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why write like this?

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Ever so often I pause to ponder why I post on this blog. There are times when I feel empty or plain lazy, but I push myself to write every day. My aim, simply, is to reflect on my lived experience and to make sense of the ordinary events of every day. But why publish them, you ask? To reveal how one person tries to live an ethically sound life, by approaching everyday obstacles with courage and curiosity. My hope is that you might benefit by reflecting on your world and be inspired and feel supported by my example.

le guin“In the tale, in the telling, we are all one blood,” writes Ursula Le Guin,“… we all come to the end together, and even to the beginning: living, as we do, in the middle.”

As some of you know, one of my literary heros and spiritual companions is the Trappist monk Thomas Merton (1915-1968). An influential writer on religiosity, he also published poems and journals. At one point he laments that “all my poems about the world’s suffering have been inadequate, they have not solved anything.” And yet, he says, in order to be a good monk he …

merton3… must put myself down on paper, with the most complete simplicity and integrity, asking nothing, confusing no issues: this is very hard, because I am all mixed up in illusions and attachments. These, too, will have to be put down. But without exaggeration, repetition, useless emphasis. To be frank without being boring.”

Carl Leggo, professor and poet, encouraged me to write auto-biographically, to seek “not so much communication but communion.”

carl“I am always seeking readers who will attend to my words, not with a dismissive swipe, but with a willingness, even eagerness, to join in conversation.”

sources: Le Guin, U. K. (1980). It was a dark and stormy night; or, Why are we huddling about the campfire? Critical Inquiry, (Autumn), pp. 187-195. Merton, T. (1953). The sign of Jonas. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company. Leggo, C. (2005). “Autobiography and identity: six speculations.” Vitae Scholasticae. 115-133.


3 responses »

  1. I feel fragmented unless I write. There doesn’t seem to be a single part of my body connected to another part unless its through tissue, bone, or writing. I never feel hungry, the only way I can tell if I need to eat is if my hands start shaking. If I’m PMSing sure, I get angry and cranky, but my mind takes over, recognizes it as hormonal issues, and shuts the anger down. I don’t feel anything unless I allow myself to. >_> Writing makes me feel a little more normal.

    • After receiving your comment I added words by Carl Leggo to the blog post. He writes that at times he says “very little — not because I don’t want to say more, but simply because I don’t know what I mean.”

  2. I just wanted to say, that for me, your writing, the choice of pictures and poetry are all lovely gifts to my life. I was actually admiring how you could come up with something everyday, so, you are just human, some times you “dry out”. Your effort is well worth it, not only for yourself, but for many of us. As your quote from Thomas Morton says, ” asking nothing” is important too, but this will not prevent me from expressing my gratitude for sharing your journey.


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