Being and (almost) Nothingness
I was born blue, as in breathless and smurf-like although smurfs didn’t yet exist in MCMXLVI. That and other great surprises like nuns and reality TV and airport friskers were yet to come. In the meantime three different doctors noted my breathless blueness and pronounced me dead, dead, dead (in rising barbershop harmony)—as they were taught to do in pronouncement school. Luckily a nurse grabbed me and plunged me into tubs of cold and hot water—as she was taught to do in the school of hard dunks. Thus was I shocked into life. Other than instilling me with a lifelong appreciation for nurses and an estrangement from water, my unusual arrival left me with a gift for seeing everywhere the uncommon, the curious and the flat-out reedickaliss.
Somewhere along the way a nun suggested that my super powers exactly fit the needs of journalism. I spent 26 years as a newspaper reporter with The Baltimore Sun and The Denver Post, and a score of years beyond that as a freelance journalist. Along the way I taught news writing, reporting, fiction and creative non-fiction writing at several Maryland universities, and published five books on aerospace science, medicine and public health.
In the fall of 2012 the Johns Hopkins University Press published a book I co-authored with Peter Beilenson, M.D., M.Ph, called “Tapping Into The Wire: The Real Urban Crisis.” (www.tappingintothewire.com) The book examines scenes from David Simon’s HBO series “The Wire,” analyzing the impact on public health of poverty, inner city crime and the failure of the war on drugs.
Even so, I am not always as serious as this may sound. I am a lifelong board game freak, I’ve worked as a freelance video game designer and I’m the person most likely to bring a 5-string banjo to a party, a wake or an arraignment–even when warned not to.
These days I write from a cave specially equipped with wifi somewhere in the Baltimore suburbs. I sang and played in a local Irish band for a dozen years, occasionally performing original songs—three of which have earned honors from the Songwriter’s Association of Washington, D.C. BTW: I have never been tempted to sing the blues.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2016, all rights reserved.
Photographs this page: Header ©2013 by Katherine G. McGuire, all rights reserved. Horse photo
©2013 by John Sunderland.