I wasn’t very happy after that Back to the Future post. First public outing for a long time – bit of an experiment, bit of a risk. Although it was fun to join in with all those on social media who were marking the day, I actually felt a bit embarrassed referring to all that numerology stuff again. ‘Look I’m a closet weirdo being superstitious about the date! I have a magic no. 21 here urging me to post!’
Well, I’m not about to renounce my old prophetic language and all that went with it – it was a building block of a past season. However, for me that season has totally changed and I really don’t want to simply take up where I left off. Yes, I said that… but I still couldn’t resist trying to relate the new to the old, looking for meaning in the way I always have done by drawing the past into the future.
But there has been a schism, a chasm, a void that’s opened up, a discontinuity, a death: the bridge is down and looking back across the ravine is not the way forward!
Maybe I forced it too soon… of necessity employing old language to describe something that’s still being born. The problem with the future is that it is unknown, unseen. Any attempt to describe it is going to be difficult if not futile because we are always stuck in the old paradigm… until the new simply arrives and we look around and discover it is here! The visionaries and prophets may see it ahead of time – though the film-makers got quite a lot wrong about 2015! – but all us ordinary mortals can do is describe where we are now and analyse how we got here. And how am I going to do that if I don’t write?
You’ve got me there! But in fact the crux of the matter is, forget all that auspicious day, carpe diem stuff… and the “really ought to get on with it cos time’s passing and you know it’s a good idea” blah. When it comes to spilling your guts online the real issue is the emotional cost. Here are my beliefs, observations, opinions – here is my heart.
Putting it ‘out there’ – sharing a personal story – seems to have become a post-modern trend since I first found myself blogging about our journey with Sam. I don’t remember there being a section for True Life Stories in WHSmith or a ‘personal essay’ tag on WordPress 5 years ago… But now, along with reality TV, it is one of the signs of our times – undoubtedly aided by facebook et al and the ‘sharing’ phenomenon. So do I really want to be part of that?
THAT is the question! And if so, whether now is the right time to be breaking the silence and making myself vulnerable again… Will there ever be a good time? (Perhaps when the date is 21st?! 😉 I must ask myself, what is the purpose of it? Although it’s nice when a friend is encouraged by something I say – as Diane was last time – and people want to ‘like’ it or ‘follow’ me, I can’t be doing it for that reason… I’ve been through all the ‘how many people read this post’ scenario years ago and it’s pointless: one is actually enough! My writing has got to be primarily for myself, because I want to do it and it does me good.
So then if it doesn’t make me feel good…? What then?! I’ve experienced this doubt so many times before – times when a post turned to ash in my mouth, when I dismantled and picked holes in it far too late, when I felt foolish beyond belief. Maybe I can turn a clever phrase and quote Henri Nouwen’s and Doc Brown’s wisdom, even recall that old and (to me) tired language of numerology, weave it all together in a satisfactory way – but does any of it help me? Maybe I should be asking, how do I find a way to write that will help?
What did the man say? “One of the most satisfying aspects of writing is that it can open in us deep wells of hidden treasures that are beautiful for us as well as others to see…”
How to get to those beautiful treasures and find that sense of satisfaction? I guess only by actually writing!
“Writing can be a creative and invigorating way to make our lives available to ourselves and others” Yes – I do know this from before – it does makes life available… I just have to look back at the documentation contained in that original blog and the ones that followed – eg Headshave for Haiti and Longing to Escape – to see the story of my life so far. For some reason I don’t really understand I don’t have a problem with other people seeing it as well… I am kind of proud of it! And so I should be…
So – conclusion time! Not only is this post too l-o-n-g, it’s not even about what I set out to write about!
Sometimes I’m going to feel stoopid but that doesn’t mean anything.
I am writing because I want to understand the journey not because I do understand it.
I am on a new journey now and so even more reason to document, share and analyse… maybe there are others out there who can identify with my going upstairs time of life, maybe we can help each other?
I’ve got this far by writing and I don’t want to lose a precious gift.
The writing itself will help me find the way…
As Henri says, “We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told – and that the better we tell them, the better we will want to live them.”