Wednesday, 13 June 2012

What does absence tell you?

Writing is one of those words that has the capacity to trip people up. It can generate questions.

What do you mean you are writing?   as if writing doesn't count.

What are your writing?  - as if you have nothing to write about.

Who said you can write? - as if you need permission, or that you are not "qualified" to write

It seems curious to me in a culture that teaches  writing early and makes the skill of writing the focus of most academic study a necessity, that is essential in the work place, that technology encourages, texting, tweeting, emailing, etc etc that the notion of writing should generate all this so called " interest"

I like to write. I don't really know if I am any good at it. Sometimes I get a good feeling from it, whether it is because I've expressed myself and it is out, or because I have a slightly norty appreciation of how I used the words to achieve something, I don't always know. Sometimes I get lovely feedback and sometimes I don't sometimes I accept the feedback and sometimes I don't. I like doing it so I will continue to do it.

But sometimes I can't do it. It isn't  always that the words won't come, quite often it is that the words may come in such a rush of hurt and anger that they will slay me and any bystander readers in the process. Not for a blog.. too much responsibility for this blog anyway.

I looked at the side bar on my blog recently and noticed the postings in particular years and I, knowing my inner life at the time, knew why there are more posts in some years than others. It wasn't to do with the outer busy ness of life , it was to do with inner business.

I've learned it is the absence of something that often requires investigation, even if at first - crucially - you don't notice the absence.

Years ago, after my Parents died in fairly quick and traumatic succession I became a dog owner. I was lucky to inherit my parents animals.. Brisket was an adult and a "certain of himself dog" when I had him. One day I had been mooching around in the house and something, I don't know what it was, made me laugh out loud. My laugh when it arises is very loud. I laughed and Brisket jumped up from his bed where he had been lying apparently asleep and came towards me in that enthusiastic way  a Labrador will do, wagging his tail so hard his whole body was convulsed. He came to join in the enthusiasm, he came to enthuse with me. The laughter was maintained for a while.

Afterwards I realised that I had been silent for days. I'd not had the tv on, or the radio, not been out apart from walking him which we had done in a mutual silence. As I came to think of it I realised I had shopped, bought petrol, completely silently for days and days.. I'd been lost somewhere. I wasn't deep in thought I don't think and I wish I could claim I was meditating. Maybe in a way I was ( cept I wasn't) I had been on automatic.

My body had been doing things and my mind was somewhere else.  I wasn't miserable, I wasn't happy.

I  wasn't.

Looking back it is easy for me to diagnose what it was, it was space and it was grief. I had been emptied out in the preceding couple of years. The laugh whatever caused it half broke the spell. The dog coming up to me, shattered it. My throat was sore from unaccustomed use required water and that was that, onwards. I had reconnected.

Not being able to speak manifests in not being able to write too.

There is another question once you have defied expectation for a bit and written and not been damned..

Why aren't you writing?

Here are some of my reasons:

Nothing to write about -- meaning there isn't stuff I want to share

Too much to write about -- meaning the stuff I have I am not sure if I want to share, or how to share it, very similar to above..

Other things are occupying me -- meaning absence in someway has set in, I can't write and I might not be able to tell you why, but it probably isn't what other people would put in the "nice" column.

I lose my voice when I am chewed up, when I am full up, when I am busying thinking, puzzling something out. I go in. My inner landscape is rich and uses all my processing power.

I am an introvert.. hardly a revelation that line after everything else I have just said?

I haven't been writing as much here this year as I did last year. And you can look at the sidebar and see when I was writing and when I was not writing. You can draw your own conclusions as I draw mine. They might be the same. Only I have the context though to know how I arrived at My conclusion.

I have been writing elsewhere. For a while now I have been writing on another blog, starting something new, making some space and time. Starting back in November for 30 days with a personal project for me which is growing into something else

If you are interested it is here

I will continue to write here and the divide will be arbitrary. I will decide. :-) it's my blog

Why do I write?

Because it is my right.