Again, we come back to the silence.
After days of being aware of the computer sitting there; days of me faffing around and dragging out mundane tasks because I wouldn’t know what to say, and pretending that the weeks don’t pass, I’m finally back, staring at the page and writing whatever first comes to mind.
It’s strange that this kind of writing used to be what I was best at. It’s what I did as a teenager when I kept this accursed diary that took on board whatever I thought for night after lonely night. But that was so private, and without the ears of the outside world it allowed itself to drift into the meaningless ramblings that did so much harm to me.
It’s important to have an anchor. Without it, it’s easy to become lost. After all, without an anchor we drift and it becomes hard to know who are we, really. And not just deep down really – and not as some spiritual question of philosophy – but who are we in our world. Where do we sit? What do we stand for?
What do I stand for?
My writing expresses much of it… haha! But that’s tell and not show isn’t it…
So what do I stand for?
What do I think will help?
A freedom of expression has always been my goal. A fearless honesty that allows the human condition to experience itself and reflect on that being, rather than cutting itself short with fears about our worth. We are worth it because we are alive.
It’s ok to be who you are – and more than that: it is essential to be proud of who we are; and a writer’s voice is a voice that we have a responsibility to use… but it’s not enough just to tell yourself that.
Allowing yourself to be is only the first step in being.
It’s who you become; that’s where the living lies.
And so what stops me from doing that? What stops me from being?
I know the answer already.
I know why I don’t write.
It’s because most days I’m so fucking angry, about so much, that I just want it all to burn.
And I think I’m ashamed of my anger. So I hide it.
I’m ashamed of the rage I feel about climate change, and Trump, and Brexit; and our gender battles, and #metoo and my losing my kids; I’m ashamed of sitting, stalled, on my couch and watching the world through a screen; and dating online because I can’t find a life; and I’m ashamed of the impotent rage I feel going into school every day and teaching kids about 15th Century poets when technology is changing the world so fast that no-one can keep up and the civilisation we’ve taken for granted for so long is spiralling out of control so fast that I don’t see a way out of it for us… and yet I sit on the couch and just manage my rage.
I’m ashamed of my anger. So I hide it.
Because rage is just passion misdirected. Like depression is just passion misdirected. And anxiety is just passion misdirected. And sloth is just passion misdirected.
But when I write, and I put it down and can see it again, I’m ashamed of my shame.
And then I know that it’s time to post something.
Let’s hope it doesn’t take as long next time…