why i write


Everybody wants to be heard. Everybody wants to be acknowledged. Everybody wants to be in some sort of a conversation. Unless you’re a hermit living on top of a mountain, but then you’ll be talking to yourself . . . and answering. “Hello. How are you today? Oh yeah . . . grunt, org.” and various other barely intelligible thoughts and sounds.

The world we live in is full of conveniences and entertainments and we’re programmed for it and by it, by the media masters. Those who control the conversation.

For example, what you think about during the day may not be your own thoughts, they may be someone else’s, placed there for their agenda not yours. We barely notice it because it’s ubiquitous and unrelenting.

If you’re reading this in a public place or listening to it while driving your car, take a look around and count all the logos that you can see. Each one of those logos is designed to impact your brain and elicit a desired response. Subliminal. The logos are related to the most primal visual effects recognized by the human psyche. A warm yellow color, McDonald’s arches for example, evokes hearth and home. To find your authentic voice, then, and use it is a revolutionary act. That’s why I write.

Writer’s block is a myth. That means you’re not ready to write. Engage in the preparation, whatever that is. Riding my bike like a wild Comanche in my case. Something. Something else not related to writing at all. Give your brain time to work it out. Hold the intention without being goal oriented. Is that a thing?

Where do authentic words and ideas come from anyway? They come from you. To answer my own question. They come from somewhere inside you where there is a deep well. A deep well of knowing.

Thomas Mann in Joseph and His Brothers writes, “Very deep is the well of the past. Should we not call it bottomless? The deeper we sound, the further down into the lower world of the past we probe and press, the more do we find that the earliest foundations of humanity, its history and culture, reveal themselves unfathomable.” Reveal themselves unfathomable, that’s good.

Our intelligence is inextricably linked to the first microbe that moved and lived on this planet. And before that? To the creation of this earth, I suppose. And before that? To the creation of this universe. And where did that come from? Nobody knows.

According to Ray Gould, in his book, Universe in Creation, in the beginning there was a super hot, super dense, super tiny ball of mass that contained all the matter and energy of the universe and it blew up. But where the heck did that come from? The eternal question. It’s infinite. It’s got to be. That’s why I write. To make contact with the infinite.

And to make contact with my people, my milieu. The society I live in is full of misinformation. Lies are celebrated, the bigger the lie the better. “I won the election.” for example, “I won it by a landslide.” No you didn’t. But the lie is celebrated, the bigger the better.

A little simple truth, an authentic voice, something that feels real - that would stand out in stark contrast these days. That’s why I write.

And conversation is fun. When it goes back and forth, when both people are learning something, even if the conversation is on social media, that’s a very pleasant experience. That’s why I write.

To sense one’s own being, to hear one’s own voice, not in an egotistical way but in a manner of appreciation, is a real celebration, a celebration of existing. That’s why I write too.

Actually, to be honest, one of the reasons I write is because I feel it’s one of the few things I can do. I’ve failed at almost everything else, maybe I can learn the craft of writing and say something. I strive for that atleast. Something about being self-actualized (if that’s the word), finding fulfillment. Hey, I may not be good at much but if I can write something and another person reads it and feels something then I am a raging success.

Information is only part of communication, right? There’s how you say it. That means something too. ‘I am here sitting in my office looking out the window at the front yard on a Thursday afternoon.’ Or, ‘The sunflowers and the bean plants (bug eaten) and the ground cover and the white woven lawn chair and the street beyond where the cars drive by, where an occasional runner or dog walker appears, comprises my view through the window. Inside, it’s sheetrock walls covered with old posters, photos, memorabilia and shelves stocked with books; one shelf holds a printer. Inside and outside. I notice it. And the window, the gateway.”

Our lives are made up of descriptions, it seems to me, how we describe the world to ourselves and how we describe it to others. And then there’s a moment when the description transcends the described and you feel something. Something that wasn’t there but was there. And that’s why I write.

A page from the very first ‘book’ I ever published in 1999 called ‘Learning to Scribble’. Copied at Kinkos and spiral bound so you could open it anywhere and it would lay flat. The font is manual typewriter keys striking an inked ribbon onto the page.

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