Friday, October 20, 2006

Why I Write (It's not that noble...)

When I finished posted those two poems last night I felt much better. But before I fell asleep I told myself I bet people are going to start worrying about me. The last time I wrote a lot of poetry my life was not going so well. I then read through some of my other posts over the past few weeks and realize that if you thought the ebbs and flows of my life were identical to the tone of my posts, then you could reasonably conclude I'm quite bipolar.

When I try to write more than normal, and some of it is a little melancholy, I run into friends in town who want to know "How are you?," in a very sympathetic tone. I appreciate this, as everyone should be asked the How Are You? question multiple times in any given day, regardles of how perfunctory it may seem. But my first instinct is to wonder why the concern of my well being, then I realize, oh, they read my blog.

Which still baffles my mind. You read my blog. In conversation over the past few days I've asked people, "Did I tell you about...?" and have on numerous occasions had the reply, "No, but I read it on your blog." I brush it off but deep inside I'm really thinking, "Holy Shit, they read my blog!"

And, really, the only reason I write is because you read. I've had a lot of discussions lately about art and beauty and what it means and where it comes from and I really feel incompetent when talking about it because I don't consider myself an artist. A documentarian, yes. A journalist and commentator, perhaps. And artist? I'm not so sure. I'm not saying that out of false humility. I'm saying it because I believe it to be true, and here's why: True artists hone their craft regardless of whether or not it will be seen by others. They do it because something deep down inside of them tells them they have to do it.

I do it for the attention.

So as long as you keep reading, I'll keep writing. And the more I write the more you will see the downs and lows of my life. But please know that my life, like the lives of most emotionally healthy persons, is rarely lived in the highs or lows. It's lived in the driving to work and the realization that I'm out of milk. It's in thinking about when I'm going to find time to walk my dog and in worrying about how much month is left before a new paycheck arrives.

So that's that. And it might be the last "that" for a few days. I'm in the beautiful Henderson County Seat of Athens, TX in a coffee shop across from the courthouse getting ready for a junior high retreat I'm speaking at this weekend. (I'm wondering how it happened just as much as you are, but I am looking forward to it.) I'll be back in Waco sometime Sunday afternoon

Have a great weekend, even if it is just quite normal.


jennie said...

Your life is lived in the realization that you're out of milk. What a great line! It's so true. (Of me. I don't know you, so I wouldn't be able to vouch for you.)

I guess we all secretly write for attention, because why else would it freak us out so much to have zero comments? I like to tell myself it's a way for me to keep in touch with friends and family, but is it truly the case?

I can't remember how I found your blog, but I really like it.

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april. said...

i read your blog. and im quite certain you dont know me. but i went to ubc for a year and kept a low profile, but am close to some neat people there who mention you from time to time. and you are listed on their blogs, so i read yours. and enjoy the posts, so i return to the blog. i enjoy the poems too. i am glad you write. thats all. take care.

ben from kansas said...

i know that you don't know me. but i've had a few friends at baylor and i heard of UBC through them and dcb, and your church and the thought behind it really kind of affirm alot of what has in the past nearly convinced me that i'm a heretic. so thank you for the encouragement, even though you didn't know about it. have a good day.

Angela said...

it looks like i found the right section for the "i don't know you, but i like your blog" declaration.

i don't know you, but i like your blog.
my sister just called tonight with that concerned look in her voice. i love her dearly.

i linked up to you through, taking off and landing, which i found because myles and i both spelled "traveling mercies" incorrectly, in our, favourite books, section of blogger profiles.
heh, heh.