Dear Writer, bind your wounds…

Dear Mr Hemingway,

You have much to answer for!

As a writer, I utterly understand your comment that it’s easy to write – you just sit down at a typewriter (or laptop) and bleed (or pixel, which is probably a less messy process, not being tangled up in ribbons and the smudgy-everywhereiness of actual INK) – BUT, dear chap, it’s getting bloody messy! 

All over the place, I see writers – (mainly, but not exclusively) women with harsh truths in their lives, complex histories, and more pain than you’d expect to find dancing on razor blades in an inch of rubbing alcohol – bleeding all over the page. There’s a lot, a lot, a lot of blood. It gushes forth in great bucketting gouts, drowning readers in sorrow and tragedy and the earnest, public mea culpa of the soul. It’s harrowing. It’s REAL. Often it’s darkly, desolately gorgeous, like the war-stained ruins of an ancient, once-powerful civilisation.

But lately it’s damn well everywhere, and it’s beginning to get to me.

I’d like to propose an alternative. I *know* it’s important to write your wrongs and to have the opportunity to distill your soul in ink, sending it out into the world somewhat untangled, and with the chance for others to glance at your experience, feel that deep-down shivering gong of resonance, and respond “me too…” I don’t wish to deny or undermine the importance of sharing words ‘around the table’, with friends and peers, bonding over the piquancy, spiciness, and occasional sour flavour which is served to us all in the great meal of life, but…

..can’t we do it beautifully, just sometimes? Without the raw feeling of excoriation as the words run rampant through your brain, trailing sandpaper fingers along its neural pathways, forcing you to your knees in empathy as your heart is beaten over and over and over? Can’t we read without our beaten hearts being left in a bruised and tender state on the floor of our heaving chests? Because good grief, life is hard enough without going ten rounds with someone else’s!

Dear Writer, bind your wounds - summat2thinkon.wordpress.com

I want to read words that approach me softly, moving through the air like dust-moted sunbeams in still woodlands. I want to immerse myself in stories which lap around the edges of my mind with salt-froth so soft I hardly realise I’m drifting away from the shore, about to be consumed by your tempest.

I crave subjects which galvanise my soul, energising me and charging me up so that my body twitches with genuine muscle-deep ZING! I begin to want to run or yell or fight someone, or somehow ride off into sunset adventures astride a noble charger. I desire writing which beguiles, with tender looks from under lowered eyelashes as words float in diaphanous symphonies of silken syllables, tempting me to follow wherever they may wander for just another glimpse, a shared look, a touch…

…I want your words, your life, your highs and lows, your ups and downs and ins and outs, all transcribed so beautifully, tears of amazement come to my eyes as I read and acknowledge the bright spark of your spirit shining through the places where your world has fallen apart. I want to marvel at its jagged edges now kintsugi-gilded with the desire to fight back against your darknesses by sharing them. I want to see the ripples of your history molding and shaping the sands of your shoreline, its flotsam and jetsam thrown into stark relief by glorious sunshine, sending twinkles across the bay of your background.

I want your treasured moments placed tenderly in my open palms like the jewels they are, that I might admire and cherish them also. I want your heart and mind and soul laid bare, that I might see the completeness of YOU, in all your tapestried glory – loose threads; gaping holes; gorgeous, beaded soliloquies in the bright colours of your thoughts at their richest and most vibrant – set out for me to revel in.

I want to stand, awestruck and newly able to acknowledge your colossal strength; to see the glorious Titan of your character, its oiled and muscled bounds far outstripping your physical presence.

I want to be caught unawares, a glimmer in the corner of my mind’s eye transpiring to be your experiences rendered in glittering, whirring words, hummingbird-like, that they might alight on the edges of my consciousness and sip, gently, from the cup of my attention.

I want your words to swell around me, rising and falling with the tempo of your heartbeat as you draw me close enough to feel you breathing. Let me be ensnared in the most beautiful way – weave your threads around me so gently and prettily I’m lost in the maze of your thoughts before I realise I am trapped. Let me be taken, slowly, wonderfully, blissfully, into your world, and shown what it means to you.

Indulge me, appease me, beguile me, and let me love you, anyway…

…dear Writer, bind your wounds, and stay the flow of blood.

Let your words, instead, rush forth as streams of lustred enchantment, redeeming the inevitable darknesses with light and beauty. Let me marvel at the cut and clarity of your gorgeous self, with every facet buffed to glimmering perfection. Above all, let me feel that connection – the place where I can put my fingers against the screen and sense the heat of yours, on just the other side, coming back at me infused with the truth – we’re all SO much more the same than different.

