Forward Living: Words, once written, are free to wander

06/01/2011 12:29 PM |

Orient village was in New York City. It all began with my Easter Sunday column. I had praised Paul Murray, the young organist at Church of the Holy Family on East 49th Street. In response I received an email. Here’s part of it: “I am proud to say that this 28-year-old you refer to in ‘Memories surface during Easter Mass’ is my dear nephew Paulie. … His mastery of the organ leaves us in awe. … Reading your ‘Memories’ I felt as though I was a member of the celebration that day …”

On May 18 I got another another email: “As an ordinary parishioner of the Church of the Holy Family, I had the opportunity to read your article, ‘Memories surface during Easter Mass.’ I identify with you that you do not fully understand how old you are. I am just really trying not to rush, taste everything, learn from all. Your article gave me the opportunity to open my eyes …”

How did a parishioner in New York City read The Suffolk Times? Easy. All it took was a proud aunt from Long Island who reads The Suffolk Times and sends it to her talented nephew, the organist in the Big City. And, I guess, it also calls for the pastor of the church, the Rev. Robert Robbins, to insert it in the program of the Mass.

I knocked on the door of the rectory. I asked for a copy of the program. Indeed, among a few inserts, there it was, my Easter column on pale yellow paper. There was also a letter from the Archbishop of New York, the Most Reverend Timothy Dolan. The Suffolk Times was in blessed company.

Words have a life of their own. We speak them, write them, sing them. Once that is done what follows is out of our control. They are free. They can pathetically fail or they can change the world, or affect one person only. This is where I come in. I may bring pleasure or sadness, inspire or entertain a few people. With Mark Twain or Montaigne it’s the multitude. Ah well, I’ll be happy with what I get.

At the Orient Service Center a man asked me, “Are you Gazarian? I read your column. I have one taped to my refrigerator.” This was over a year ago but I still remember it. That what I write is on someone’s refrigerator! That’s as good as it gets. And to be read by unknown parishioners, I’ll take that, too. It was totally unexpected. I knew nothing of it until the email arrived. Divine providence, I say! You never know where your words travel. Who will tell whom to read what. It can be a wild ride or a peaceful stroll. Either way it’s mission accomplished. Even for just one little reader.

Every year thousands of books hit the road, written by thousands of lonely authors hoping for best sellers’ glory. The columnist’s trade has no such aim. We enter people’s homes for a brief visit. We’ll be read over scrambled eggs and bagels. Breakfast might be more fun with us or we might provoke anger. But we never know the welcome we get. Unless an email or a reader tells us at the gas station or the post office, “Say, I loved your article last week …” After more than 10 years of writing this column I still get excited when people tell me, “I like your work.” I wish I could say I don’t need hugs and kisses. But we are all hungry for this kind of food. Let’s accept it without vanity.

I don’t know what my next column will be about. I may not know until a few days before deadline. What I do know is that my dog, Nina, will be under my desk lying over the tangle of cords that bring life to lamps and word processor. I also know that Nina can with one motion of her paws disconnect in a second my electronic lifeline and send my words on the screen back to the darkness they came from. And as simple as those words are, it’s always a struggle to find them again inside my head. It’s happened before and it’s not a pretty moment in spite of the dog’s romance-novel eyes.

Pierre Gazarian is a poet and a writer of one-act plays. Email: [email protected]



9 Comment

  • Actually, I think Ms. Beroski was calling out the Board for not discussing the results at the 14 June hearing. And it really sounds like she wants to have it both ways on the cost – out of one side of her face she calls it a waste of money – and out of the other she wants to spend even MORE money by reopening the public hearing to discuss the results and conducting more “public outreach”.

    If you think Ms Bonner has lost her mind, then I guess that goes for the entire Board that UNANIMOUSLY approved the $80K consulting contract that included this $5K poll. And truthfully, knowing a little something about the cost of Government consultants (albeit at the Federal level) I’d say have to say that $5K was probably something of a bargain for developing the poll questions, making the calls, and collating the responses… even if there were only a little over 300 of them. We don’t call them “Beltway Bandits” for nothing.

  • Bandits indeed! I just don’t know how 300 people can constitute a representative cross section of residents.

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  • Can Bonner and her supporters say anything besides “dirty trick”? All she can do is try to play the role of a victim when anyone asks “why?” How about Jane Bonner and Jesse Garcia calling EVERY registered Republican in the district and stating that any petitions for Town Board candidates besides hers are “ACORN related dirty tricks by the Democrats”. Was that a classy move? North Shore Sun doesn’t think it was news, but please see

  • So speaketh Ray Negron, the guy who wants to run against her, but who Garcia, the Republican chairman, declined to support. No axes to grind there, eh?

    Appreciate the link to the Newsday article… funny thing though, there’s no mention of Bonner having anything to do with those calls – Garcia takes full responsibility for them. Any other half-truths your campaign cares to share with us Ray?

    — Sent from my Palm Pre

  • Yes, there’s no mention that Bonner is not a Republican. Also, I have a name and you don’t (bravery in anonymity). Your message was sent from a Town-issued Palm Pre. No axes to grind here, my campaign is based upon a lifetime of service while your anonymous comments are based upon preserving a no-show job. Bonner had “no comment” about the robo-call. Lastly, I didn’t write the article, Newsday did.

  • You make a great many wrong assumptions sir. My message was sent from a privately owned cell phone, and my private industry job has absolutely no connection to the Town of Brookhaven. And trust me, it’s hardly a “no-show job”… I have today off as part my regular 9-80 work schedule. One would hope you don’t leap to so many baseless conclusions in your law practice.

    No, you didn’t write the Newsday article, you wrote, and I quote “How about Jane Bonner and Jesse Garcia calling EVERY registered Republican in the district…” and then referenced the Newsday article. The problem is the Newsday article never said Bonner had anything to do with the calls… that’s apparently YOUR accusation, one you present no evidence to back up. And I’d have to say “no comment” would be an appropriate response if one were asked about something they had nothing to do with.

    Lastly, my “anonymity” is consistent with probably at least 95% of the people who post here… at least those of us that aren’t running for office. And I don’t see where my post would have any reason to make me worry about bravery or cowardice… I wasn’t the one making accusations.

  • The only thing politically charged here is the fact that Strategic Planning Systems donated to Bonner’s campaign – also, go to their website and check out there clientele.

    She is quoted above stating that the poll is a “valuable tool” yet she failed to share any information about the poll at the Public Hearing OR at the Mt. Sinai forum. I urge everyone to read the poll carefully and see how “valuable: you think it is. She failed her constituents on many levels. Traffic will become intolerable.

    You can’t support/decline or oppose/decline.

  • Can someone help me understand the difference between disagree and oppose?

  • Why do you assume to know so much about our anonymous Trekkie friend?