Sunday, July 20, 2014

On why I'm here

Here I am again 10 months later. I've come here because I am at some sort of a crossroads and as always when I am at a crossroads (or at a stop sign, or having passed by roadkill, or any other number of driving related metaphors that are all the more inappropriate given my recent failed attempt to join world of those who drive) I want to write. 

I very rarely do write because, for me at least, being at a crossroads usually means being racked with indecision, which makes sitting down to write coherent sentences seem difficult and unappealing (how can I come up with the right adjective to use if I don't even know what I want in life?!?1 etc etc). Usually this means that my journal (a lined soft-cover moleskin that feels increasingly old-fashioned whenever I take it out in public places) suffers an influx of tortured entries comprised of paragraph-long sentences and then I re-watch a season of Grey's Anatomy and then, you know, life goes on. 

However, without wanting to take myself too seriously, I do very much identify with Joan Didion when she says: "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear." ("Why I Write", first published in the New York Times Book Review 5 December 1976.) While keeping a journal sometimes helps achieve that, there is something about writing "in public" (even if it is to the anonymous, in many ways empty, internet) that forces me to do more than pour out my muddled thoughts onto a page. Writing something that other people might read requires some sort of structure, it requires pause, and those are two things that I think help me get from finding out what I'm thinking to finding out what it means. 

Lots of people write blogs and there are many blogs that I like reading very much. However, I've wrestled with the idea of writing a blog because it seems in many ways self absorbed (after all, who cares?) and because, unlike the blogs I like reading, I do not have anything in particular to offer such as enviable cooking skills, fashion nuance, whimsical photography, or stories of my ridiculously happy life with my partner and little dog and small online business selling crocheted pot plant covers. For the moment though, I have decided to put all that aside and run with this little shimmer of inspiration into the void. (I have inserted a picture of a beach with a light and a dark half separated by the jagged line of the sea and a tumultuous sky below for good measure.)

(The other reason to write "for pleasure" is because my job requires a lot of the kind of writing that instills a very strong desire in me right now to use headings to signpost where this blogpost is going, and maybe insert an introduction. Aaaand if I started to do that it would all be over before it started.)

Having said all that, that's all I have in me for the moment. Hopefully this reflection might bring me back to this space sooner than last time.