Writer, psyche-ologist, mythologist,
and ever curious…..
It’s a curious thing to write about yourself.
Much more difficult than writing a character for a novel, or writing about a psychological conundrum or creative process, because it begs that old question: who am I really? But more than that, how do I want to show myself to the world?
Somewhere in that thin shifting line between my deep heart and my many faces that I show the world, rides the truth of the thing. But I am, you are, a complex system, multifaceted and everchanging, so even as I write this something new emerges. Like growing your wings as you learn to fly.
Am I the sum of my parts? My history? Do roles and relationships define who I am? Am I the questions I ask? Or something more mysterious and inexpressible, that I can never fully know? Yes, I think we are drawing closer now.
This is why I write. To discover what I don’t yet know. Can never know. What a strange quest. Like pursuing that elusive questing beast into deepest forest dark.
So here is the question: can we ever really know ourselves, or another? How would you write yourself down in under 600 words? Can you show-tell yourself in words?
And if you did, would you be a poem, or a Kafka novel, or perhaps a Palahniuk, or Proust lost in time? Or a tiny blue butterfly with a whole universe inscribed in her wings? A play? Shakespeare or Samuel Becket? No wait; a melody or a song? Maybe you’re more of a movie? Sci-fi? Comedy?
I think you might say; I can’t choose one thing. It depends. On my mood. On the weather. On my lover or partner. On the colour of my hair that day. On the media, or social media. On the government. The colour of my undies and what I had for breakfast. How should I know?
We are a complex multiverse on the inside. Part animal, part clown, perhaps even part god, if you believe in that sort of thing. I’m open to a non-binary kind of divinity, more Dionysian or panpsychist, if I have to give it a label. But I’d rather not. I don’t like categories and labels in case you haven’t guessed that yet.
Is there a message in all of this, something you can hang your mind-made-up-on? So you don’t have to open your mind and think too much?
Maybe, maybe not.
Just that you probably won’t find anything interesting here if you’re looking for certainty or answers in these pages. This is, life is (as far as I can tell), an invitation to curiosity, wonder, with a large dose of adventure thrown in to keep you shaking off the dust.
Don’t settle for certainty. What you think you know can be blown over in a brute wind, or by a tiny virus.
The biggest problem with writing into unknowing is, you can easily get lost. And have to start again. To find a new question and pump that curiosity muscle hiding in the inside skin of your heart, of every human heart. It was there when you were born, and it can go into hiding if you have been settled too long. Dancing is a good antidote. Shouting into the wind. Walking in wild places. Finding the secret beauty close at hand in your everyday.
In short, stay curious and dance or write like no one is watching, except your beloved within.
And don’t forget to laugh, especially at yourself. Laughing changes the brain, instantly, which changes the way we perceive everything, unsettling the dust that has gathered in our certainties, like waking from a long sleep.
In conclusion, I’m not going to tell you who I am, but hopefully I’ve given you a glimpse inside my ways of knowing the world. For me, as a writer, my precepts for writing begin with, not show don’t tell, but ask don’t tell. Yes that is at the heart of who I-am-and-becoming….