Why do take up our proverbial pen and write? Why do we take the time and make the effort to share our thoughts and feelings and lessons learned? Perhaps for the same reasons that generations before us did. We are compelled. Words spill out of us and onto the page, liquid puddles of letters that become words that turn into sentences that form complex thoughts and emotions, that leap from the page and into the mind of our reader who is perhaps contemporary, perhaps generations ahead of us, but who all say, "I understand what you mean." Writing is a form of time travel. A message from one kindred spirit to another. Between the lines we say, "I've been here before, just as you are here now. I survived, and so shall you." And our recipient, who may not yet even be born, closes their eyes and sighs, reassured that life will go on. And that, I think, is why we write.
“That which has been is what will be, and that which is done is what will be done. And there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new?” It has already been done in ancient times before us.” Ecc. 1:9-10
To me, the study of history is the study of future events. What has happened before, will happen again. It is up to us to have the wisdom to recognize the pattern, and respond accordingly.
I actually didn’t blog for an entire year…on purpose. After my cat (and feline best friend) Simon died on Christmas Eve last year, there was nothing I really wanted to write about, or to say. I had small bouts of creativity here and there, things happened that thrilled me, and other things happened that disappointed and hurt me, but for the most part, 2017 was a year I wanted to leave fairly well undocumented.
That was silly of me. We learn from everything Life throws at us…and I did nothing but a disservice to myself and my future growth by ignoring or pretending an entire year didn’t happen.
Despite this woeful beginning, I am actually feeling very optimistic about 2018. The word I’ve decided to focus on this year is: authenticity. I want to be more of it, and have more of it from people and projects in my life.
I want to invest my attention and energy into those who reciprocate it, and decrease my involvement with those who don’t. No more small talk, awkward exchanges, or feeling as though I’m begging for attention. Life is becoming increasingly shorter, and my tolerance for that kind of treatment needs to as well!
Perhaps it’s the slow creep to middle age that is causing these reflections, or perhaps it’s just immersing myself in the study of the awe-inspiring people that created and made history.
So! On to a year of more writing, more reading, more movie-watching, more painting, and more introspection…more of becoming a person I will be proud to look back and remember, and less of a person who just existed to please.