Dear Writer…write for me…

Hardwired Heart

 

 

 

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82 thoughts on “Dear Writer, bind your wounds…

  1. The world is such a beautiful place. Your plea for those of us who write to reflect that beauty is timely. I strive for that in some of my writing. But it’s also a terrible place, and that too needs describing. I’m currently reading “The Memory Stones” by Caroline Brothers, which is a novel about ‘the disappeared’ in Argentina during the 1970s. It’s wonderfully written but almost unbearably painful to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does need a measure of both, definitely. I agree that the events and actions which occur in the world are desperately bad at times, and the behaviours sometimes inconscionable. I think it’s right that we know about them, but I think there’s a time for writing powerfully and a time when writing becomes a blunt weapon intent on grinding salt into wounds. If that makes sense.

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  2. T. S. Eliot said, “The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.” The heat of the blood is where good storytelling comes from. But sometimes wounds bleed so much that no sense can arise without more pain from the chaos of blood-heat spilling all over a life, all over a page. We are at once drawing from the substance of our minds to put life into stories, while fending off the underworld chaos of too much inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, this is it – it needs to be balanced; compelling without being horrific, engaging without being gory, and with enough light to leave people feeling a little bit hopeful that as they leave, their lives are better for knowing the story or the teller of the tale.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read this post ages ago, and meant to comment but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to say then. In the meantime, I had a few grouchy self-pitying days and they made me realise what it was. There’s a huge difference between writing that bleeds in a self-pitying way and writing in which we deal with serious issues or hurt with the intention to heal though it.
    There’s nothing inherently wrong with self-pity (in spite of what I kept telling myself when I was feeling it last week) but it is exhausting, both for the person experiencing it and the person witnessing it. It creates a circular kind of thinking that goes nowhere other than back to pain and suffering – we feel sorry for ourselves, feel angry at ourselves for that, feel sorry for ourselves again.
    Although I really knew the way out, it still shocked me last week to finally realise that it was when I allowed myself to feel how I was feeling instead of punishing myself for it that I was able to get free.
    So how does this relate to writing that bleeds? Well basically, I’m agreeing with your last paragraph – write to connect, to transform. To, as you say redeem “the inevitable darknesses with light and beauty.” That way, instead of adding to the world’s suffering by demanding attention for ours, we open up the way for others to heal too.

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    • Well, this is SUCH a pertinent comment for me to read right now, Yvonne, because I’ve been stuck in precisely that cycle for the past (feels like a billion) days, and am only NOW beginning to come out of it, with a piece of writing which precisely hopes to break the cycle, connect, and begin to ‘get through’ 🙂 Thank you, thank you ❤

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  4. There is so much here to love…and, love it I do!
    First – the flow and the word choices. Absolutely gorgeous. I loved how you asked for beauty and provided your beauty as an example. WOW
    Second – I right there with you and what I want to read right now. Ha! You could probably tell that by what I wrote earlier today. I feel joy, so I write joy!
    I’m saving this post for days that I’m not so joyful. Thank you, love. This was so so perfect. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I LOVED your post earlier, and I could FEEL the joy, and it was GLORIOUS! I was enraptured.

      And HOORAY! I’m so glad you love this – thank you! *glowy*I made sure I wasn’t asking anyone to do what I’m not prepared to do first myself, yaknow? And also, I LOVED writing it. LOVED crafting it, creating beauty with my words. And I LOVE that people have responded so wonderfully to it – THAT is the wonder of writing, and it’s such a privilege.

      Liked by 1 person

    • YES! THAT! Using words beautifully somehow (I’ve always thought) goes some way to redeeming the awful situation which left you needing to write them…because words CAN always be wrought into something lovely and inspiring. They can. I know it. But it’s bloody hard work sometimes and I know I’m not always equal to the task.

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  5. Pingback: little feet, silly truths – The Matticus Kingdom

    • Thank you so much Jeri, and I definitely think your perspective (which you’ve shared before) about having the right platform from which to share, is a key aspect. I hope you DO find a way to share, and the right voice to do it in 🙂

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  6. The most enchanted and talented writers know how to bleed elegantly in artistic patterns all over the page. They indulge and ensnare us with their words which inspire and heal. I’m thinking of scribes such as Paulo Coelho here.

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  7. What you’re reacting to in this piece goes to show the pain people are really in and the degree of depression and distress so many go through.
    😦
    I get where you come from, nonetheless, and there is also a level of wallowing that can be far too tempting to engage in, which can seek the kind of attention from blogging and gaining an eager and willing readership.
    You will certainly strike a nerve with your request, but hopefully any who read your words within might take a few moments to digest and consider what you are proposing because balance is healthiest in the long run. Bravo for calling for moderation. We all need to stop the bleeding so we don’t end up bleeding out.

