Danged if I do, danged if I don’t
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
In writing about love a while back, I blundered forth in such a way that my intention defeated itself. I see, now, that to write anything about love or some kind of relationship is to wager the thing itself.
To try to cut out a shape of something such as love with nothing more precise than words can get messy. A careless snip of some metaphorical scissors and suddenly an important artery is cut off and a relationship is bleeding.
Another challenge with writing is that writers are read. A newspaper column, for example, is a flag for a day: strung out – vulnerable – for anyone to see and interpret however he or she might feel inclined to judge at that moment.
A writer who is regularly read, thereby, might feel as though he has offered himself up for public psychoanalysis. By default, he has. (I imagine some writers have readers who think they know more about the author than he does; and maybe some of them do.)
Sometimes a writer gets in hot water merely for his chosen topic – not even love is a safe choice. What’s the benefit, then?
The benefit is that I find the courage to be who I am, as best I know how. To write and share my honest thoughts is to let go of the fact that I will always be judged in all kinds of different ways all across the board – some people will inherently like me while others won’t – no matter what I do.
I am where I am in this world, and it is a full world. Toes will be stepped on, no matter where anyone wants to go. I want us all to find a place where we can all be happy. But all I can control is how I handle myself.
As a writer, I suppose I am inviting you into my inner chamber for a cup of tea every once in a while. I love the company and appreciate your attention, but please remember that, in seeing a small part of me, you have not seen all that is me. Nor have you seen much about the people included in my stories.
To write about my life is to write about the people in it, which puts my relationships at some risk. I think sometimes my loved ones feel that I grab them off the street and hang them out for all to see. For that I’m sorry.
However, we are all subject to public judgment in various ways at various times, and how we respond to it is up to each person.
At this point in my life, I do not feel I have a choice about being a writer – it’s what I am. I can’t imagine contentment without indulging in language and expression. Similar to riding a bike, if I write long enough a crash is inevitable, and probably more than once.
To any of my many friends, I ask, please give me the benefit of the doubt if you ever feel slighted by my written words. Sometimes I know not how I blunder. But I will always be true to myself and to those who are true to me.
Please have faith in that, for that is the root of our relationship – everything else is sticks and stones.
After today, “Open Space” will move to Saturdays, starting March 26, and appear on the second and fourth Saturdays thereafter. Derek Franz can be reached at email@example.com.
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