clearskies, bluewater

Insights, reflections and creative imaginings for our awakening world

When will I ever learn: The Writer’s Dilemma

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I’m slow, but I’m learning.” Alanis Morrisette

Foolish, foolish me. I never cease to amaze myself with my utter ability to forget the most basic and obvious lessons in life. Maybe I am just a very slow learner. Or maybe in certain areas, I am a hopeless case. I can blame this lack on several things, with the number one cause being those pesky, powerful things known as Hormones. As some of you may already be aware, Hormones are Powerful Things.

To say the least.

Case in point: I am a moody creature, in the words of someone very dear to me, whom for the sake of privacy and personal correctness, I shall call K. K and I are very close, in fact as close as two people can be. K does not possess the same hormones that I do, and so cannot understand their strange, mystical power over me and others of my tribe. When I am light, funny, happy, and generally in a good mood, K really likes me and approves. But when those pesky hormones come coursing through my body at certain times of the month, that’s when the trouble begins. Then the cup is no longer partially full, but seems forlornly half-empty. Then the rain becomes a friend, grey and muted tones are my preferred colors, and melancholy music suits me perfectly. When the hormones take over, I transform into a quiet, inward, melancholy soul.

So far, I think this is all rather understandable and acceptable, even to K. The part which I seem to forget, which gets me into trouble over and over, is that I continue to feel like I want and have to express myself during these low times. And once I do: Bam. I get slammed. This has happened so many times, you would think I was simply an idiot to not remember, that there wouldn’t be a stern voice in my head as I sit down to write an email saying, “Hold it! What on Earth do you think you are doing, are you crazy? Leigh, you know better than to send that email tonight! Don’t you remember what happened the last time you did that??”

Oh, Yeah, that’s right, of course I do…. the smart me would reply. Thanks for the reminder. Good advice. I’ll just sleep on it instead, maybe I’ll feel better in the morning. Well, unfortunately last night no such voice rang loudly in my ear, stopping me from hitting the send button. Uh-oh. Yes, you guessed it, yet one more mistake with sharing my deep feelings of melancholy with K. and you can well imagine the response I received in reply…. a long, angry outpouring of verbage which was simply too much to bear, I couldn’t even make it past the second paragraph. I closed my eyes, sighed deeply, and closed my email.

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But. I am a writer, after all. I believe whole-heartedly in a person’s right to self-expression, to writing as therapy and all that implies. So instead of just letting my mistake tear me up all the livelong day, I decided to take my own advice, and to Write!! What did Jack Kerouac do when he was going through all those crazy adventures back in the late 50’s? He Wrote. What about Sylvia Plath? Kurt Vonnegut? James Joyce? William Blake? Or the poets… way too many to even begin to name names. The point is, these people lived, loved, experienced pain and sorrow, had their melancholy days, their times of misunderstandings, heartbreak, depression… and they were all brave enough and crazy enough, to sit down at their typewriters or pull out their notebooks and pens, and just Write!

Write it out, get it down, say what the hell, and throw caution out. Maybe they too had a person like K in their lives, someone who could only take the light, happy side of them, who didn’t want to hear from the melancholy side, or at least not when it wasn’t convenient. So they wrote novels, and stories, and poems to the world instead. Good plan, methinks.

We writers and artists all have a wish, no matter how secretly buried within our hearts, to be heard. To be acknowledged. To have the ones closest to us say, ‘I hear you. I understand. I empathize. There, there, now, it will be alright. It’s okay, how you feel. I respect your feelings.” We don’t ask them to take it on themselves, to become sad or melancholy with us, No! We don’t want them to fix it, to fix us, to make everything all better. We only wish to be heard. Yet with our loved ones, this can be the very most difficult thing to accomplish of all.

Dear Readers, I have a story inside of me, which is really burning to get out. Part of it is already written and residing on this computer. Much of it has yet to be typed. I am afraid to do it. I am afraid that if I open that Pandora’s box of trouble, that all kinds of ills and curses and hexes will simply be released upon my head and the only thing that will remain in the box, inaccessible, will be hope. What a paradox! To be able to do what one knows they must do, with all of the passion and honesty they can possibly muster, while knowing that the very act of writing itself might put all that they love and treasure at terrible risk. If I cannot write an email without unfortunate consequences during a quite hormonal day, how can I expect that writing an entire novel will go over well in my personal world?

If only I were a fantasy writer, who could make up fantastic worlds filled with creatures and monsters and devils, and the great heroes and heroines who fight them to the death, and triumph in the bloody end… wait a minute, that has already been done by a lady who was discovered in the Laundromat.

The eternal question for you today, dear Readers: How does one tell the truth of themselves without enduring major repercussions? Or is it really best to simply shut up and keep it all inside…. and hope your hormones level out soon? Your thoughts, comments and ideas are, as always, very welcome.

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Author: SingingBones

When we sing over the bones, we are calling the wild nature, the instinctive soul back, singing it alive again. To live with our wildness intact, is the greatest gift a woman can give herself. "It is the holy poetry and singing we are after." C.P. Estes

6 thoughts on “When will I ever learn: The Writer’s Dilemma

  1. Well, I don’t know who K. is (but I can guess)….that doesn’t matter….I want you to know that I accept and treasure ALL OF YOU and that includes the melancholic part……..PLEASE CONTINUE TO BE WHO YOU AUTHENTICALLY ARE….EVEN THOUGH I AM , BY NATURE, A HAPPY PERSON, I LOVE THE DEPTH OF MELANCHOLY AND CELEBRATE IT IN MY WORLD…THROUGH YOU!

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  2. Hi. I can’t ‘not write’ … but I often wonder why there is any value in my writing. Stevie Smith wrote a poem that sticks with me, about ‘not waving but drowning’….. I think that phrase says a truth about writing… about not seeking attention but understanding. Jane

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    • You have hit upon a core truth of the art of writing.. not seeking attention, but understanding. Thanks for your insight. I would say that the value in your writing is 1. in the act of writing itself, and 2. in the courage and discipline required to be a dedicated writer and in your case, blogger. Consistency and dedication to one’s creative life has great value. and your drawings are truly charming, Jane!

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  3. I must say that you have a sense of empathy. I don’t know if that’s the right word here but that’s the one I rememeber this moment. You doing something great here.
    I must say that I never understood how good writing is until I started. I have these moments of melancholy which makes me over analyze and/or worry everthing thereby creating sadness most times.
    It took me a long time to realize that bottling it up never aided me. It only made those moments longer. So I created an e-journal where I write my fears, joys, sadness and others in between. I know it’s one of the bests things I’ve done for myself in a long time. I feel lighter and happier.
    But there are moments when i seriously reconsider what I have written or what I’m about to write – like if I will regret it. Many times when I eventually go along with the writing, I feel much better.

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    • Lily, thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment! I am glad to hear a bit about your own writing process and how it helps you sort things out. How well I understand ‘moments of melancholy!’ I agree, at times one’s personal journal can really be a best friend. Words have an amazing power to heal us, when we are not afraid to use them honestly and thoughtfully. Thanks for sharing, and keep writing!! SB

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