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going deeper into why I write

by Judy
November 24, 2014

Recently I wrote an essay about why I write. I knew at the time there was more to explore and uncover. In a way, it’s an endless exploration. In my case, I am diving deeper into why I write in relationship to living and helping to care for my elderly mom.

Firstly, I write to honor and give testimony to my mother’s life, not only in the twilight of her existence, but also to her basic essence that shines through even at this more difficult time of her life. And in a way, it’s bigger than my mother. It’s giving testimony to life in general that carries on from one generation to another, has its own values and “secrets” to give and pass on. One wants to give voice to these values and qualities, qualities of being that uplift and inspire. One person’s life, in some ways, is insignificant compared to the millions upon millions of beings that enter, breathe and leave this earthly plane. What does one person’s life mean? And yet, it has enormous significance. A paradox.

We don’t just live in an isolated bubble - we live in relationship with friends, family, “strangers,” beings long gone and beings to come. Goodness, love, positive energy, creative energy - creative works - get passed on whether we realize it or not. We are the result of what gets passed on and we are also unique expressions, and we leave our mark in ways known and unknown. I want to honor this process. My mother’s unique expression of life has meant something to me. Her care for others; for me, her humor… smile…her embracing warmth has left a deep impression.

I also write because it puts me in touch with my Self and my own processes. It activates consciousness and an awareness of all the movements in consciousness that are so much part of what it means to be human. I know that what I experience and go through is not separate from what others go through. If I don’t take the time to stop and let my pen and thoughts unravel, so much could and would get lost in the “doings” and busyness of life

Flannery O’Connor, the American writer and essayist said, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” This is so true. It’s like thinking for many of us only goes so far. It needs something else to activate the process or else thoughts and ideas remains half-baked. The ingredients are there but they are not integrated and therefore can’t expand. When I write, I go deeper into communication, into understanding, into a creative intelligence. I find out what I wasn’t even aware of that I knew.

By writing in this way one becomes an historian to one’s own life and the life process. It’s a mysterious desire to not want life to slip away into oblivion without some kind of record: I was here, we were here, this happened - this was lived and understood. I started writing a diary when I was 8 years old. I don’t know why I did and it wasn’t particularly insightful, but I wanted to do it and continued keeping diaries way into my adulthood. It was a desire to give voice to one’s experience and as one matured, to expand, deepen and illuminate this experience. 

Stephen King, author of science fiction and fantasy, said about writing that it is “Enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.” I know that writing is very much for my own benefit and yet writing for the blog now, where there are readers, there is a whole new dimension. Even if I never see or hear from the readers, it has an effect to know there are people reading what I write and benefiting from it. It’s sharing of yourself, your inner most being, which is not private anymore as you realize more and more that we are one human being in all its diversity.

Lastly, the act of writing which is the act and art of reflecting, thinking and creating is joyful and has its own inherent sweetness.

 

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