Friday, May 30, 2014

Why write

Everything is related:

In my academic work, I am thinking about a bunch of texts that do not seem to have been written for anyone but the writer. Not diaries as we recognize them now, with their ordered chronological structure, but mostly incoherent accounts of prayer regiments and mystic experiences.

I often reflect on why we write. Lately it would have been more appropriate for me to reflect on why I do not write, as not a lot of writing was getting done. Sancha's death has opened up a textual floodgate. It feels good to write; it is something to focus on, the words come predictably the way that tears and comfort don't. I haven't written like this in a long time: without editing, without re-reading, without footnotes. Without readers. (There may be readers. Obviously I entertain a fantasy of readers because I am putting this online and I have sent the links to a few people. But I am not writing for readers. I am writing to write.)

A dear friend who has also recently lost someone dear to her sent me a link to a new blog (an old blog brought back to life), and she expressed a similar sentiment. Writing about pain, writing through pain, writing transforming pain. Mostly writing to write...but not wanting the words to fall into the abyss.

Part of me is glad to have spent approximately 33 years writing (My Book About Me, my autobiography from age 3 3/4, was largely dictated, but does feature a few lines done in my own hand) such that it is now so second nature that it is a comfort. I don't drink, run, or paint, so it is good to have something. But part of me thinks: how solipsistic. In the end, it comes down to telling stories about me for me. Like I have finally completely closed the circuit of myself and made myself extraneous, utterly excisable from any human or cosmic community.

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