Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Way We Write

Yesterday somebody asked me why I began writing this blog, and I had to think about it. I am not a person who writes with agenda, I do not aspire to be a great writer, I have no expectation that my words will change the course of history, or if they will even make sense to those who stumble upon them. And yet I write.

Some days I write for self discovery, to force me to be cogent in my thoughts. The process of typing arranges whispers of ideas in to a web and holds them for me to better understand. But this is not the reason.

Some days I write for the beauty of words. The structure of a sentence, for the glory of expression. It is on days such as these that I am staggered that there are so many to whom this simple means of expression is denied, and the idea that 200 years ago, I would have been one of them fills me with a sense of how blessed I have been. Worthy though this is, it is still not the reason.

On rare occasions, I write for somebody else. A message in a bottle, with little chance of reaching its intended subject, and a slighter yet chance of being understood, so cryptically do I package it for my own protection. The thought that they may read it, understand it, understand me, is a motivation and a fear. But it is not the reason.

The reason is this. I cannot let my life pass undocumented. One of over 6 billion tiny pieces in an enormous game of win and lose, I am essentially unimportant. I have no idea at what point my life may be ended, but should it be tomorrow, I know I will have lived without having left behind anything which will transcend the memories of those who have known me. This is true of most people who have lived and died on this earth. But I cannot accept this as a certainty. In writing myself, I am putting a little of my life in to the ether, where should I disappear, it will remain. It is likely that that is where this simple memoir of a simple girl will remain, but should chance favour me with just one person reading this in my absence, then for that moment, I will live again, and I will be remembered.

Flesh is transient, but words, especially virtual, indelible and quietly desperate words will linger on. Unnoticed perhaps, but with the hope of one day being uttered again. And this, this sad little truth, is why I write.


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