking lot, at the entrance to a vast national park. Obviously,other motor vehicles had already preceded the bus, to this same parking lot, and were currently unoccupied. Which meant that the redwoods national forest was certain to be full of visitors. Consisting of families on vacation, a scheduled tour which the bus had most certainly brought to this place, or people simply looking for a place to hike and camp for a while.
The tour bus doors hissed abruptly and swung open, disgorging over fifty passengers in total. Some of those passengers were in their teens, others were of college age, and other members of the tour group,who were certainly in their forties to fifties. Among the general group, were three aspiring artists. Timothy Verner was an author, Angela Walker was a painter, and Daniel Blake was a poet. Each of these artists chose to take this tour, because they sought inspiration from nature itself.
Angela being among the first to get off the bus, looked around and sighed with pleasure. “It is going to be a perfect day,” she said. “The sun is bright and there is not a cloud in the sky.”
She was briefly interrupted by Mr. James Talon, the tour guide, briefly reminding the group of sun screen, mosquito repellent, and having their denim jeans tucked into sturdy boots. “After this point,folks,” he gently reminded everyone. “The trails ahead are certain to be rough.”
“Come on everyone!” Daniel excitedly exclaimed, “Let’s make a day of it!” And so the three artistic friends, joined the rest of their tour group.
The trail leading out of the parking lot, was fairly smooth at first. And then as it continued to meander past huge stands of ancient redwoods,the trail began to briefly dip down into hollows before climbing back up and out of them. A pathway sometimes strewn with rocks, fallen branches, and pine cones. Timothy suddenly wondered aloud, who was even here last to maintain this deplorable trail.
What was supposed to have begun as a gorgeous excursion, went from bad to worse after that. Daniel commenced to complain about that particularly ugly moss, growing along the sides of the huge redwood trunks. Timothy grumbled about the dead limbs mixed in with a few scraggly living ones, found among some of the trees. As for Daniel, he was hoping to see flowers, or at least verdant bushes in bloom or possessing ripening fruit. Neither of these types of flora, seemed anywhere about, on the trail the tour group was currently taking. Perhaps, somewhere else?
But the tour guide Mr. Talon, insisted on keeping his charges, on the trail most commonly used. Just as he kept pointing out, quite excitedly in fact,the huge girth of some of the oldest trees. But at every step, the author, poet, and painter found more and more things to complain about.
Signs of rot and decay, where ever the eye could perceive it. The apparently ill-kept trail, seemed too difficult to navigate. It was too hot, why were they wearing long sleeved shirts tucked into denim jeans? The huge redwood trees cast too much shadow in all the wrong places, to ever be suitable for a painterly eye. Finally Angela spotted a single and beautiful butterfly flitting along the trail up ahead of them. She was prepared to excitedly point out the butterfly to her artistic friends, when a sparrow swooped down and claimed the butterfly for a meal.
“That horrid bird!” Angela angrily shouted, “I would have loved to have painted that butterfly; it was so pretty!Now it’s gone.” She very much felt like crying.
Eventually the tour of the redwood forest came to an end, and the entire tour group returned to the waiting tour bus. The three artistic friends agreed between themselves, that this national park so-called, wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. Nothing would ever persuade them to return to the park again.
That was when an older woman quietly but firmly announced, “What ever are the three of you complaining about, anyway? This was a wonderful and beautiful excursion. The best I had been on in years.”>
Which is exactly how I feel about certain people, who purport to claim they are authors. While they see a need to constantly nit pick and complain about any work that is not their own; I have to wonder if they even bothered reading anything, just for the pure joy of doing so. If they can take no pleasure in what they see around them, neither can they transcribe that pleasure into their writing. Give me a Charles Dickens or a Henry David Thoreau any day, over people who are stuffed full of pure conceit.