I had been an addict for the whole weekend. I couldn’t stop reading fifty-words stories written for the Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge. I was amazed with the multitude of simultaneously opened windows through which I could catch a glimpse of eye contact.
All of equal length, the stories are absolutely different, in form, style and subject. Some made me smile. Some moved me. Some left me puzzled or confused. But behind each of them you can hear a heartbeat, pulsation of dreams, pains, desires and experiences, you can see human silhouettes.
It is fantastic to pass by such windows. Especially if sometimes, in the reflection on the glass, you recognize your own face.
The bus arrived, and the dog leaped up wagging his tail and staring at the opening door with hope. Nobody went out. I climbed in, and the bus took off. The dog stayed frozen in the shadow of the worn out phone booth that, too, had been abandoned for years.
At 18 I started writing short stories, and I believed them to be quite genius (o sweet arrogance of youth!) and wanted to see them published as soon as possible. They never were. And god bless the editors, for those stories were not worth reading. But they were worth being written. They were my personal therapy. One of my friends, after reading a couple of them, asked if I write while being in a very bad mood. I said yes. The friend said it was too evident.
In my twenties, the writing hunger gradually faded. The protracted period of acute post-adolescence was finally over, and I realized that I had nothing to say as I didn’t know the world, I didn’t learn much about life. So I told myself I had writer’s block, stopped writing and started watching TV.
A couple of years ago I read Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing and discovered that writing is therapy not only for me. For many, if not all writers, probably, no matter how gifted they are. What matters is that the talented ones can present it as a fantastic story and, along with giving you a pleasure of exciting reading, push you to think (thank you, Mr. Bradbury).
I came back to writing. I still didn’t know the world, I still didn’t learn much about life, but I realized real reasons that drove me to put words into sentences.
You can have a family, you can have friends who love you and show interest in your opinion about almost everything, but still there is a world of your intimate thoughts, ideas and images that are out of place in everyday life and the route of established relationships. So you type them to get rid of them, to get free of them, to clean your mind, to look at yourself from outside, from another perspective and with a tiny bit of a hope to wake up a distant echo in someone who you don’t know but who has a wish to listen to your word left in the air.
About twenty years ago, one of the university professors highly recommended me to read Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludus. Yesterday, I finally opened the book.
It is funny how long it can take. Even funnier it is to think that an idea to do something that you consider important, but ‘not right now’ can stay with you for years. Quietly, timidly, it hides somewhere in the shadow part of your brain. It never truly leaves, and sometimes you notice a glimpse of it, but it is so weak that you easily push it back again. Until one day it pops up and turns into an imperative: Do it! Now.
That’s what happened with this blog, as well. I’ve been playing with this ‘maybe one day’ idea for a pretty long time until: Do it! Now.
So let it be.