Monday, January 29, 2007

When words are not enough

Today's UPI column was an agony. I don't mean to be melodramatic. It's just that writing is not hard for me. Not really. I can usually find hundreds of things to write about and enjoy the process of creation.

But this time, I hit not just a dry patch or a brick wall, but fell down an 80 foot well that was also dry and brick. I couldn't see my way out.

You know, I'm sick of repeating myself, of finding fault with what used to be beautiful to me. It's like the girl who spends every Friday night with her girlfriends whining about the guy she left. What's up with that?

And in the midst of my postmodern virtues series, I realized one of the virtues is not knowing what to say and saying so. There's value in waiting, in not pontificating, in recognizing my own limits.

So here they are.

8 comments:

carrie said...

I spent four years in a bad marriage. Later in my life a experienced the desertion of a good friend. My mom and dad let me down in a big way.. things just weren't as they pretended.

On and off for years I've let these events hold power over me. I react to them instead of acting on the new information I have. They can keep me trapped because I let them. Blaming them for wasted time, I couldn't move forward. I made eloquent speeches in my mind that never saw the light of day. I'm glad those speeches didn't. Not everything needs to be said out loud. Sometimes those things that are said out loud can cage us in more than the things that we leave unsaid... things we let slip away in the wind or hide away. I am convinced all those areas where I felt I "knew" and then realized I didn't, the "wasted time," wasn't wasted at all. I couldn't arrive at here if I hadn't pasted through there.

Act on where you are, what you know, how you feel. Let go of the rest and I bet the ideas come. If friends and family aren't in the same place, then straddling the line will continue and the tensions will be there and you'll live with it. You'll live with it because you don't really have a choice! Since, as you know, life doesn't come in neat packages, sometimes people grow and change at different rates, families go to different churches (or none at all) and spouses take up new hobbies. While we change we just look for new ways to stay connected.. new ways to appreciate those we might not always "agree" with any more but still love and cherish.

Life is just messy. So go with the messy ideas and let those words out before you head explodes. ;-)

SusansPlace said...

I hear you. Last night I watched "The Tunnel". I watched as people crossed CheckPoint Charlie and left loved ones behind the wall. Then I watched them dig a tunnel to bring them out to freedom because they couldn't leave their loved ones behind. This analogy is breaking down but there still is a thread--no matter if there is a big old wall of changed belief between people, we still long for each other and we can still connect in other areas. That longing is normal and natural. I had many of the same thoughts you did yesterday and I am glad you put them into words.
I am waiting for some answers. In the meantime, I'm taking pictures and enjoying the moments. This UPI column is one of your best, imo.

Susan

Ampersand said...

I felt every word of it.

Cheryl said...

Your frustration with where you are comes across loud and clear... and why? Because of well-turned phrases like this: It's easy when the words bob to the surface and greet my fingertips.

You, my friend, have a gift. Count yourself fortunate. Even when you feel empty, your writings can at least express your emptiness better than most.

Bilbo said...

Hi Julie,

Your words remind of U-2's song "I Still Haven't Found What I am looking for"...I resonated with this particular column because I have been in exile on a couple of important fronts in my life for seven years now, and, I too have stumbled in the dark much of the time bouncing from exploration to another, never really feeling settled or finding what I was looking for...but...part of "my" problem and challenge was that I wasn't sure what I was looking for to begin with, which I suspect is often the case when one is moving away from relationships or communities of faith that have one has identified with for much of their lives...but...as difficult as that can be, and it is, I have also learned a lot about myself and now feel I have a much clearer understanding what I need and want in the future regarding the all important relationships and communities that are so important in our lives...which...has allowed me, just recently, to make some important connections that I hope will meet the needs, desires, and passions that are so important for "soulful" living...I have known you for some time now Julie, and I am confident in the weeks and months to come you will find what "you" are looking for because I believe you are an extremely talented, thoughtful, passionate person, who loves life and has a lot to offer to others...

Kansas Bob said...

Not sure what among what you have written and what has been written in the comments moves me the most.

I spend too much time living in the past ... wondering and missing the certainties of my younger years. Life is a difficult taskmaster though and does not let me wallow in those days ... pain causes me to move forward ... it changes me and helps me turn upward in a different way than I have in the past. Pain digs deep the wells of change and harkens me to think better not bitter.

I would be not who I am or where I am if it were not for the pain ... I hate to say it because I am not sure that i believe it but I am thankful for the pain ... it has opened a window into a reality that I have never known ... a hopeful reality not defined by my thinking or feeling ... a reality that lacks definition ... lacks rules ... a reality beyond my comprehension.

I guess I am just crossing over to West Berlin.

Rob A. said...

This is awesome, honest stuff:

>> I'm tired of rehashing this old dead territory called futile faith. It's not that life wasn't rich in many ways under the old regime. It's that the old regime failed in the end to give me an exit visa when I asked for it. They threatened me with barbed-wire fences and red tape. But here I stand: It's 1989, West Berlin, I'm on the other side of Checkpoint Charlie and I don't understand how life outside works. So I keep telling the old stories of what was wrong with East Germany. Entertaining! The West Berliners can't imagine having lived for so long in a place where the sun never shined yet you had to pretend it did all the time.<<

julieunplugged said...

What moving comments. Bob is right. Thanks for sharing with me. I wish I had time to respond to each one. I was gone all day and am ready to collapse after a long class.

More tomorrow!

Julie