I’m going to try something different again.
After writing last night, I was frustrated to find it sounding a little too much like a diary. Yuck!
Narcissism. I’ve heard this word more than a few times with regards to writing blogs, and I have to say, when I find myself sounding like a diary, it sounds narcissistic. I’m attempting to write specifically from INSIDE my life, which, when I nail it, becomes a portal to the more universal human experience. When I miss, I am writing ABOUT my life, which, while I often find it interesting, but often not, most people are busy enough with their own lives that they don’t need to know about mine – even about my occasionally brilliant epiphanies with regards to how all of the facets of my life fit together to form an incredible metaphor or opportunity for personal and spiritual growth. That’s not what I’m after. Its an elusive thing and, as I’ve said before, this is all an experiment and I might very well fail and write a boring diary with beautiful and evocatively graphic descriptions accompanied by increasingly more proficient photographic images. But, unless I manage to get the guts of the moment that I am writing about onto the “page”, its going to be crap. Maybe pretty crap, but its not going to “work”. Its not going to get anyone to see through the words to the feelings of hope, frustration, fury, utter joy, despair, grief, relief, excitement, and even transcendence that accompany my experiences. Nor will it allow a kinship to form between me and whoever is reading these words because they know precisely what it feels like within the context of their own experience. Maybe this is eternally the writer’s dilemma and task. That’s what makes good writing so good! I am gaining more respect for the profession continually – even as I attempt these sometimes futile expressions of what it is I want to say.
On that note, can you feel it? Can you feel my irritation with my lack of ability to get where I’m trying to go with these crazy words that just keep skipping across the surface and creating a nice safe distance between me and you?
I think that an experiment like this requires, even demands, that I have a place that I go, even if in my own mind, that is silent. And by that I mean wordless. A place or space where the words and voices that make up my thoughts fall away and leave me alone. I have become so aware of my thinking that at times I want to get away from it , thus the craving for meditation, climbing, and other high focus physical activity. Recently, I’ve noticed that I am actually not thinking when I’m shooting photographs! No wonder these two practices actually work together. After reflecting on this after writing last night, I found this paragraph in the book I’m reading.
“… To be engrossed by something outside ourselves is a powerful antidote for the rational mind, the mind that so frequently has its head up its own ass — seeing things in such a narrow and darkly narcissistic way that it presents a colo-rectal theology, offering hope to no one.” ~ Anne Lamott p. 102 Bird by Bird
Wow! Did that make me sit up and look around. A “colo-rectal theology”? Thank God someone called my attention to it before things got any worse.
To counter any question about whether I am in fact capable of escaping this possibility, I offer the following images to prove that I do not take myself too seriously, even if my mind sometimes does have its head up its ass. I had asked the girls to let me photograph them so that I could practice with an on camera strobe. Over an hour later, I was almost late to my 6:45 appointment and hadn’t started dinner. Oops! Maybe that rational mind needs to check in sometimes after all. But, this was way more fun: (Just to prove a point to myself, I’m posting this whole string of images that tell a little story better than the words I might have used)