Biography of Simon Mack
Born in Hammersmith, London in the early 70's 'Mack' as he likes to be known is a long time creative writer with a special ability to capture the essence of an emotion in the written word.
The son of a Graphic Designer he grew up watching his father's effortless ability to express himself in a visual artistic manner. To his frustration Mack was about as useful with a pencil and paper as an inflatable dartboard, and 1535553646363646 stick men and indeterminable shaded shapes later it was plain to see that his father's creative essence had not been passed down in the same semblance.
Years passed, and the young Mack had concluded that his father's talent had been omitted from the gene set he'd been provided, as the only son of the skilled artist it would come to pass that the inventive thread that resided in his father and his uncle (a location television cameraman) was lost to the lottery of fertilization.
Mack sat in secondary comprehensive English class and stared to the tall Victorian windows that bathed the room in early 80's spring sunlight.
His friend sat alongside was attempting to get his attention by drawing on his arm with a Beryl Handwriting pen. Remaining focussed on the vast glazed openings to his left he worried about what the future held.
Mack was and is a born worrier, it's just IN HIM in every way. What would he become? Where would life take him? Would life be kind or cruel to him and to those he cared about?
One aspect of his life he worried about with good reason was the relationship between his mother and father. His father, a man to whom talent at almost anything seemed to come like second nature had married his mother after being flat mates for a time. His mother had moved to London from Canterbury after a chequered youth, but the two could hardly be more different on a cultural and social level. And whilst the young Mack did not understand that at the time, he did sense that there was a constant frustration within his parent's marriage.
English class finished as did the window glazing, the paper thrust into his hand by his teacher upon exit gave written expectation of a story to be conjured up and penned within the week. Nothing too long, just a few hundred words was the minimum expected, but something of your own mind's creation.
A couple of days before due the young worrier sat down at a Black Ash laminated Argos chip board desk in the corner of his bedroom. White walls and Black Ash furniture, his father had created a classic 80's bedroom complete with Black and White portable Bush Television tuned to the front with a silver dial.
The words began to flow from the pen, it came quickly as somewhat easily, and whilst not a Dicken's masterpiece flowed with relative calm onto the paper. The story of the warring cities of 'Ith' and 'Erith' turned into a creation far beyond the minimum words required, This was of some shock to Mack. He'd always been distinctly average at most tasks set him, and although he did not understand why he completed this assignment with a greater level of ease, subconsciously he had enjoyed the process and was somewhat pleased with the end result.
The work was handed in without expectation. Ever the destroyer of his own self esteem Mack fully expected his work to be marked with the moderate score his Maths, Science and History and past English offerings had achieved.
With timid interest at next class he took back his text book complete with story that had been duly read and marked by his teacher. Skipping to the final page of the tale the feedback was positive. Not only had Mrs O'Ryan enjoyed his work of fiction, indeed she had commented that Mack showed a talent for creation in the written form.
The teacher's comments resonated in eyes that saw what was expected before what was actually written. And whilst there was no concious connection between the experience of writing the story and what ensued from then on, looking back now it's this event in Mack's life that he attributes to striking the match and giving tiny light toward a passage marked 'Creative Writing' burnt into a old piece of gnarled wood at it's entrance.
The odd piece was penned and duly binned, ever the self critic Mack looked upon his own creations in comparison to his father's achievements as inadequate, and these secretive entities were never to be seen by any other eyes than his own. The moment passed and the writing stopped, a flirtation with cricket was quickly ended with a disastrous try out for the school team in which customary self degradation & nerves took over. What should have been a routine delivery he'd bowled to perfection a thousand times without the blink of an eye previously turned into a head high jet powered non bouncing supersonic missile that left the batsmen a quivering wreck on the floor and the PE teacher suggesting another sport to express his skills in.
It was the archetypal confection of life that brought Mack back to the pen. The continued deterioration of his parent's marriage along with the hormones of early teenage years created pain and emotion that demanded a vent. Avoiding the endless pages of stick men scoring goals past stick men in stick goals the paper was instead filled with words. Often unhoned and written in a manner that could make them hard for others to decipher these new works began to serve a purpose. Mack had found an outlet for his pain worry and curiosity toward what was happening both to and about him. The new emotional sluice was opened and closed as needed like a self medicating pain reliever of life. Tide and time passed and what was unbounded fatuity to all but the author himself began to be formed into concise creations of comment on feeling.
This aptitude to capture a moment of emotion like the perfect word photograph without any material image provided is Mack's unique quality in my opinion. Over the years life's experiences in all their colours have only enhanced this ability, and today we find an relative unknown artist of high aspect in his chosen domain.
You compose works Mr Mack that your father would respect. Mission accomplished.
Simon Mack's Works:
Ode To Life
What we build in a lifetime can be destroyed in a minute,
Watch what you say acknowledge your limit.
Take breath and give pause when a fork in the road nears,
Choose left or right wisely and avoid hindsight tears.
This life comes but once opportunity fleeting,
Embrace what feels right with a smile and warm greeting.