On writing

If you want to write, you need to believe your words are valuable enough to put on paper. They are. I’m dead serious. Your words have a right to be written because they are your words. You are real. Your voice, spoken or written, has as much value as any other voice – on the planet.

And try not to fret or wrap yourself in guilt because you didn’t remember to write something down. My history is littered with now forgotten sentences, phrases and words I fell in love with and wanted to use one day, and never did. I don’t imagine mine is a unique experience, other than it is mine, and no one (that I know of) is living my life but me.

I know that none of what I said here will make writing perpetually comfortable.  I don’t think it is supposed to be. Writing forces you to be fully alone with yourself, and fully connected with yourself. Not easy. Sometimes I write because I want to, always I write because I have to.

The page is your world

This may be the most efficient way of writing. Simply put words on a page, and have done with it. This is your page. These are your words. Here, of all places, you need answer to not a soul, living or dead. This is a statement of fact, friend. This, the page, is your world. Doesn’t matter whether others read this or not. I know ache fills you at this. It’s only life, each sentence, word, one movement closer to the end.  

One writer’s internal dialogue

  • It’s time to do some writing.
  • Fuck me.
  • I’m serious.
  • I can tell.
  • You just –
  • One word down, then another –
  • And another, exactly.
  • You know what gets me?
  • What?
  • It sounds so easy. Just sit down, or stand, whatever works, and then just start writing anything. Just set words down and pay attention and the words will just come of their own accord.
  • That’s not so easy.
  • What – ?
  • “Words will just come of their own accord.” That’s an act of faith on your part. Faith that if you begin the words will follow. The weight’s on you to begin, then it’s pretty much stay the hell out of the way. It can’t be the same experience each time you write, is it?
  • Now that you mention it, no.

The Possibility of Sunlight

Of another relationship I say, maybe, just maybe. But not necessary. It is the page that draws me stronger now. On relationships I stay open, never pull the blinds to the possibility of sunlight. And while there are many whose hearts are steadfast in their desire for intimacy, few can actually live it. And that is the only landscape for my stride.

There are the array of partial intimacies, connections between two people, where, like two not quite fitted puzzle pieces, some of the edges align, and for that, anyone would be wise to be grateful.

In the meantime, I am drawn to the page, to the book, and, again, finally, to the physical. The long walks, the trails, the summiting moments, to climb back on the bike and break the hills that are like weeds in their prevalence here. And again to the gym, solitary in my task, regaining the vessel’s tone.

Then to the page, the garden, the sweet air, and always with the blinds open to the possibility of sunlight.

My Task

And now, to the writing of it. The telling of it, knowing beforehand that no words get close to the realities of those here and gone from life; those we have loved and love still from the center of our beings, our souls if you will. Yet, it seems to me, to not write about them, write for them, tell others about them, would be an injustice of the heart.

I cannot tell you the glory of an Oak tree by phone or on the page. Nor can I tell you in full measure the exquisite beautiful mystery of the always enchanting morning mist. But I can tell you something, and that is my task.

I cannot possibly tell you or explain in any full and complete measure how a woman hours from me warms my heart and lifts my soul with so much love and comfort I find the experience baffling, wondrous, soaring. So much so I hardly dare to believe it. But I can tell you something and that is my task.

I cannot possible tell you in full accurate detail and scope how it sickens my heart and soul when I see people being treated with hatred because of some aspect of who they are. The damage of this kind of hatred and bigotry is wide ranging. It is aimed at those who are gay, lesbian, disabled, black, Latino, Asian, female, Jewish, Muslim and so forth. But I can tell you something and that is my task.

I think, now, as the memoir pushes to its conclusion and I gear up for the next writing task, I need to and must accept that I can never tell the all of life, just, if I work hard enough, glimpses of it.

And that is my task.