wordy

I have an idea, neither new nor clever. 

A word to the people who do well in writing...
I don't mean you write well necessarily.  I mean you do well emotionally, mentally or intellectually when you write.  I think it's true for me. 

I wonder whether writing helps us tell the truth. 
In person, maybe you are the funny guy who jokes and keeps things light.  Or, conversely, you are a quiet type who'd rather observe and listen.  Either way, you might have trouble saying what you think when it comes to discussing serious issues or expressing vulnerability.  I do, and did even more so in the past.

In a group, I feel genuinely happy and excited to be there.  I joke a lot.  I joke so much so, that once in a bible study, I started to cry and everyone started laughing because they thought I was kidding.  Don't feel badly when you read that - it makes me laugh really hard now.  I guess they'd never seen my face do that, and thought, "What's she got going this time?  This is gonna be funny."  And then two minutes later, when they realized I was crying, they thought, "Oh shit.  She's not joking.  Abort, abort!  Arrange faces in empathetic expression fast!"  I could see the back-peddling happening, which was so fascinating, I stopped crying.  However, I also remember thinking, "Wow.  People don't know me at all."

I can't speak for the quiet types who mask their feelings or opinions.  I love you dearly and am drawn to you, but I love you because you are foreign and exotic, like a rare beautiful bird.  Or a hedgehog. 

Regardless of your personality type, maybe writing helps us practice truth-telling.  In a journal or a blog, the exercise of writing words that are hard to verbalize seems less intimidating...well, over time, I mean.  Sometimes, even in my journal, I lie.  I used to write pages, before I'd get around to writing the truth - which is usually way shorter: 
I am sad; or
My heart hurts; or
I am scared I am a bad parent, and not in the cute normal way everyone else jokes about.

Writing seems like a safe way to practice truth and vulnerability.  The magical bonus gravy, however, is that the more I practice in fonts, the more I can do it in voice and relationships.  Maybe not everyone needs to go around blasting the truth at others and pontificating.  I mean, I enjoy it, but it's not for everyone.  But maybe getting to the point where, at least, we tell ourselves the truth is of the utmost importance. 

And then if we need to, we can share it with the people who matter.

Rilke said it well...that wise, well-dressed dandy:



"Letters to a Young Poet #1"
You ask whether your verses are any good. You ask me. You have asked others before this. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you are upset when certain editors reject your work. Now (since you have said you want my advice) I beg you to stop doing that sort of thing. You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you - no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must", then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.




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