Like John Steinbeck, I suffer from the fear of putting down the first line. A blank page is one thing, but a blank computer page is another. Paper has an air of fallibility. An eraser can change everything. Better yet, paper lends itself to crumpling and tossing. Complete impermanence. No one is the wiser for my unwise words.
A computer screen is altogether different. It hums with life and permanence. Once committed and posted, it is sacrificed forever to the digital universe. The ephemeral cloud. No matter how much I pretend no one will care, my words will have weight. I don’t assume anyone will care, but the weight feels heavy just the same.
So why blog? The question is easy. Three words easy. But the topic is general and grand in my mind. It is like answering why I write. It is easy to say because I must, but most writers know that those words are only the partial truth. They are the largest grain of sand in a bucket full of sand.
So why do we bare our souls?
Finding meaning for oneself has an emptiness to it. We are human and, as such, we are communal animals. Finding meaning must be shared to feel full. We are best when we collaborate. We are best in community. Readers are our collaborators.
But sometimes, communities are stifling, circumscribed, and exclusionary. As a mixed blood, I am forever struggling with identity. The labels we create to strengthen our tribes are the very labels that eventually weaken it. The very judgments we use to strengthen our identity are those that create and tear down the Other. At their most excessive, they are the means to dehumanize each other. Those that exist at the periphery are often asked to choose where a choice demands a shedding of Self.
Writers create worlds in which human dramas flex and come to life. I often write about the borderlands. The land where mixed bloods sometimes find themselves. History unfurls itself at the border. The border is often where the clash of civilizations is most fierce.
We live in a world of clashes, tension, and violence. But we also live in a world of peace, hope, and love. It is a world of duality.
We are the observer and the observed.
Our story is our history.
History is the story of man.
History is a story.
It is our story.
I write to find meaning in our history – to find the truth through story.