February 2 question – Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn’t around anymore? Anyone you miss?
Someone recently asked me a similar question, and instantly I thought, yeah Thomas Aquinas. Is there anyone else?
I met Thomas Aquinas several hundred years after he died. We met in a philosophy class taught by an atheist prof, which in retrospect is totally on brand for this guy.
Thomas influenced my thinking deeply, not mainly because of what he said but how he said it. As George MacDonald put it, the first thing you notice about Aquinas is this guy has probably never once used sarcasm on anyone.
In all the readings I did for that course, he was the only one that made me think – no, this guy means it. He means every word. He’s not trying to show the rest of us how smart he is. I’m pretty sure he is wondering if/when the rest of us will catch up, patiently laying down track for the slowly moving train of my thoughts. It’s kind of annoying but in an endearing sort of way.
I want to have this guy over for dinner and see if he is for real. I want to ask him an off-the-cuff question and see if he is really like that in person.
That is the kind of thought great authors inspire in me. That larger than life, too real to be real feeling.
It is one of those funny things about being a writer “in love” with other writers. They never really “go away,” so I never really miss them like I miss other people. (I feel like a therapist might read these words and go, hm…)
When the words just won’t word because what the word, I have writers like Thomas on my mental go-to list. I don’t have his patience and sheer tenacity for the craft of wording the words, and actually that whole sentence sounds exhausting. Writing is HARD, man.
What about you? What people alive or dead or fictional have supported or influenced you?