Thursday, December 4, 2008
“Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that's the whole art and joy of words."
-C.S. Lewis in “Till We Have Faces: A myth retold”
I started this blogging thing a little over a month ago. For me, it is a disciplinary exercise in writing, another way to practice my craft. Some days, writing with a pen seems much more natural, authentic and somehow an easier way to get at the guts of what I really mean, closer to the actual thoughts milling around in my mind. One of my writing teachers believes that handwriting actually connects one to ancestral thought patterns in a way that typing on a keyboard cannot. Speaking or storytelling can take us even closer, bring us deeper towards understanding the collective consciousness and "truth." Perhaps.
If we could hear or read the words of those who created the mysterious forms painted and carved on canyon walls, we would certainly understand their meaning or intent more clearly. Or, are there some things that simply cannot be understood with words? That is the challenge, the responsibility, the mission of a writer or storyteller: to transform thought and experience into words that can be shared so that we can better know truth and meaning.
For me, the keyboard ends up being a convenient way to edit, more than any other benefit it offers. I actually prefer the tactile experience of pen on paper, the ability to be anywhere with simpler tools rather than plugged into the machine. But here I am, tapping away. Why? Is it an act of ego, wanting to communicate with others, a desire to be heard, read, published? Maybe. But really, who the heck cares to read what I write, and do I care that others read what I write? (In an act of purging, I once burned a dozen journals that I had collected over the years, horrified that anyone would actually read that stuff when I die!) More than anything, writing, for me, is a way to organize my thoughts, and through that process create new ideas, synthesize information, and thus get closer to understanding the world around me.
Why do you blog?