Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Staring at the Clay

I’m in a bit of a mood today, but I’m going to go with it for the purposes of writing.

I am almost finished reading Until I Find You. John Irving is the sort of author that is not everyone’s cup of tea. Most of the people who populate his novels are usually wounded in freakishly major ways – whether physically or emotionally – and they are all trying to make their way to “normal.” But one thing you realize very early is that there is no real “normal.” Everyone – each and every one of us – is wounded in some way, carrying around some baggage that makes us feel odd and different and freakish when compared to others around us. Or at least, that’s how I feel . . .

We create our own lives and our own memories, but they are very much shaped by what happens to us when we are younger – our whole sense of self is formed by what our families and others around us choose to tell us and to withhold from us. We lose our innocence when we start to realize that everything that we were told was not necessarily the truth but what they wanted us to believe was true, and we spend the rest of our lives trying to establish what our own truths are. It is a long and hard process, sometimes shaking us down to the foundation of who we have thought we were and who we think we should be.

The positive thing about this process is that we each get to reinvent ourselves however we wish. The negative thing about this process is that our baggage, our ingrained histories, our false truths can be the things that keep us from moving forward – because they are comfortable, because they are safe, because they are easy.

Being in the process right now has been quite depressing and yet quite exhilarating. Does that make sense? I have no idea of who I am and who I’m supposed to be. I think I’m one type, but then I notice some things that make me the opposite. I try to be a good person, but I know I’m not. What does being a good person mean? Does one bad thing negate all of the good? Can a person try to be selfless, but still end up being supremely selfish? Be motherly, but not necessarily be a mother? Can you love people, but ultimately not love anyone?

I’ll be darned if I know. And it is killing me. I am starting to think I need to see the answers spray-painted on a wall somewhere for me to get it – but even if the answers did miraculously appear, would I understand them? Would I pay attention? Or would I think that they were wrong and misguided and keep on seeking?

if i write, i am not scared.

I guess I am not as scared as I thought anymore. Something must be going on in this brain of mine that is leading to something . . . it is just a bit of a mess on paper, that’s all . . .

1 comment:

Eric Grubbs said...

You know that line, "I never imagined things would turn out the way they did"? Well, I'm now wondering why we imagine so much. I don't mean that in a defeatist way, but life changes so quickly with unforseen matters that this is something totally off our self radar.