Dave McLaughlin

I’ve written as a journalist, but stopped when I understood the reality I was creating wasn’t as much about informing beneficial social discourse as it was about keeping the ad sales department happy. 

I’ve written as an advertising copywriter, but stopped when I realized the reality I was creating wasn’t as much about simply moving product as it was about fostering the consumption our misguided civilization requires to keep the wheels turning, heedless of the inevitable moment of course, when they must come off.

I’ve always written, I think, because I am good at it. I got paid, so at the very least I doubt I’m bad at it. But I had never really written because I wanted to.

Then a nasty winter came.

Having always been one for the big questions, I mourn our society’s loss of philosophers. As you get older – and particularly after you’ve worked in industries that bottleneck the truth and foster shallowness and conformity – you long to dig into existence to see its guts.

About four years ago, fretfully over-extended on a business deal and mourning the loss of my mom, I picked up Tolkien’s The Silmarillion to help me get through that despicable winter. I had tried to read it when I was younger but had lacked the good sense to make the investment required of true art and magic.

Not this time.

In my mom’s rocker by the icy window, with the elves, I began regarding the stars differently. This lead to reading almost everything by Michael Moorcock: space, time and consciousness started to shine differently for me too.

During a miserable span in the outer realms of my existence, a star had churned to life in what I now saw as the too infrequently visited cosmic geography this side of out there.

In here, I came next to the musty recrooms of teenage friends, where dragons, death, honour and sacrifice were made real by jewels imprinted with numbers: jewels I have since come to know are the exact same shapes as the fundamental building blocks of reality proposed by Plato.

Magic returned and its power in the inner realms of the multiverse cast its glorious shadow over the relative nonsense of constructs such as nations and news, politicians and paycheques. On my rocker, perhaps as an old man, I came to entertain that off my rocker may have always been a better way to go.

The map of reality we have been given is distressingly inadequate; and in case I haven’t made it clear by now, as one previously afflicted with careers in journalism and advertising – I now think this is entirely by design.

So now I write in earnest! Because in a world parsed by the crayons of Western thought into a reductionist quagmire of delineation, categories, labels and concepts we risk losing our essential mythic, mystical awareness completely – and we risk not finding our way back to Eden, precisely when that is where we need to go.