Friday, January 15, 2010

i did want an answer, a conversation

i want to write, i need (whatever that means) to write, and the questions are not rhetorical. No. Perhaps they are unanswerable but they are real questions. I have no friends near with blogs, no one near who i know writes, and no one near who has any interest in any of these matters. Expression -- through words, art, whatever - is important for me to process, to place myself. How others place themselves in the world, in relationship to self and others, how they know or define what and why -- these are ideas not discussed.

why do we think we have anything to say anyway?

Some fancy themselves essayists, poets or other writers with something to say - and some seem to write for themselves. Some write and have a following, they're read, elicit comments, maybe set spark to others' thoughts/writing, etc.
But the we in this question are mine. As I sat through the last 6 days of work, reviewing literally thousands of documents a day, listening to my ipod and talking to myself (i suppose daydreaming is the more comfortable term) i wrote ... first in my head a snatch here and there, yet it lacked something and so out comes paper, pen and words. Had I been online perhaps the words would land here. Yet once i write the writing is done, for what it's worth, and there's nothing left. I have at times thought perhaps I would take those paper scraps and transfer here those words but then i think it would be pretentious. It would assume I have something to say and that anyone might want to read it. I decide it is better left on the scraps, buried in a notepad, eventually to make its way to the garbage.
I think I should protest, say that I don't think I have anything to say, but that would be disingenuous as even now I sit here writing ... perhaps saying nothing but writing nonetheless. Perhaps it is only that I wish I could write.

Do I want read? To be honest, yes. I'd like to think I have something to say that someone thinks is worth having been written, though I think the truth is more otherwise than not. I want to be read, I like comments, constructive preferably, but even just an acknowledgement is nice. Doesn't everyone wish for, dream of having, the talent to write at a level, about something, that others want to read? Maybe it's just me.

And what makes me think I have anything to say? Everyone has something to say - right? I guess the better question is why write unless someone reads it, be it me or you, and what so i have to write that wants to be read? Words are only that and have no meaning other than we assign, but if tomorrow i read something written earlier chances are as good as not that the meaning then assigned will escape me - whatever the reason i wrote yesterday is not the reason to read today. Yet at times the words written for some reason i do want to come back to later, but once written if they are not here they are in so many places, whatever piece of paper i had or even at times the phone, i cannot gather them again. So why not take those papers and sheets and repeat here what was writ there? Because when I have done that it feels false - that's the most I can explain. Perhaps I could be very honest about why I write but this is not dishonest either.

How other people write I don't know; me, it's like i close my eyes and do it, so to speak. I don't think or plan or organize, which is probably self evident in many cases. It is more an intuition than a purposeful act in terms of the source of writing, though of course there is the getting of paper and pen or figuring out how to log on here when i've accessed it via the wrong email account. While not a rock or tree or bird i do not often consider my expression before it disgorges on the page as the page may be). Were I to consider and especially to consider some more chances are there would be nothing committed to writing, yet i feel it important for me to commit to writing, which begs the question ... what makes me -- why do i -- think i have anything to say?

does it matter who we are in relation to others?

this question follows from the first - i want to be read, i look forward to comments and however rare, however terse or cryptic, i value comments as an acknowledgement that i am here, that i wrote something and that someone read it and no matter the merits or lack thereof, for even just a second and even if but a short electronic spit through the airs it is some sort of connection, however brief.

But who reads? I know only by comments who reads, and i value those comments not only for the acknowledgement but perhaps more for the connections they represent, real or imagined, and certainly more important to me than to others.

I would say I write from an honest secret space, accessible not so much at will as by disclosure, and a handful people of people know the identity of the writer, few of whom comment, this making it safe,comfortable, to write? What is the relationship that the writer -- any writer -- has with others that enables the writer to commit expressions to a medium that others can access? In this format I can write all I want, as poorly as I do, and never know the reader's true response. Yet i believe a comment left is a true response based on...what? Based on the relationship between me and the few people who know about this place. So what are theses relationships? I know many more people than I would ever tell about this place, and while strangers are welcome there are far fewer who know me than will know this. The absence of relationship with strangers makes it ok for them to come here though, so far as I know, none do. On the other hand it is exactly the fact that with others there is (or was?) relationship and it is the nature of the relationship that allows me to have told them of this place. I think I'm doing a really poor job of explaining ... but still there is the question.

Who are we in relation to others - I'm struggling with the concept but I know that here i can express things, such as trying poems, that are not safe to express elsewhere. Here there is room to be seen or heard in ways that i will not be seen or heard elsewhere, in part by choice but also because my relationship with most people is such that the one who comes here is not audible or visible to them, even though some i would characterize as good friends.

And are we anything other than what we are in relation to others? Usually we define ourselves, and others define us, in relation to jobs, roles and people. I am a wife, a mother, a lawyer. I am a past friend, a good friend, an acquaintance, a colleague. I am a facebook friend, which seems to be an entirely different and more shallow category than even acquaintance. I am unemployed, I volunteer, I mentor, I teach a bead class. I take pictures but I would not call myself a photographer. I make jewelry but would not call myself an artist. I write other than for work, for personal reasons, but would not call myself a poet or writer of any sort.

I just am but saying so is not something we do - we always add the adjectives and often adverbs as well.

If I don't know Jack in Syracuse I am no one to him. Nor he to me. But that doesn't make him less Jack doing whatever Jack does with whoever shares his life. Jack is, but he is no one in relation to me, is he? Were Jack to read this he would know nothing of or about me. He might have some opinions based on what he reads but that would be about Jack, not me.
I can die tomorrow and unless it is in some unusual or tragic event, Jack would never know. Were I to die by my own hand following some crazy rampage Jack might see or read a story and think what a nut, yet he would know nothing. Ditto for Jack. This is why obits, when published, are published only in the locale where the dead lived.

Then too there are some who know me now or have in the past known me and who help form the sense of who or what I am, what I'm about. Many were negative and some positive, but without all those experiences -- the relationship I had for better or worse with these people -- would I be today the same person?

Do I want an answer?
Doesn't everyone?
Do I think there is an answer?
But what fell silent has once more come to, and the noise is rising.

1 comment:

brtom said...

hey ... here's a comment for you (who likes comments ... don't we all) ... i just "skimmed" (i.e. barely read at all) this piece ... having been profoundly distracted over the past week & likely to remain so for at least a few more days ...

my take: having anxieties over saying, writing, being read or not could become a full-time job until one suffers the inevitable melt-down brought on by the same ... i'm not telling you not to feel this way ... just echoing what you already know: that there could be no end to this, that you do it or you don't do it ... though ... pondering as you do here has its place ... and hey, at the very least, you got a comment out of me (notoriously stingy w/ comments)!

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