Writing and Writhing...(back in business)
I haven't written much lately (as you can tell by my sparse blog entries). There are probably several reasons for this, but I think I put my finger on at least one I want to wonder about...
There have been times I feel like writing helps me to not hide. Others times writing can be a perfect place to hide. I think the latter is what I worry about most recently. I feel vulnerable to use writing as an escape from reality. A place to frame, blame, and name things so I don't feel as hurt as I do. A place to cast myself in the role I wish I had in the storyline. A place for revisionist history where I clean up the truth instead of letting it be and leaving it be.
Writing can be embellished--like you didn't already know that. It can be an imaginary friend you play with when you're alone and you need company. It can be a place to make believe and play pretend with objects and people. Like a child playing house, we can turn couch cushions into castles and ragged dolls into rugged dads. Somehow in our minds we can climb into a suspense of disbelief and convert rocks into rubies. It's a blessing...I think it's how some children in third world countries keep their hopes and dreams alive amidst the violence that seeks to steal their innocence. So don't get me wrong, I think God made us to dream of how things could be while we're writhing in the midst of how things are.
But virtual reality has made this behavior excessive. Posting pictures of a moment belies the emptiness just before and just after that pose. And the more you pose the more you feel like a poser. You present yourself as one thing while largely living and feeling another thing. I can began to write for similar reasons, namely, presentation. The war is presentation or being present. Being present is harder and harder because we are captured by what people are capturing in words and with camera lenses. We want those good things to be something we could say or feel or look like. So we pen and pose and posture--jostle and jockey for position really. It's hard to keep up. It's hard to know what's true after a while. If you're not close to your own soul, you'll start believing your own lies. It's crazy.
So back to writing...I want it to be as pure as I know to make it. To write, first, because I love to. Second, to tell the story. Not a story, but the story. Thirdly, to leave behind bread crumbs like Hansel and Gretel for my children to find their way home someday when they care enough to read my writings...if ever. (I began to care about what my dad might have been thinking and feeling when he was a young man somewhere around my early 30's). I don't know, maybe that motivation isn't the purest, but I want my kids to have a record of my honest thoughts and feelings. I want them to see the observations I made about life as it was flying by. I want them to know that I was more like them than they thought when they were in the same exact moment with me. I hope my commentary about life is, as much as I can muster, the no-spin zone. There is alway some margin of human error and bias, so it will never be 100% reality, but like hand sanitizer is promised to kill 99.9% of germs, I want to have a high percentage of promise that my thoughts are as naked as I'm saying they are. (you can even see bias in the claim of hand sanitizers...they knew they couldn't say 100% for fear of lawsuits when a child caught a bug, but they can't admit that it is probably way less than 99.9%...a good lesson in promotion and presentation for marketing.)
I don't want to write as a marketer, a brander, an advertiser. I don't want to make more or less of something than what it is. I don't want to subscribe to that way of life.
So, I haven't written much in the last year or so because I haven't trusted myself to tell the truth. I got sucked into the cyber-cyclopst and the dizzying affect of what is "posted online" and what is "happening offline" in my life and other people's lives scared me a bit. I got turned off and didn't know what or who to trust. I can't speak for other people, but for me, I noticed how hard I was trying to "present" myself rather than write about my "present self".
I'm trying to get back to that guy. That guy is the one I like hanging out with the most. Not the imposter (impastor) that is trolling for approval or attention. Not the poser (pastor) who is "trying to make it look like..." And I could say that it's not appealing to do that, but I would be lying. It's an easy and quick payoff. (like right now I'm wanting to post this on Facebook so that more people will read it cause no one gets on my blog). But that's just it. I want to write for the love of writing, not for the love of being read. I want to hear "write, now!" about "right now" and I just want to do it without instantly being ambushed by thoughts like: "Put that out there!"..."Is that sizzling enough?"..."does this have the potential to go viral?"..."embellish this with a lying adjective connected to your true subject...an untrue adverb to a true verb". I haven't trusted myself enough to let that stuff get collected and thrown into my archive. The last thing I want to do is to have someone read this someday never to really meet me, only a buffered and buffed version of me. My kids especially. I want them to know that I fought to put down in writing what was as close to me as I could possibly be. You feel me?
So this is the re-start of writing. I had to say this before I started writing just to have a Manifesto of Me to go back to, a tuning fork, a true north. Jason without guile. I don't pretend to be altruistic, but I can hope to be battling the guile. So, here is my best attempt at telling my story from here on out. It might not be great reading, but it will be fun writing. And that's true north.