Over the years, I have written countless poems, blogs, articles, columns and haikus.
OK, OK, perhaps only about a dozen haikus, since they are not that challenging.
Over the same time, I have also written eight books.
That’s eight deep dives into topics of supreme value to me.
That’s eight publications. That’s eight large projects of extreme effort.
Those are eight of my babies.
These eight precious beings – hopefully eternally available for future generations to enjoy – are what I imagine I could consider my “legacy.”
In hindsight, I see that these eight legacy pieces represent the most important themes for me. They are the themes that occupied so much of my life.
Communication – Building on a childhood of massive miscommunication, I took the lessons there (as well as lessons found in communicating within an International Men’s organization called MDI) and spewed them all over the pages of a book. “Huh?” allowed me to express tons of fun and mockery, as I created a “how to” guide – not on communication but rather miscommunication. I figured if I showed people the folly they were providing others as they miscommunicated, they could learn the true art of efficient communication, at the same time having a laugh at themselves and their lame strategies to communicate.
Honor – With all this men’s work, and all this focus on integrity and the power of man’s word, what else could I do but gather that “wisdom of the men” and present “The Honor Book” to any man open to rekindling what he’s known within him his entire life.
Emotions – No big secret – men have indeed learned the art of stuffing their shit down. Only in certain sacred circles do men find the safety to really let loose and allow themselves to rage their rage, and grieve what there is to grieve. No big crime. What resides underneath any sadness, guilt, anger, fear and terror is yet another emotion – and it is light and it is goofy. You’ve seen it. You’ve felt it. But without the “Tears” those freer emotions are not allowed to arise, and that is a crime that steals away our truest way of being deep below the surface.
Life Lessons – I can’t help it. This lifetime I just like to learn through life’s experiences. It sure beats NOT. Through “Breadcrumbs,” “Morning Musings” and “Life Traveler” I used prose, poetry, quips, sayings and commentary as I reflected on real-life circumstances, hoping to find the gold in them, before taking the opportunity to share it.
Metaphysics and Spirituality – When I was a kid, my dad was all into ESP, psychic phenomena, out-of-body experiences, the power of dreams, the power of the mind and higher realms of existence. Growing up with that had me hold such concepts as “reality.” I enjoy sharing that reality, through “Starting Point” and “Preparing for the Best,” hoping others are intrigued and open to stretching their mind and soul. A worthwhile exercise.
So far eight legacies, with at least another one coming through in the next year, covering another one of those themes that won’t leave me alone: true forgiveness.
Writing. It’s how I share myself in this life. It’s how I create.
Perhaps we can create a legacy in the words we use, especially those captured in some way – on paper, in chapters, on bookshelves available to the masses.
I am praying so.
James Anthony Ellis is an award-winning playwright, journalist and filmmaker, who is the author of eight books, including the men-focused “The Honor Book” available HERE. His other books available HERE.