Contest, Day Three: We are asked to write the post on our minds when we first began blogging. Day Two we were asked to change our title and tag, which I chose not to do. The book I wrote following the 18 month period I spent with my parents’, their illnesses, and their ultimate deaths months apart, would have been that reason. Writing helped me process thoughts and feelings, keeping them distinct and, at times, distant until I was ready to deal with them. Time, distance, and a constant refining of myself into the present (which I resisted at various points) was a continual, painful, and precious experience. I learned a great deal about life while dealing with death. It’s a hell of a teacher.
Death is underrated. We are a society that cherishes youth, foolishly ignoring the benefits of age. The saying: youth is wasted on the young, is rarely understood by the audience it’s intended to impact, and it’s only with the perspective of age that we realize this. As a young person I hated that statement, considering it a personal attack on 20 something’s, not wishing to be cognizant of all we did not know. There’s an alchemy that takes place as we age (if we are lucky and if we work at it) that refines us, shapes how we (chose to) see the world, and behave within it.
With blogging, as with living, life encompasses more than weighty and profound experiences, much as those grab our attention. The every day, with silly annoyances, aches and pains, joys of great finds at HomeGoods or Fairway, exercise that enlivens, friends and family that sustain, sadness that comes in waves like the tides, is there too. I am grateful for blogging, more grateful still to my son Jesse who suggested I try it and told me to figure out how to do it when I asked him to set it up and looked at him like he was insane when he said no. Blogging has given me a creative outlet, followers, and on and off line relationships that have touched me. Isn’t that the point.
I have recently been asked by a friend in her late thirty’s to be her pre-publishing reader for a first novel she has decided to write. She is like you, complicated and seeking, and has a number of personal traumatic issues from her childhood with which she grapples every day.
The book she is working on is one of her strategies to help her cope. While on one hand I am looking forward to reading this first draft because I love, admire and respect her and I love and respect writing and writers; and because she is my friend whom I want to help develop her craft, on the other hand I am terrified.
Because this work is her conscious therapeutic mechanism, my role as reader is not simply an academic exercise. She has recruited me as a listener and counselor, a solid cliff or rocky shore against which she may crash her waves of profound and painful experiences as well as her silly annoyances.
I am not certain I am qualified. In fact I may have already failed her during our multi-faceted, dynamic friendship. Every day is an interesting and fascinating kaleidoscope of human emotion and feeling….both hers and mine, as we learn how to be each other’s friend…..and reader.
Blogging and writing a full length tome share some similar traits but there are several obvious differences. In either case however, I think the reader is charged with the sometimes too heavy responsibility of being asked to look deeply into the writer’s very being, their soul perhaps. Writing touches, shapes and challenges both writer and reader, providing lessons and platforms to grow….or at least opportunities to pause and ponder. Maybe that is the point. Thank you dear writer.
It is I who must thank you dear (reader and) writer. What a profoundly real and sensitive story you portray. I can see and feel your dilemma, your caring, your humanity. I love the comments you send. It makes reading and writing a shared, learning experience that connects and soothes. Thank you for your time, the comment, and the connection. And Happy 2014!