Thursday, December 8, 2011

To Read Me is to Know Me

Looking back on my essays, I see that I have shared a good amount of incredibly personal, intimate material. I have given you my perspective on poverty through stories of my childhood, through stories of lack, of decrepit homes, of being hungry when there was no food. I have shared my take on education and my views on friendship and faith and love. You know that while I believe, I dislike much of what the current concept of religion entails. We are mean and evil and nasty to each other at the same time we are teaching tolerance and love and peace. Through my writing, I have opened myself up and exposed to you my leanings toward the mystical, not something I am sure an academic should ever do. I have written on soul mates and signs and synchronicity. You know that I believe the whole spiel about the one true soul mate is totally off, that we actually have three types of soul mates--karmic, companion, and twin. I have bared a good number of my frustrations and insecurities on the aging process and on death itself. You know that I live my life to my liking because I have come too close to death to live it to the liking of others.

I wonder why, though, I write on such topics because, honestly, it is easier as I so often like to do, to discuss the fun and fluff, to give you a peek at my frilly underthings, to expose a bit eyelet, a hint of lace. It is easier to let the pen linger on the lingerie than to show you even a glimpse of what’s inside my head and my heart. At least when I am standing there in my skivvies I am still somewhat dressed.

And, truthfully, I have found that if I reveal a bit of breast or let you in on my reactions to a scene in a steamy romance, you are more likely to read the piece than if I discuss, oh, let’s say, world hunger or environmental issues or interconnectedness. So why do I continue to put my deepest thoughts in front of your face in the hopes that you will actually see them? Why do I tell you things that normal people tell only their closest friends? Why do I let you play voyeur as I do?

I don’t see much difference, really, between writing and reality. Reality, after all, is not that which is in front of me, but that which is in my head. Two people experience the same situation. Those same two people have two very different realities. Sure, their realities aren’t exactly what happened, but rather their take on what happened. Still. I have always been one to process my world through my head. I often know what I think before I know what I feel. What I think is my reality. My reality is my writing. Sometimes I don’t really even know what I feel until I take pen to page and see those feelings in print.

I love the movie scenes where the patient is lying on the couch pouring out his troubles to the therapist while the therapist, in turn, is tapping his fingers together and asking, “And how do you feel about that?” If I were the patient, I would have to say, “Hang on just a second and let me write that down for you.”

So, sure, I write to inspire you, to entertain or educate or inform, but mostly I write for myself. I write to process my world. I write to think out loud, to reflect and consider. If I stop writing, I am afraid, I will stop feeling. Or perhaps I will just stop knowing what I’m feeling. Sometimes I think my feelings are just too big for my heart and that is why they have to spill out onto paper. Sometimes. Still, why do I let you look?

Why not? I am who I am. I am not afraid to show you who I am. I am not afraid of what you think of me. I am not afraid of your reaction to my opinion. I know that you have your own stories, but just haven’t put them to print. I know that you have your own opinions and thoughts and beliefs. More than anything I want you to know who I am, to be clear on that, to hear my opinion. More than anything I want you to know that I know who I am, and that I am clear on that, and that I know my own opinion. More than anything I want to share and to be validated and to be encouraged. More than anything I just want to be read.

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