A Real Privilege
This year, the Iceberg team gave me a wonderful present: a coffee table book loaded with photos from our Tenth Anniversary Gala. It’s been a fantastic Christmas, but this may be the present I cherish the most.
Writing –– storytelling –– is not some ‘gift’ that an author shares with the masses. In past, when literacy rates were low, and the production of books was controlled by a narrow segment of society, perhaps certain writers thought that way. Perhaps they believed they could invent worlds without truly living in this one, and that in their wisdom, they were bestowing some higher meaning upon people lesser than themselves. Hell, maybe some writers still think that way.
But there’s no way the eighty dear friends of Iceberg who turned up at the gala (or the greater number who were unable to attend) could ever be lesser than me –– lesser than anyone. These people are the Belt Squadron, the inspiration for Waller’s Royal Newfoundland Regiment, even the people who lived Standing Tall. They’re family, they’re friends, and the fact that they (and countless others) take an interest when I blather in print… that’s a gift they give to me.
It takes a lot of work to write a book. I’ve (apparently) done it thirty-five times now, so I can say that with some authority. Writers should be proud of all that effort –– the creativity and adventure –– and we should be respected for it. But we must be equally respectful of the fact that, in whatever walk of life, many people work at least as hard as we do. Having the chance to engage those people with stories we invent –– or indeed, transcribe –– is a privilege for which we need to be grateful.
This photo book will long serve as a reminder of the privilege I’ve enjoyed through Iceberg’s first decade, and of the fine people who’ve been part of the journey so far. Thanks to the team that put it together; I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.