Jan. 1st, 2011

startiger: (Default)
 Happy New Year Dreamwidth!

I am wondering what I am going to do next with this blog. ...I'm thinking about writing a bit about writing. :) 

Writing is a good new year's resolution, methinks, because writing is a purification. Writing is allowing an outlet for the pores of your soul. Writing is absorption and release. Writing is a process, very much, of being. As my poet soulfriend Rumi of the 12th century wrote: "Story is like water you heat for your bath."

Over the past year, I have been seriously tackling writing a novel. It's a novel that I have been at least toying with in one way or another since I was in high school. Recently, I have started showing people I know what I write.

...Egads, but this is painful!

Why? Well...writing is personal. It's one thing to imagine your work published and on a shelf somewhere: those people picking up that book don't know you. But people who know you, once they have read what you write, will see you a bit differently...or at least I think they *should*. This is because--for those of us who must by writers--serious writing--and even half serious, or even goofy, absurd writing, exposes a part of us that we generally don't show around. Our writing is all that stuff we have to work out on our own. And writing fiction, in particular, gives us free license to be ourselves, or to be all those parts of ourselves that aren't acceptable, or just don't have a chance to get out for air much, in real life.

This is why, I think, writers--those who must be writers--are -- oftentimes -- those people who are "too much". Hence the stereotypical, Byronic poet or fiction writer as manic depressive, charged with passion or pain or blockages. We don't write because we want to. We write because we have to. There's no other socially acceptable place for all this stuff to go.

We live in a culture where, if you're "too much," people want to know the reason behind it. ("You must have a weird family. You must have been lonely as a child. You must have had something wonderful and/or terrible happen.") Maybe you were, and maybe you weren't. Maybe you did and maybe you didn't. Here's the scary thing, the thing no one wants to face up to: Maybe we just *ARE* what we are. A lot of us actually grew up pretty normal. But we have these overwhelming emotions anyway. Like it or not, we are plugged into the electricity of the cosmos. And writing gives us a place to work out our issues. To give ourselves a weird family, if we didn't have one. To experience befitting tragedies and comedies. To work out our too muchness. To process. To steep.

And maybe that general much-ness, that deeper sense of being, is good fodder for empathy, good fodder for understanding situations encompassing our natural feelings, which are just there, whether we have experienced the situations that normally bring up these deepset feelings or not.

We don't need an excuse. We are our own excuse. And our writing is our proof of that, our signature, our pièce de résistance.

Ah, this is crazy! But it's good to be crazy; it's good mulch for the mix. All our experiences, all our emotions, are compost for our next piece, our next exploration of what humanity is, what nature is, what life is, the substance of things that are. It's better to create a real drama than paint our lives with drama based on apparently incoherent feelings that overwhelm;  given an outlet, the feelings even out, homeostatize, balance...and lead us in directions we might not otherwise have chosen to go, that free us. That connect us, rather than tear us away.

Maybe in truth we're "hollow bones," shamans, like Sioux healer Frank Fool's Crow spoke of. Hollow bones, in shaman Frank Fool's Crow cosmology, are those people who are more hollow, more absorbing of experience. These hollow bones are conduits of the divine--but they need to be kept clean as much or even more so than most people.

Writing is the water we heat for our bath. It cleans us. It renews us.

And it takes us where we are to go next in our new year.


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