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    • I worry, sometimes, that some people might do just that, and I SO don’t want them to do that, because their words can be SO magical, SO beautiful. I want to be excited to read, rather than feel a curious, creeping dread that it’s another post I have to ‘get through’, rather than one I can luxuriate in.

      Wallowing is something I’ve done in the past, and I’ve had kind, compassionate, indulgent people who have let me do it. I’ve also had people who’ve been kind and compassionate and told me to buck my ideas up 😉

      I’m the LAST person to dictate what or how anyone should write, BUT, I do like to put a stick in the spokes every now and again, with a challenge to be a bit reflective, and if people want to, to come back with something beautiful, to indulge me 🙂

      (I totally agree with your comment about the degree of pain people go through – and I don’t in ANY way seek to undermine the truth and agony in their experience, and their need to write it out of them – I’ve done it.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been shaped by harshness, too, and it’s an abrasive and painful process. Not one I enjoyed in any way, shape, or form, but on this side of things, I can appreciate the difference it made and the ways it changed me for the better. I’m glad you’re becoming a diamond 🙂

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  8. I find it hard sometimes to bind those wounds; bleeding onto the digital page is a cathartic exercise I can’t say I enjoy, but one that is necessary nonetheless. There is inspiration to be found in the harrowing experiences of others, through witnessing their survival in particular, if those stories are told well. Your essay has reminded me of the importance of celebrating life a little more, of focusing on the positive and beautiful aspects of existence. We need that, I think. Light to balance out the darkness.

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    • I think that’s what I’ve been feeling the lack of – balance. I absolutely endorse bleeding onto the page, and I’ve done it myself (lots). It’s cathartic and healing and untangling, and a lot of the time, I can’t sort my struggles out in any other way, BUT…I reached a point of oversaturation and *shrugs* I just wanted to make the point there’s ALWAYS more to life, and writing, than the harrowing, difficult stuff.

      SO glad to remind you that life is worth celebrating though, Alison, and thank you for your thoughtful response.

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  9. Such a lovely reminder Lizzi. Before FB and blogging and all of this hulabaloo, the bleeder would call on the phone and ensnare us for hours of psuedo-therapy because frankly, they needed someone to listen. Sometimes that would be once in a whole lifetime friendship and sometimes it would be every time we heard their voice. It is so true that we have a responsibility to each other to be good listeners and it is also true that not everyone can afford a good therapist. To sprinkle blood on occasion is a trusting maneuver, appreciated in the very deep of us. If always and sadly ever-bloodier elaborations, one feels a bit like the empathy has been stretched a bit to ripping. Thank you Lizzi, we all love genuine feeling, but not to make your blog a whipping post is just good karma. Share the wealth of being a whole person. Thanks girl, well said.

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    • Kimberly, that’s a really good way of putting it – that a blog needs to share more than just one aspect of the person. Some of my very best friends in the world are bloggers whose ‘whole’ I have seen and grown to love and cherish through their wonderful ways of sharing their ups, downs, and round-abouts.

      I’m all for trust and for absolute respect when someone bares their soul – it’s a courageous thing to do and I don’t intend to discourage it, but balance is key, and too much of a brave thing can lead to empathy burn-out, which makes me sad because then I feel put off from engaging with the writing.

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    • *grinning HUGE* ohhhh bless your boots, my dear, that’s SUCH a gorgeous compliment and THANK YOU ❤ I don't know how I do it, really – lots and lots of practice, and I suppose some degree of natural aptitude. I think about what *I* would like to see, and assume others will feel the same (egocentric, egocentric…)

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  10. Pingback: I Found My Words – The Lunatic Poet

  11. Thank you Lizzi for a well-written post. It’s true that our blogging recently seems to have been full of heavy issues – says she who is writing a series on dealing with writer’s block! (You’ll never guess why!) I enjoyed this and felt challenged.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Shirley – somehow your comment ended up in my spam filter! So sorry. I’ve rescued it now.

      Thank you for your lovely feedback on this piece. I don’t know WHY there seems to be such a glut of really tough-to-read/deal with/imagine blog posts at the moment, and it makes my heart hurt for so many people going through such difficult times. I think a book dealing with writer’s block sounds like a great idea though, and I hope it goes really well!

      I’m glad you enjoyed this piece, and I hope the challenge inspires some interesting outcomes 🙂

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  12. Oh my. The words. The sweet, decadence of words. That just swiftly captured me in their softly scented arms and rocked me to and fro. Ah words. Glorious, beautiful. They are the heat inside me, and you just lit the flame with so many words, softly whispered and shouted and awakening my heart to their sound upon my minds tongue. So sweet.

