When I first decided to start a blog, my intent was to share my love of words. I’d found some old writings in which I’d waxed poetically about words – what they mean to others, what they mean to me. My very first published blog article was about just that. And then, I drifted. Not intentionally, but it happened nonetheless. Posts since then have been about a myriad of subjects, and I’m happy to have written them. But reading another’s blog – someone who also attaches a great deal to the use of words – reminded me that I need to keep my focus now and then, so that I can share the power that words have over me. And so, this will be another blog post about words and writing…
Though those of you who know me realize I am seldom at a loss for words; when I let my brain ramble and roam, it’s a different matter. It seems so unusual for me, who lives and breathes by words spoken and written, to be at such a loss. Is it this that compels my need to write, to have to see the black and white in order to find words for what is lost? Why do I need to write, to put words to paper? If the words are not seen, do the ideas then cease to exist? In a way, it’s mental masturbation – thoughts are ephemeral and spirits that have no mass – if words are not expressed for another, then of what use do they serve? Do I need to say and to write in order to be? I only know that I need to write in order to maintain what little sanity exists within me….
Too often I find myself using, perhaps abusing, words – trying to create or instill in another a concept of rationalization of what I see in my heart’s eye – perhaps needing to share that what is inside me far exceeds the pinpoints I used to describe the life that I have and the life that I have had. Sometimes, my thoughts are a reflective journey of dreams unrealized, at least not yet – but the dream still exists, a pantomime that exists with the hope of being fulfilled.
Too many times it’s been difficult to look in the mirror and face myself and realize, not for the first time, the compromises made for my life which were at one time debated internally and anguished about – but by indecisiveness, lack of focus and/or energy or simply fear, I’ve succumbed to these compromises. Checkbooks, day planners and the needs of others were what dictated what was possible and which dreams were capable of being captured. At some point in our lives, we reach the age – or better clarified, mental state – at which the physical sense of safety and the acceptance of only satisfactory fulfillment begin to override our desire for the dreams we thought were capable of being captured. We attempt to convince ourselves and others near and dear to us that we have actively pursued and achieved many of our goals. But were they every really our goals, or were they more the goals of what society expects when we reach the stage of adulthood?
Nonetheless, we chose these goals – primal urges satisfied if not satiated – and routine sets in… the same grocery store to be shopped in, a new car every five years, make love to one’s significant other every Saturday night at 10 PM, wear the same clothes from the closet time and time again… so engrossed in the day that the week is displaced. Holidays become a matter of work rather than enjoyment – a chance to show off one’s hosting skills with a perfectly set dining table and a well-stocked bar. Other pleasures once so fervently sought become nothing but leisure thoughts of the more we wish we had done. Meanwhile, time has been parceled out by weather reports and the daily news and each of us pays master to taking care of the necessities with no consideration or exception… How sad that we so easily fall into this luckless state that we once thought was the development of our dreams – so vivid and appealing in our imaginations but so matter-of-fact and lack-luster in our real lives.
And every once in a while, in the few moments to spare waiting at a traffic light, we ponder the state of personal pursuit of happiness – afraid to admit we’re unhappy, understanding that complacency is valid as the end equation of compromises made along the way. And no matter how much or how little time we spend trying to think of different mathematics to arrive at the final answer, in the end, we are still going to die and everything is going to be just as we leave it.
But still, we choose to transcribe our thoughts into words – to provide another a tangible expression of the spirit within us. How do I explain to someone else the wonder I see when a rainbow mysteriously appears and the clouds become a colorful dance in its reflection? How do I explain the smile another has brought to my lips unknowingly, even unintentionally? Or explain the immediate physical impulse the presence of cherished one whose whole demeaner quickens my breath? In intimate moments, how do I reflect, other than with words, how each sensation experienced fuses into a whole, yet each sensation is complete within itself?
3 thoughts on “Back to the beginning…”
“And every once in a while, in the few moments to spare waiting at a traffic light, we ponder the state of personal pursuit of happiness – afraid to admit we’re unhappy, understanding that complacency is valid as the end equation of compromises made along the way. And no matter how much or how little time we spend trying to think of different mathematics to arrive at the final answer, in the end, we are still going to die and everything is going to be just as we leave it.“.
Soul sista’, truer words have never been written. For the last few years this has been my life. Sitting in traffic when my teenagers weren’t with me I would cry alone about how this life wasn’t how my much younger and ridiculously naive self thought it would all turn out. I wasn’t happy, but if you asked me to tell you why, I couldn’t have phrased it in a way to let others understand. I didn’t know how to fix it.
Then this spring a wordsmith we know changed my perspective. Not proud of the way I got here, but over the course of 50 years I’ve built a beautiful life following my own path of leaving places and people that cross my path better than I found them. Whether that means picking up trash, collecting shopping carts, saving turtles, or putting a smile on someone’s face if not in their heart. I’ve very selfishly allowed myself one thing that is just for me and that is my love of dogs. I’ll stop the car to pet a dog and talk to the owner. It’s cathartic for me in that making that brief connection (and running my hands through fur) relieves stress and restores my faith in humanity. So learning to love who I am, and realizing that it was my relationships that needed work,
I’ve learned to figure it the hell out and make the few small changes I need to get the results I want in my life. It helps to have a friend to turn to with questions for information and recommendations when needed.
My point is, focused or not, you wordsmiths have a tremendous effect on each of us in your own way. So, thank you and keep crafting, your words have meaning!
I think we may be alike in ways we’ve only begun to discover. I say that because I am the same way when a dog and it’s owner cross my path – I always ask first if the dog is friendly, kind of like asking for permission to pet it, and then I want to know it’s name, it’s age, how long the owner has had it, all while petting and talking to the animal.
Obviously, I know some of the recent steps you’ve taken with your life and I’m very glad to learn that you’ve gained positive perspective from any missteps as well. Please know that I’m rooting for you!
Thank you for your kind words. I’m not sure I deserve them, but I’ll take it.