Hello my friends! I’m delighted to announce that “Structural Happiness” is now available!
This book (and the several volumes which are to follow) is the reason we created Large Ess Small Press in the first place, and we are very proud of this offering. More about the book below, and also worth noting, we’ll be offering “Structural Happiness” along with the illustrated poetry collection “Night Song for Cigar-Box Banjo” together at a huge discount until January – so if you love what we do, you can spread the spirit inexpensively!
Finally, let me just say thanks to my friends and fellow creators, near and far, for the constant stimulation, inspiration and encouragement. It is my sincere hope that this book feels like a whole lot of love – you’ve definitely earned it (and there really is nothing better we can do with our lives anyhow, is there?)
When I was sixteen, I was excommunicated by the commune in which I’d been raised, and suddenly entered the real world which I had inhabited, and yet been sheltered from, my whole life. Born yesterday – but I’ve been downtown all afternoon – as they used to say.
I had already been out of the house for a few years, and in that lonely time I relied heavily on books full of great wisdom and insight, to help me make sense of the world. In part, this book is my thank you for those beautiful and saving volumes, which opened whole new worlds of thought, challenge and possibility for me, just when I needed them most.
The other part of course is people – amazing, bizarre, brilliant and unique individuals.
Along with stories of my own educational and ridiculous screw-ups, you will meet sweet creative eccentrics within, and learn of sustaining generosities I have encountered again and again, where we do not so often acknowledge them – in kind and brilliant men who display their strength in life through energizing love for their whole circle and community.
How do we find more magic days? How do we make ourselves more lovable, and loving? Where do we orphans of the dizzying maelstrom find art, belonging, community, family?
I’ve been asking all of these questions for more than half a century. Failing better all the time.
High-minded on the low road, pratfalls of a working-class intellectual. Subtle, but ridiculous! Structural happiness – welcome to my world!
Available now from Large Ess Small Press – 167 pages softcover, trade format
generously typeset with mature eyes in mind. Pictures, 2!
Some people have some options – some have others – but we all have the option to learn how to feed our better energies, be better friends, love truer and more fully, and sacrifice – not with the deadening stiffness of machismo, but the cheerfulness of duty accepted and well borne.
Happiness isn’t about that thing or title that we don’t yet have, but the hope, empathy, curiosity and above all love that we do have. Gratitude and good humour are the key to unlocking the lessons that life is always trying to teach us, every time we slip and fall.
This book contains many useful humiliations and prat-falls, and also tales of remarkable gentlemen of skill and wisdom, boundless spirit, inspiring creativity, and plain old heart.
Love love? Love friends, art, trying, being ridiculous and admitting it, so we can learn?
Welcome, friend – here are my gathered treasures. May they help you laugh – and understand.
Finally – Structural happiness is the book I’d want my son or daughter to read, when they were starting their adult life in earnest – because they most certainly wouldn’t be listening to me by that point, but might still enjoy tales of me being foolish, and then learn the lessons I learned alongside stupid-me, as my modest personal heroes stepped in with smiling wisdom, to help.