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    • Ohhh thank you, THANK YOU! Now THAT is the kind of reaction I hoped to inspire, and how gloriously you wrote it! I’m so so glad my piece had this effect ❤ ❤ Wonderful feedback ❤ ❤

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  13. Well played, Queen of all that is glittery, well played, indeed.
    Shall I rise to this challenge? Yes, I think I shall. It might take a couple days to dust off the pixel makers in my mind, but the kingdom calls for beauty and I must answer. It’s been too long already.

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  14. So this is gorgeously written and I adore the imagery. I have to ask (with love and honesty and full transparency) what made you want to write this? Have you seen post after post of people bleeding on the page that I have missed?
    Part of me feels that if we truly write authentically, in our own voices, that we don’t have much control over whether we bleed onto the page or whether we are able at the moment to find our Titan self or the glittery brightness in the brokenness. Of course, we always have the option of not hitting “publish,” and should always think about repercussions before doing so. For me though, at least, I do not have control over whether you find my words full of strength and spark or whether you find them to be too bloody.
    There’s the other category – the shitty click-baiters who write to get traffic, knowing they will anger people and offend people and to me – that’s not being authentic. It’s being an asshole who is willing to throw angry into a pool of questions and enjoys the sharks circling the blood. That, to me, is different and maybe the posts you’re referring to? ?? Or maybe not, and I don’t understand. Enlighten me, dear one.

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    • It’s the former, rather than the latter. I don’t know whether there’s been an upswing in the trend for the dark and harrowing, or whether it’s just the bloggers I keep tabs on because I know the calibre of their words, BUT there seems to be a spate of ‘bleedy’ posts, all trying to outdo themselves for being the darkest, most harrowing, most soul-beariest yet, and it began to get me down.

      You’re right in that we don’t always have control, and heck, you’ve read me for long enough to know that I’m absolutely guilty of bleeding onto the page at times – many, MANY times – so it’s not as though I’m trying to undermine the process (or the results)…I’m just overwhelmed by the volume I seem to see lately.

      I want balance. I want equillibrium restored, and perhaps I need to find some new writers to follow as well, whose thoughts are more determinedly turned to beautiful things in a world where beauty rarely occurs without some kind of agony in its history…

      No-one has control over how someone experiences their words, in the same way as you can’t tell someone you haven’t hurt them when they tell you you have. It’s about what is taken in, a lot of the time, rather than what is put out there, and yes – we do have a duty of responsibility to put words out there which aren’t assholey and inflammatory for the sake of getting clicks and shares and people’s backs up…BUT if I can inspire anything, I’d like it to be more beauty, more determination to seek Good, and share it. I just want more prettiness which makes me REJOICE in life, rather than gorgeous writing which makes me despair of it, yaknow? The despair-y bits can still be written in ways which don’t leave a person ripped raw.

      Sorry, essay!

      Hope that was enlightenment enough, and fair questions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I am awe struck. Yes, there must be balance, something more than bleeding on the page, needful as that often is, even when it is a tale of healing and growth, there is more, even when it is done beautifully, there is other beauty, gentler, sweeter. You challenge us all to celebrate.

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    • Thank you, sir, for your wonderful feedback there. We SO need the bleeding, but we need the beauty and the balance and the relief of taking a (literary) breath of cool, sweet air overlooking a still lake, at dawn. 🙂

      I’d LOVE to see more people celebrating their lives through their words. Now THAT would be something.

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  16. Love Hemingway and love your writing. It’s so true, though, isn’t it? When we writers begin to write, our soul etches on to the (digital) page…and you hope that your bleeding doesn’t cause someone to exacerbate your wound and that others will come and nurse that bleeding, lol. Sending hugs!

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    • I think he’s so right, and it’s a really good image for getting out those awful things which NEED out, which are steeped in darkness and hurt…but we all need variety, and we all need uplift and (as you say) we all need nurturing. Why not nurture with words? 🙂

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  17. Dear Lizzi,
    There is so much hurt going on in the world right now, you are right. There is too much blood being poured out. There are gushing maelstrom’s of it and I have not had the words to express how I feel about it all. But no matter, for you have found the way with exquisite precision. I have been trying to find my words but it turns out you have been keeping them safe for me.
    There is so much beauty in this, Diamond Girl, a stunning piece of art. Maybe I’ll find a way to give you back what you have given us…a light in the dark.
    All my love, Sweetness.
    Pinky

    Liked by 1 person

    • My dear Pinky – you just about made my day! What lovely, LOVELY words, and thank you so much for getting it – I’m not denying the hurt, or the learning which can come from it, or that we ALL must go through our portion of it – but it doesn’t ALWAYS need to be rendered so graphically. *I* know – *I’ve* done it in the past. I’m in no way innocent of doing just the thing I write against…BUT…the world at the moment seems to me to call for light and beauty and things which uplift the spirit. THAT’S what I’d love to inspire ❤

      HUGE love to you, my dear ❤

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