Caussey's Corner

Caussey’s Corner: Come Take a Stroll with Me

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Readers, come with me and take a walk. Walking is an activity that helps me calm the tension in my life, and I want to share some things with you. The last few months have been challenging because of the Corona 19 Virus. Now with several of our Texas cities like Dallas and Houston citizens rioting and burning businesses, not to mention a dozen US cities in flame, it breaks my heart. Thousands of National Guard troops are in the street. I sit here weeping as I write this column.

As we look at the woods, walking down the pathway toward them and smelling the fragrance of early spring gardens, I can’t help but be moved by the beauty of nature. High-flying hawks soar majestically above the rocky hills along Eagle Ford Road. Returning home ducks play meaningfully in the shallows of the lake behind the Mountain Creek Library, as they dive for frogs and darting minnows. In the distance an occasional loud splash can be heard from the creek below the lake’s dam. Some mischievous beavers must be playing tag.

I started writing my column nearly 25 years ago. Held captive by a lack of talent and a future uncertainty, it should have never happened. Most of my peers felt I was just going through a phase and would quickly abandon the notion of writing a weekly column after several outings. My few skills were limited to the field of education, not journalism, and the uneventful life experiences that I had were mundane and mediocre at best. How could anyone hope to become a good writer having been honed in an environment of poverty and educational deprivation? True intelligence had escaped me at birth and would probably never be retrieved. My culture was backward in tone, as art and verse were captured and held by isolation and loneliness.

Caussey's Corner: Come Take a Stroll with Me

Photo: @kelsen28 via Twenty20

A wall of scarcity, hinged by a gate of inescapable impossibilities, would guarantee that little if any desirable prose would fall from the brush of my pen. My bucket of knowledge was filled with bottom and little substance. Today, I still marvel at the luck I have had and the rich blessings that have poured my way.

It is my opinion that many writers work from a script that is sterile and devoid of emotion. Disgruntled editors and managers, who are bred and fathered themselves in schools of journalism, actually destroy the creative juices of many writers. Every piece of prose written has to go through a gauntlet of editorial scrubbing, helping to hold the author in a state of bondage that chokes the very emotion of creativity juices, hindering the writer from reaching their audience of readers. We are so busy not wanting to offend, that opinion and personal thoughts are often warped when we write.

Not knowing or understanding the accepted methods for writing has been a reprieve for me. The columns you read are unedited, not filtered against accepted scholarly requirements, but allowed to roam freely, to sail or fall against the opinion of the readership. Some of my columns are better than others. Many readers have told me they like them a lot, while others have told me they don’t care for them. A friend, who happens to be a publisher, has told me that his father likes the column while his mother thinks they are mostly stupid.

Caussey's Corner: Come Take a Stroll with Me

Photo: @nadianice via Twenty20

A lady told me once that the column was shallow, not newsworthy, and definitely lacking in scholarly dignity. She didn’t know why she read it every week. One friend told me she liked the column when it was funny and didn’t care for it when I was too serious or too preachy. She probably won’t like this one very much.

With every column written, I try to please myself first. Should it flop, then at least I can be content. I have stopped guessing what you like to read. Columns that took a great deal of time to write and some research have fizzled, while columns that took little effort and didn’t make much sense have been well received.

My goal is not to inform you, impress you, or even to persuade you. But rather share a little part of my world, treat you as a friend and hope to make your day a little brighter. I pick on myself a lot, because I don’t want anyone to take offense. Most of my subjects are common in nature and unworthy as topics by most other “serious” journalist’s standards.

Caussey's Corner: Come Take a Stroll with Me

Photo: @badmojophoto via Twenty20

I realize that the conversation in our stroll has been rather one-sided. But I do hear from you. Many of you have become old friends and communicate with me often. As the readership has grown, I hear from people across the United States. The column appears in papers and magazines with a combined readership in the millions. The column may not be read by all of them, but I hope someday they will take the time to read some of it.

Well, thanks for listening. In this particular relationship we have, I definitely need you more than you need me. If you will keep reading and tell your friends, I promise to continue doing my best. As you know, I am prone to exaggerate, and often leave “actuality” at the door, but hope to never become repetitious and to always have a few surprises between the paragraphs. So long, friends.

Durhl Caussey is a syndicated columnist who may be reached at this outlet or by email to [email protected]