A number of people have asked why I am writing a blog. A few have asked if it is a form of therapy, and the answer is decidedly NO. I am also not writing so you’ll read it, or read it and “like” it. I’m not trying to gain a following.
I’m writing because I wrote as a kid, as young adult. I carefully observed what was going on in me and around me, I let connections occur within me, and then articulated what I’d processed. I used to do this primarily in poetry. I like blog posts because, like poetry, daily blogging requires me to make clear, focused connections in short lengths. When I thought about starting a blog, I wrote a long list of things to possibly write about, but I haven’t consulted the list. I don’t need to. Every day things happen. Every day I observe and connect.
Anyway, I blog because it works a muscle I haven’t used in many, many years. I find daily yoga practice does more for me than I ever could have imagined, so I believe the same will be true with daily writing. It’s great to post publicly because I want to move way beyond journaling and be bolder in my vulnerability and perhaps open the door to conversations with others. I’m exploring not only what it means to be human, but specifically what it means to be a grownup–mature, full, and joyous–no matter what the circumstances. I feel my mind and heart growing with each post.
So read it or don’t. Like it or don’t. I don’t care.
Recently my son and I watched Akira Kurosawa’s film Ikriru (translation: To Live). Wantanabe, the main character, finds out he is dying and has lived a very safe, predictable, isolated life. The film follows his quest to find meaning in his final days. He is intrigued by a young, vivacious woman. I thought he was falling in love with her. She grows tired of him wanting to be with her every moment. Actually, though, he was desirous not of her, but her passion and joy. She tells him she loves working in the toy factory; she imagines playing with all the children of Japan with the little toys she helps make.
He suddenly understands that he needs to make something of his own–and it is not too late. He chooses to build a playground, and the image of Wantanabe on a swing is symbolic of his commitment and vision.
For those of us who are creative, the need to create is reason enough to create. We don’t make things, do things, write things because anyone wants it or needs it or will even pay attention to it. It comes from a mysterious place. And I have found that not creating (in my case, not writing) has left me disconnected from the deepest parts of myself.
I trust that if I do what I am built to do, I am on the right path.
In Ikiru, Wantanabe’s associates are truly surprised and moved by his expressions and efforts at the end of his life. But they ultimately return to their lives as they were and don’t follow his bold lead. Kurosawa dares us to live fuller, creative, and joyous lives.