I’m not an author. I always dreamed of being Laura Ingalls Wilder, and while it’s flattering to imagine myself as great and accomplished as she, there really is no comparison. I don’t write for any agenda. I write for myself. Selfish? Indeed.
When I pick up a pen, words tumble out of my head. If it weren’t for the pen, they’d tumble right out of my mouth, a reflex I do try and squelch as often as I can. Those of you that actually know me can certainly attest to the blessings in that.
I write for one of three reasons: to clear my own conscience, to share my own story- thereby preserving a memory, or for my own lack of courage to stand up, stand out, and physically SPEAK. You are much more likely to find I’m comfortable with the written word than ever actually speaking. I’m difficult to know and even more difficult to understand.
So, I’m not an author. I’m not even much of a conversationalist. I took a quick tally of my various journals, notebooks, and scraps of paper that I’ve stowed away over the years. Frankly, it’s not easy to keep up with large appliances or small children, much less scraps of paper, through the many, many, many moves I’ve made. Backtrack three lines…my eclectic collection numbers in the 180’s.
The earliest is a purple, crushed velvet, Elvis style, covered journal, with cutesy gold gilded pages. I’m sure at the time, my mother had no idea it would balloon into what you see, now. Otherwise, I believe she would’ve bypassed that little book. It is dated 1983, and I was in second grade. The first entry? “Mama Daisy made me eat bananas again. I threw up on her sandals. Her feet were in them. I think she will stop now.” Does that sound like a budding author to you? No, I think not.
What I longed for was a deeper connection with anyone in my life. Anyone. By second grade, we lived 200 miles from my Meir and Pa. I still spent summers there, and my Christmas and spring break weeks, too. I talked to Meir on the phone every Saturday night, and occasionally slipped by with a midweek call. Too often, though, I found myself without anyone to genuinely engage in spirited conversation. I relied heavily (and still do) on my pen and paper to express my emotions, illustrate my dreams, and fuel my desire for substantial change. I never, EVER, shared any of my thoughts publicly. I’ve shared a few here and there with friends, but when I did, suddenly I was surrounded by experts and critics.
My thoughts, words, compositions, poems, rants, and speeches are little pieces of me. They are gathered up, and kept behind the highest walls I could construct, somewhere in the cold recesses of my heart. I fear they will be torn apart, corrected, labeled, or misunderstood.
It doesn’t really matter, in the end, who is inspired or who is upset over something I’ve written. I’d rather not know either way. I’m old, and I’m told with age comes restraint. Apparently, I’m not THAT old, yet. I still lack that filter, and still isolate myself behind walls, on islands. It’s a childish defense mechanism, but it is MY defense.
I have come to realize that restraint is both friend and foe. I acknowledge that I have a different worldview than most of my friends and family. That’s okay with me. To quote one wonderful sister God has seen fit to bless me with, “I can’t be positive enough for both of us. You have to be positive for yourself.” I’m also told with age comes wisdom, perspective, and grace. I am not there, yet, either, but I’m trying.
My heart, my soul, my conscience, and my memories are only inspiration for me. My audience is anyone choosing to read my thoughts on any particular day. That’s just me. I’m no author; I’m no conversationalist; I have no particular audience. I’m a complex matrix that no one under Heaven has yet managed to unravel, and I’m increasingly okay with that.
Be blessed, Y’all.