Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.
The book: Selected Poems of William Butler Yeats
On the flight back to Texas, I unearthed some of old journal entries. Then, after I caught up and crossed the halfway point of this blogging project, I revisited why I even am doing this:
“Beyond that, this about the process, both through the conscious intent and physical effort, it takes to achieve a state of vulnerability. It’s about vulnerability in my actions, thoughts, and desires associated with the stories and memories that have meaning, constructed.
Because I’ve never been really good at it. Sharing, that is. Maybe feeling. Or, sharing feelings? Now I feel like I’ve shared too much.”
Writing for an audience, even if it’s for 5 people or 5 thousand, results in a different voice than when writing for your eyes only. So I’m going to test this, push it even further. Excerpt #2:
I’d like to begin this letter with a sincere thank you. Thank you for being a (un)willing reader of so many of my letters for so many years. My earliest memories were of myself exploring writing as an art and a craft. I had so much fun, genuine joy, creating stories, even if they were just writing assignments in class, or even for the TAKS test. (Do you remember those? Or perhaps the TAAS test. Ah, the earlier forms of standardized testing.)
Somewhere along the years, I think I’d lost sight of the act of writing. I had abandoned words, though my love for them never dissipated. Perhaps I had discarded them for newer, shinier hobbies, but at the core, I always yearn to write. Not because I’m good, but because writing just makes the most sense for me.
But now when I sit down to write for myself, to myself, the words on paper just never coalesce as well as they do in my head. In my head. As soon as the words take shape and figure in front of my eyes, they feel empty, flat, and void of any meaning. After so many attempts, I become increasingly listless, the words and sentences remain in an inchoate state of existence in my mind.
However, as luck, or inspiration, may have it, I find I can write much more readily when I’m writing to someone else. I can’t really say why, but maybe the idea that I will actually have to make lucid my thoughts for someone else provides that extra impetus. To. Write. Clearly.
That long-winded explanation was all really to sum up this sentiment: My deepest and most sincere appreciation to you for humoring me in my thoughts.
So, it’s happened again. That moment in time, or rather, those all-too-frequent moments when I become physically paralyzed as my mind races on. And what’s the topic this time?
The most recent series of events in my life (of which you are familiar) have really forced me (albeit begrudgingly) to, again, be very, very real with myself. It never stops, really, this push for self-growth. Sometimes, no matter how much I think I’ve evolved, it turns out I really haven’t taken one step in any direction.
Especially lately, I’ve become much more aware of the amount of hate, bitterness, and overall negative thoughts that exist in my surrounding environment. Naturally, when one recognizes that situation, acknowledge its malignant effect on oneself, the logical action would be to remove oneself from the source of negativity, yes? Speaking less in generalities, and consequently more in earnestness, it means that I need to excommunicate those whom have been toxic to my life. It’s a harsh reality, but some people in your life invariably do more harm for you than good. So yes, remove yourself. Remove them. It happens. It’s part of life. Protect yourself.
But if that really is true, then the reciprocal is true as well, is it not? If others can be toxic to you, then logic dictates that you can be toxic to others.
That shook me a little. A lot. I think that we as humans rarely want to think of ourselves as the perpetrators, but rather as the victims. We separate “others” and ourselves; “they” are so judgmental / selfish / insertanyunpleasantadjective here. No, I recognize that we’re all able to admit that we possess unpleasant qualities, but to take it a step further and admit that we can be of a toxic influence to others is one truth I can barely muster the courage to accept.
Just as I have difficulty aligning other people’s values, priorities, and idiosyncrasies with my own, others out there are finding me equally as difficult. I can accept my long list of self-identified faults, but so long as I recognize them and they don’t harm (you know, inflict real harm) anyone else, then it’s okay. I can live with myself. But then my thoughts turn to those whom I’ve truly hurt or betrayed, and my god, I really did those things! How could I have done those things? How could I not have cared more? Been more compassionate? The source of someone else’s pain was me, whether intentional or not, the damage was done.
Then I become stuck. Where else do I go from here? Those people have excommunicated me from their lives (and rightfully so). And because I can forgive, but never forget, I can’t expect them to forget, either. But I wish I could forget. Oh, how I wish I could forget. Wounds fade, Miguel, but they never disappear completely. So the hurt remains. Fade as it will, but it’s still there.
Those feelings of bitterness, resentment, and disappointment linger. The guilt never really goes away, either. I think I’m just as dark and twisted as them all.
…I won’t end this particular letter with that silver lining of “hope.” Not that I don’t believe in it, because I very much do, but rather because I believe one must be true to one’s feelings. Or, I’m learning to be true to my feelings. I can’t control them, nor should I want to. If I hastily write a flimsy sentence or two about how it’s okay, I’ll learn, then the whole thing would seem insincere. I would then be brushing off these feelings, which I think are utterly imperative for any type of real self-growth. With that said, I’m just going to let myself feel, and at this moment, this is it.
from 8 September 2012
End, Memory Twenty Eight.
Next week: The Old Man & The Sea by Ernest Hemingway