When I write, I feel more whole
Yeah, me, too. I think that’s part of why I do it, as well – the idea of putting words to whatever is going on and thereby tying it to expression – rather than just leaving it floating up there as amorphous experience – seems to make things more *real* somehow.
I teach English, and have a great and profound love and respect for the power of language. I’m not a “sticks and stones” kind of girl – I recognize the power that words have. Naming something makes it less scary or threatening; we’re more afraid of that which we don’t “know” than that which we can name and put a face on and come to some sort of terms with. It’s what therapy is all about, really – putting words to experiences so that you can deal with them in productive ways. I’m not saying that blogging is therapy – though I HAVE used it to try to work through some tough stuff that I don’t understand – school shootings and the like – but it serves much the same purpose of bringing things down to a concrete level so they can be properly mastered.
My best friend, though, doesn’t quite see it the same way. She sent me an email that said:
I have to log in as one of those who don’t get it, but I respect your need to do this. It seems like you are able to organize your thoughts through this format and it works for you. I admire how well thought out your feelings are. So often I feel like a ping pong ball. I’ve tried journaling and it always seems to end up as a catalog of confusion and complaints. I have felt this way about therapy too. For me, reflecting too much gets in the way of moving past stuff. I am damn sure I don’t want to share that with the world!
This is part of why I blog – I WANT to hear dissenting voices and I want people to question my assertions so that I can work through them myself and decide if this really is the way I think, just as much as I want to know that people understand and agree with me every once in a while. My best friend is my best friend, in part, because she challenges me to think, to consider options I may not have considered, and to investigate not only my reasoning, but my motivations for doing and saying certain things. Many of my blogging comrades do that, too, and I’m grateful for it.
I think that Meg4Meg’s comment feeds right into what I’m trying to say here – though she says it much more succinctly than I do – that we’re all somehow incomplete without some means of expression – of COMMUNICATION – beyond ourselves. I may be misinterpreting her (and, Meg, please correct me if I am), but I think it’s more than just the writing that fills in those spaces – it’s the writing that gets put out there and taken in by other people that really slakes the hunger.
What it all comes down to is that we’re all in this together. Writing for others to see, and reading each other’s words – and commenting, the feedback is vitally important – makes us part of a larger community. I try to comment often. Even if I don’t think I have anything profound or particularly insightful to say, just shouting out from the proverbial shadows is sometimes enough to let the writers know that someone’s out here listening.