Why do we even write?
It’s not because everything’s okay, that’s for sure and certain.
Sometimes the feelings build up into a big ol’ pressure cooker, and just have to be let out, and part of (attempting) to manage that release in an appropriate manner can be to wait, to write, to take the time and care to convey with precision what’s going on. Slowing down helps, because a knee-jerk reaction to life is all too easy, and often very damaging.
Sharing our stories helps us to connect to individuals who understand – not necessarily the particular situation or brand of challenge we’re going through – but on a human level: as brothers and sisters of the same species – we get it. And we know that when someone’s struggling, the feedback and validation of their difficulty can be really helpful. In addition, by writing it down, we leave a signpost to anyone else out there who might struggle with a similar issue, and happen to stumble across our experience.
Even the funnies – the ones which make us explode into giggles or comment aloud into the empty (or, if you’re unlucky, full) room – have a place in the arena of writing our wrongs. Because humour makes life so much more palatable. And if the writer’s not channeling his or her own struggle through a funny-filter to make it more manageable, you can be certain that the straight-up-genuine funnies are going to be so hugely needed by readers whose day just went south. And they’ll feel buoyed up; better, for having smiled.
And the beauty which is shared – sublime pictures; incredible art; inspiring videos of human kindness and achievement – we need those too, to remind us of what is good, and what is lovely, and what is noble – and to focus on these when life seems hard, and to join in the celebration when it’s all going well.
We write to connect and to heal. And the power of the internet to help that spread and engulf the globe with Beauty and Wonder and Compassion and Truth and Good and Real…that is truly marvellous. We’re writing a revolution, y’all!
And it’s a gift, not only to produce, but to consume – greedily at times – those things which others have put out there, as snapshots of their lives, which resonate, or as signposts to better ways, or for sheer indulgence.
So please enjoy with me, a few of the things I’ve loved most this week about the Blogosphere.
Don of All Trades posted this a while ago, about an encounter with a member of the public who really didn’t want a speeding ticket for her misdemeanour. But the way he handled it, and the reasons given for why he didn’t ‘spend his time better catching real criminals’ are shattering. Policing is not a world I know anything about – especially American policing. But this…this learned me good.
Kasey Edwards wrote about the awfulness of the day she discovered that her mother was horrible. And fat. And takes a really honest, wonderful, beautiful, brutal look at the ramifications, and what needs to happen next.
And just RightNow, dear Beth wrote a piece about a simple phone call, but with such rawness and beauty and depth of emotion that it completely floored me and my chest constricted and I couldn’t breathe. It’s that good. An incredible, amazing conveyance of emotion, flooded out in one moment, rooted in a lifetime of challenge.
Ages ago, lovely Kristi let me write for Our Land again. And perhaps it’s a little *too* close to the bone, but hey, it’s all about the honesty – and why ‘people shaming’ really HUGELY pisses me off.