by Carl Scharwath
Please welcome and enjoy this story by Carl Scharwath and his art.
The smell of burnt rubber and the screeching tire sounds filled our senses. My daughter and I were on our way to a concert and delayed by an alarming accident. Blocking the road was an SUV on its side and we were the first to see it. I jumped out of the car to help, and another motorist stopped to assist as we pulled a mother and a small child from the vehicle side window. Seeing them safely on the grass, I glanced at my own daughter protected in the front seat as she witnessed the unfolding events. The husband was the last to help and blood flowed slowly in a river of pain across his forehead. This event would change not only the family but me as well.
The change happened when the next morning a blank document screen stared at me in emptiness awaiting my first poem “Accidents of Life.” I thought of the family and what changes a near death or severe injury would affect in their reaction to the future.
I knew this had changed me. I was now a writer. Yes, the poem was published, yes. No, I knew nothing about how to submit my work. And yes, I paid twenty dollars for a book to have my poem in. So, this would be my first and last vanity publishing as I began to work on more poems and then eventually short stories, essays and plays.
I believe on that day writing called on me.
Ten years have gone by so fast; my grandchildren are growing in this visual timeline of the passing years. I have been published in over 150 journals, became an art editor, have three published poetry and two photography books. My photography has been published in over fifty journals, selected for three different writers book covers and to balance everything out I am a competitive runner.
My friend Jenny, who sadly passed on five years ago was the muse who influenced me to begin the art of photography. With a forever grateful thank you to a special friend, I now had photography calling me as well. I would occasionally post my work on Facebook and before long international writers would write their beautiful words to compliment my art photography. This was the epiphany to help others as I submitted our work as a collaboration and helped many poets get published for the first time while building forever global friendships.
Whether you are an athlete, a businessperson, or an artist there are always heroes to look up to and admire. For me there are two that I look up to, Ezra Pound for literature and Alfred Stieglitz for photography. Their work inspires me, however what is most important about their careers is the way they selflessly helped and gave back to others at the expense of taking time and attention from their own work.
Ezra Pound was a great poet who founded and developed a modern style of poetry Imagism. He discovered T.S Elliot, Ernest Hemmingway and James Joyce and helped publish some of their work. Hemingway wrote in 1932 that, for poets born in the late 19th or early 20th century, not to be influenced by Pound would be "like passing through a great blizzard and not feeling its cold."
Alfred Stieglitz was an American photographer and promoter who was known for making photography an accepted art form. He helped and introduced many European avant-garde artists to America in the galleries he started. Stieglitz gave up his own photography for over 4 years to help others with their art careers and became a proud champion of them.
I believe all writers and artists can be mini heroes for others and it is our obligation to do so. There are multiple ways to do this. First build a network of artist friends and Facebook is an amazing tool to do this.
Join writers’ groups on Facebook and network with editors. Help a new writer with their book, offer to read and edit their work, or recommend publishers you know. I love collaborations and have done so many of them.
My photography has inspired others to write poetry in an Ekphrastic collaboration that I submit for publication sometimes using the poet as a model for the photography. Reach out to a new author and mentor them. Talk about how the submission process works, motivate and champion your new friend. Writing can be a lonely process and having a champion in their corner can make all the difference. I love this best about being an artist, the chance to help others and turn your thoughts away from you to another. Art is not a competition, it’s a way to build camaraderie and make new friends. We are all in this together and helping others reach their goals to me more rewarding then just seeing my words or art in publication.
I challenge each of you to be an ambassador for your art.
Just ask and help one fellow artist today and take the time to build a strong relationship. If all of us would do this- the collective brotherhood and sisterhood of art would respond back to you both with her rewards.
Here is a sample of the latest collaboration with an international poet.
Rosalyn Pastrana from the Philippines authored a poem after seeing my latest painting:
It's how we perceive...
The things that can either build or break us
Do we look at the bright side of the rainfall?
And seek the unfathomable peace amidst the storms in life
Though thunder roars and lightning of adversity strikes that may numb some with fear
Let our eyes gaze at the promised beautiful rainbow after the rain
There could be a rain of tears inside...
Though one’s face shows a sunny smile
Deep down there may be hidden dark clouds
Enveloping one’s heart and mind
That may release a shower of confusion to a weary soul
Remember there’s a Light of Hope as long as the heart is beating
There could be a rain of blessings...
If we let any battle within us be lifted to God
He promised that He will carry us and never leave nor forsake us
If we humbly bow down our knees in fervent prayers
And our eyes will begin to see a rain of miracles from heaven
If we just believe and feel the indubitable essence of rainfall
(Lyn B. Pastrana)
BIO: "Its a Jersey Thing" AKA "The Running Poet" Being a dad/grand-dad is life's blessing. I am a competitive runner, sprint tri-athlete and a second degree black belt in TKD. Love to write poetry and short stories and a passion of art photography. You can find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/carl.scharwath
"Abandoned" is a 2017 Scars Publications poetry book by Carl Scharwath. This was originally a 2017 chapbook release through Scars Publications and cc&d magazine, and this chapbook by Carl Scharwath was later turned into the 6" x 9" ISBN# book.