Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Farewell, Kurt

I got a very nice certificate in the mail yesterday from Tom Frenaye proclaiming me the high score for Massachusetts (QRP) for the New England QSO Party for 2006. It is very nice and I am very pleased. I'll need to find a little wall space in the shack for it.
I'm under a bit of deadline pressure at work so there hasn't been a lot of time for personal activities. Nonetheless, my dentist appointment today gave me some time while sitting in the waiting room to read most of Kurt Vonnegut's latest work A Man Without a Country. Vonnegut's passing just a few days ago saddened me. While I've not read many of his books, I've always enjoyed his staccato delivery and crisp, short sentences. Many of my sentences, by contrast, seems to meander and seem like they don't quite know where they're going. Sometimes they don't.
We in ham radio are communicators at our root. I sometimes cringe after reading a previous post because, as a communicator, I've not done well. Writing when I'm tired, writing when there is little time or energy to proofread my work, and writing when I've not fully formed my thoughts are but a few sins. Like somebody who is perpetually promising to go on that diet, I'll promise to work harder to polish these posts before I press the submit button.
For those who might question my taste (literary or otherwise), I would like to point out that appreciating an artist for their art doesn't necessarily imply sympathy for, or antipathy to, any particular belief or opinion that artist may have held. You can enjoy Hemingway even if you don't like to fish.
Finally, the art of amateur radio is like any other. There are rules, and the very brightest among us know when to break them. There is much to learn from others. There are some things, it seems, that you can only learn by yourself. We practice this art. Vonnegut says what I'm thinking, only better:
Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

Try. Do. Create. That's what I, through this blog, am saying!



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